An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide –

Eastern Tamaracks Turning Yellow

TAMARACK 050Eastern Larch, Larix laricina, is also known as Tamarack, the Algonquian name for the species which means “wood used for snowshoes.” This tree strongly prefers moist to wet sites in acidic soils and is a common sight in northern New England bogs. Eastern Larch is the only species of conifer in New England that drops all of its leaves/needles every year. The needles are borne on short shoots in groups of 10–20 and prior to falling off, they turn a beautiful golden color.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.

10 responses

  1. Peter Denis

    We have a couple on our property in the Eastern Townships of Quebec and they were spectacular this past weekend. Good post!

    October 28, 2014 at 1:17 pm

  2. Susan Elliott

    The ‘last hurray’ of the changing trees and one of my favorites. Thanks for writing about them!

    October 28, 2014 at 1:34 pm

  3. Cecelia Blair

    Hi Mary,

    I have read that these are the trees of the far north–what you see when you travel way up into Quebec before the land where trees no longer can grow. I have also read that Larch trees–mostly the Western variety has been used but this Eastern variety is also said to work–as a probiotic, immune-enhancing remedy. You can look it up online as Larch Arabinogalactan and even buy it on Amazon! Here is one such reference:

    Sent from my iPad


    October 28, 2014 at 2:55 pm

  4. Whenever I see Larch trees they bring back fond childhood memories. We had an enormous Larch in our front yard and I would spend hours beneath it’s droopy bows, playing, pretending, imagining… What a joy to observe through the seasons…. Golden yellow in fall, with thin nubby branches and tiny pinecones that were fun to string… By winter it became a stark, brown skeleton but eventually turned a radiant green in spring (and grew millions of new purple pinecones!) In summer, it had a rich cloak of soft green needles providing peaceful, cool shade… what a beautiful tree. Thanks for posting!

    October 28, 2014 at 3:51 pm

  5. Also called “hackmatack” in Northern Maine.

    October 29, 2014 at 10:46 am

  6. Mary
    What about the Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)? It produces cones and is deciduous also. Is it not considered a “conifer”? If not what disqualifies it?
    Thank you for your clarification and all of your great work.

    October 29, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    • Although it has been introduced in North Carolina where it grows naturally, and it can be found in the Arnold Arboretum, I don’t believe it grows naturally in New England.

      October 29, 2014 at 2:08 pm

      • Tx I now understand that “not known to escape” indicates that the Dawn Redwood
        is not growing “naturally” in my yard and is only there because I planted it there and
        “ability to survive” does not a natural plant make.

        October 30, 2014 at 8:35 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s