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.
All common names:
- Residential and parks
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Shade tree,
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Alkaline soil
- Moderately Tolerant
- Intolerant of pollution
- Spring blossoms,
- Fall color,
- Showy fruit
Seasons of Interest:
- early fall,
- mid fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
- Insect-eating birds,
- Seed-eating birds
photo: John Hagstrom
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.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to Europe.
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 persisting throughout winter.