Best in cool climates with adequate soil moisture. Dislikes heat and drought. Light Exposure: Full sun
Larix laricina is a small to medium-size boreal coniferous and deciduous tree reaching 10–20 m (33–66 ft) tall, with a trunk up to 60 cm (24 in) diameter. Tamaracks and larches (Larix species) are deciduous conifers. The bark is tight and flaky, pink, but under flaking bark it can appear reddish. The leaves are needle-like, 2–3 cm (3⁄4–1 1⁄4 in) short, light blue-green, turning bright yellow before they fall in the autumn, leaving the pale pinkish-brown shoots bare until the next spring. The needles are produced spirally on long shoots and in dense clusters on long woody spur shoots. The cones are the smallest of any larch, only 1–2.3 cm (3⁄8–7⁄8 in) long, with 12-25 seed scales; they are bright red, turning brown and opening to release the seeds when mature, 4 to 6 months after pollination. Tamaracks are very cold tolerant, able to survive temperatures down to at least −65 °C (−85 °F), and commonly occurs at the Arctic tree line at the edge of the tundra. Trees in these severe climatic conditions are smaller than farther south, often only 5 m (15 ft) tall. They can tolerate a wide range of soil conditions but grow most commonly in swamps, bogs, or muskeg in wet to moist organic soils such as sphagnum peat and woody peat. They are also found on mineral soils that range from heavy clay to coarse sand; thus texture does not seem to be limiting.