Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Larix laricina
Species Authority: (Du Roi) K.Koch
Common Name(s):
English Tamarack, Eastern Larch, American Larch
Pinus laricina Du Roi
Taxonomic Source(s): Farjon, A. 2010. A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Koninklijke Brill, Leiden.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2011-03-10
Assessor(s): Farjon, A.
Reviewer(s): Thomas, P. & Stritch, L.
Larix laricina is assessed as Least Concern as it is distributed across the northern part of the North American continent in a dynamic and constantly renewing ecosystem, of which this larch is a constituent species
Previously published Red List assessments:
1998 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Recorded from northern North America: from Newfoundland and Massachusetts to Yukon and British Columbia, disjunct in interior Alaska.
Countries occurrence:
Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland I, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward I., Québec, Saskatchewan); United States (Alaska, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1220
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Widespread and abundant.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: No
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is mostly a species of the lowland boreal and subarctic forests across Canada, it is less common in medium high mountains. Its altitudinal range is from 1 m to 1,220 m a.s.l., but in British Columbia and Alaska it does not occur above 520 m. Tamarack will grow on a variety of acid soils, but is found most commonly on peaty soils in swamps and muskegs. The climate in its vast range is likewise varied, ranging from cool, moist maritime on the Atlantic coast, to extremely dry, cold continental in the interior. It occurs locally in pure stands (maritime), but elsewhere commonly with Picea mariana, P. glauca, Abies balsamea, or Pinus banksiana; boreal broad leaved trees such as Populus tremuloides and P. balsamifera occur usually after disturbance, Betula may be represented with tree and shrub species. The shrub layer is often well developed, with various ericaceous species.
Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: No
Generation Length (years): 40

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Tamarack produces durable, dense wood that is used for outdoor purposes such as posts, railway sleepers, log cabins and mine shaft timbers. Its main industrial use is for pulp wood feeding the manufacture of paper, in particular transparent envelope windows. In Alaska, dog sled runners are made from sapling trees. In the past, the northern tribes of Native Americans used the roots of Tamarack to sew birch bark canoes and the wood supplied the shafts for arrows. Its use as an amenity tree outside its natural range is limited due to damage from 'late' frosts; however there should be some southern provenances that are more suitable.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No specific threats have been identified for this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Tamarack occurs in many protected areas throughout its range.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Larix laricina. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42313A2971618. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
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