Fall Tree ID: American Larch

Photo of American Larch needles in fall

American Larch (Larix laricina) is New England's only deciduous, native conifer. Pines (Pinus sp.), Spruces (Picea sp.), Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea), and other conifers are evergreen, holding their needles for two or more seasons, only shedding them all in death. American Larch, also known as Tamarack, has a different life strategy. In fall, Tamarack's needles all turn gold and drop. Trees then stand leafless (appearing to some as dead) until soft, blue-green needle bundles emerge at the start of the next green season. These needle-leaves remain soft throughout the green season. (To view the following images in full-size, click here.)

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