Image for Western Larch

Western Larch

Scientific name

Larix occidentalis


The Western Larch is a large coniferous tree species that can grow up to 50 m. The bark is thick, cinnamon coloured, and has flaky plates. The needles are about 5 cm long, soft green coloured, appear in clusters of 15-30, and are spirally arranged. The cones are about 1 cm long, papery, and ovate shaped. These cones produce small winged seeds, which spread by wind. The Western Larch are fast growing and long-lived plants that can survive up to 900 years old. As with all Larch/Tamarack species, these are the only conifers that lose their needles in the fall, turning a bright. This species is resistant to fire and pathogens. Western Larch has an extensive and deep root system so could be useful for controlling erosion and stabilizing shorelines.

Planting conditions

Western Larch grows best in moist to normal conditions with full sun exposure. It can grow in a range of soil types with a normal pH level. It is tolerant of strong wind and nutrient poor soil. This tree is very shade intolerant and should be planted in open or disturbed sites. This plant can be naturally found in open valleys and low slopes, often in swampy areas.


  • Plant height:
    • Any
    • Over 3m
  • Moisture level:
    • Normal
    • Moist
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
    • Clay
    • Rocky
  • pH:
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
  • Eco Zone:
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
  • Plant type:
    • Tree
  • Height:
    • 50 m
  • Spread:
    • 3m