Larix laricina, commonly known as the tamarack, hackmatack, eastern larch, black larch, red larch, American larch or juniper. The word tamarack is the Algonquian name for the species and means wood used for snowshoes, larix laricina is a small to medium-size boreal coniferous and deciduous tree reaching 10–20 metres tall, with a trunk up to 60 centimetres diameter. Tamaracks and Larches 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 short, light blue-green, turning bright yellow before they fall in the autumn, 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 long, with 12-25 seed scales, they are red, turning brown. Key characteristics, The needles are normally borne on a shoot in groups of 10–20 needles. The larch is deciduous and the needles turn yellow in autumn, the seed cones are small, less than 2 cm long, with lustrous brown scales. Larch are commonly found in swamps, fens, bogs, tamaracks are very cold tolerant, able to survive temperatures down to at least −65 °C, 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 and 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 soils that range from heavy clay to coarse sand. Although tamarack can grow well on calcareous soils, it is not abundant on the areas of eastern Ontario. Tamarack is commonly an early invader, Tamarack is generally the first forest tree to invade filled-lake bogs. In the lake states, tamarack may appear first in the mat, sphagnum moss. Farther north, it is the tree in the bog shrub stage. Tamarack is fairly well adapted to reproduce successfully on burns, so it is one of the pioneers on sites in the boreal forest immediately after a fire. Tamarack forms extensive pure stands in the region of Canada. In the rest of its United States range and in the Maritime Provinces and it is a major component in the Society of American Foresters forest cover types Tamarack and black spruce–tamarack. Black spruce is usually tamaracks main associate in mixed stands on all sites, the other most common associates include balsam fir, white spruce, and quaking aspen in the boreal region
Tamarack larch in fall colors, with black spruce in the background
Tamarack larch foliage and cones in August. The lighter brown cones are from the current season; the darker brown cones are mature cones from previous seasons.