European larch is a great choice for specimen plantings or in groups for parks and large areas. Unlike most conifers, it drops its needles in winter. Bright green foliage in spring changes to medium green throughout summer, turning a golden yellow in fall before falling. This tree has a highest degree of salt tolerance and can therefore be used in the most exposed areas, such as along streets in regions with winter snow and ice.
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Zone 3
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Wet sites
- Occasional flooding
- Road salt
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Early spring
- Mid fall
photo: John HagstromSize & Form
70 to 75 feet high and 25 to 30 feet wide.
Open, pyramidal in youth with horizontal branching ; irregular as it matures.
Tree & Plant Care
Best in sunny site with moist soil. Tolerant of temporary flooding and wet conditions.
Prune in mid-summer.
Disease, pests, and problems
Larch case-bearer can be a problem.
Attracts birds & butterflies
Seed-eating birds such as nuthatches, finches, chickadees, grosbeaks, and crossbills are attracted to the tree for shelter, nesting, and its cones.
Bark color and texture
Mature bark is a scaly, reddish brown.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Clusters of 2 inch long needles on older branches, singularly on new growth.
Bright green in spring changing to medium green throughout summer.
Fall color is golden yellow. Needles are deciduous.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Female flowers are 1/2 inch long and reddish, male flowers are smaller, yellow , and catkin-like along the same twigs.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Small, 3/4 to 1 inch cones are counded with few scales and persist throughout winter.