And now, No. 1: The Larch, the larch…

Larix sp.[i]

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Can you recognize a larch tree from quite a long way away? Probably not, most people can’t. Hell, even I have a hard time doing it unless it is in ideal conditions, and even that is iffy at best. Trees are not my strong suit. I can say that up close, I am much better at recognizing them. Larch trees are actually kinda unusual up close.

There are actually eleven species of larch[ii], all native to colder climates in the northern Hemisphere.[iii] This species native to New England is called the tamarack, and is found across much of northern North America,[iv] though the European Larch is grown here ornamentally as well.[v]

The larch is a kind of conifer, and a member of the pine family.[vi] However, unlike most other conifers, larch trees are not an evergreen as they lose their needles each autumn.[vii] Likewise just because a tree is not a conifer doesn’t mean it loses its leaves in the autumn either. For example, mountain laurels keep their leaves all year long.[viii] See, even trees have to deal with all sorts of stupid stereotypes. And unlike other conifers the needles are larch trees are quite soft.[ix]

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so soft, so very soft, like a baby’s butt

Tamarack trees do best in poor soils, especially sandy or boggy soils, and are often one of the first trees to colonize any open areas.[x] Likewise, they require lots of sunlight.[xi] Eurasian Larch trees are often grown in gardens and parks.[xii]

So hopefully, if John Cleese comes asking if you can recognize a larch tree from quite a long way away, you might be a bit better prepared.

 

Sadly no horse chestnut, for now anyway…

[i] Author Unknown “Larch” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larch 13OCT2016

[ii] Author Unknown “Larch” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larch 09OCT2016

[iii] Author Unknown “Larch” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larch 09OCT2016

[iv] Little, Elmert, L. ”National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees of North America” 1980, 2007 Chanticleer Press. New York pg 281-2

[v] Little, Elmert, L. ”National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees of North America” 1980, 2007 Chanticleer Press. New York pg 280-1

[vi] Author Unknown “Larch” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larch 12OCT2016

[vii] Author Unknown “Larch” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larch 12OCT2016

[viii] Little, Elmert, L. ”National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees of North America” 1980, 2007 Chanticleer Press. New York pg 623

[ix] Author Unknown “Larch” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larch 13OCT2016

[x] Author Unknown “Larix laricina” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larix_laricina 12OCT2016

[xi] Author Unknown “Larix laricina” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larix_laricina 12OCT2016

[xii] Author Unknown “Larix decidua” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larix_decidua 12OCT2016

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