Friday, March 7, 2014

Weeping Larch

            Every year in the fall I can plan on a couple panic calls/emails; “My Larch is dying!”
            And every time I can put fears to rest by saying; “No, it’s just dropping its leaves like every other deciduous tree this time of year.”


            The Weeping Larch looks like an evergreen, but it’s not. It has leaves that look like pine needles, but they are in fact leaves like any maple, oak, elm…. they serve for one year and then turn color and fall off.

            The Larch is also known as a Tamarack Tree; and you see lots of them in the U.P. They thrive in colder regions, but are not prized for their form or look. Unless, that is, if one out there is growing in a “hanging down” fashion; that one will fetch big bucks; but not that one just yet.
            This little tree will be raised up to become the “Mother Tree” by which cutting will be taken and graphed onto regular Tamarack whips. These will grow into the Weeping larches pictured.

            Larches are native to Northern Michigan, but do very well here also. They like full sun, but would benefit being shielded from the hot late afternoon sun. They can reach a height of around 12’ by 10’ across, but your pruner can keep them at half that size if the place reserved for them is small.

           They are best displayed as a “head of hair”; prune off anything that grows straight up or out to the side. They have a Lime green needle leaf in the summer that turns yellow in the fall.



            It doesn’t mind wet feet, and will require water assistance if your home for it is on the dry side.   

            The little one inch cone it produces in the fall gives more credence to the panic calls in autumn, but that’s just how it reproduces itself; and possibly gets a big kick out of watching you fawn all over it thinking it’s dying.

             For as much as you will pay for one of these you’d think it would be hard to grow, it isn’t, it’s a easy keeper in my book.

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4 comments:

  1. I appreciate your post. I planted a weeping larch last summer and it did extremely well all fall, winter, spring, and this summer. It's August now and we have had some cold nights and cool days. My larch is now losing it's needles. I was very afraid that my tree was dying. Reading this post gives me hope.

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  2. I planted mine in the screen, it's a weeping larch, it was planted about 5 1/2 weeks ago. It was about 4 feet tall, came in a giant pot and was super green. In the last two weeks it's gotten very brown and probably 75% of the needles have dropped...what am I doing wrong? I've read you can under water and over water these things, what's the happy medium? This tree was expensive and I don't want to lose it. Most of the needles that are still green are more at the top of the tree. Thanks

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    1. I have the same problem. Tried to spray with insecticide/fungicide in case it was a pest related problem, but no improvement.

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