Larix occidentalis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Pinopsida Pinales Pinaceae

Scientific Name: Larix occidentalis Nutt.
Common Name(s):
English Western Larch
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.

This widespread and common species is assessed as Least Concern, due to its broad distribution, ready recruitment of seedlings and regeneration power after disturbance.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Recorded from Canada: Alberta, British Columbia; and the Pacific NW of USA: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, NW Montana.
Countries occurrence:
Canada (British Columbia); United States (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington)
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):600
Upper elevation limit (metres):2100
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:As a seral species readily colonizing open ground after disturbance, its initial numbers on a site can be very high, later to diminish as forest succession progresses.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:No
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Larix occidentalis occurs in the mountains, at elevations between 600 m and 2,100 m a.s.l., usually on grey brown, well drained podzolic mountain soils, which are moderately acid. The climate is cold, with cool summers and moist winters, the annual precipitation ranges from 450 mm to 875 mm, much of it falls as snow. It may occur in pure stands; in an initial stage after disturbance (e.g. fire) Pinus contorta var. latifolia can become dominant, followed by P. ponderosa in certain areas; later in the succession P. monticola, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Abies grandis and A. lasiocarpa, finally Thuja plicata and Tsuga heterophylla take their place. Picea engelmannii and Tsuga mertensiana occur mainly above Larix occidentalis and may be associated with L. lyallii.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:No
Generation Length (years):40

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Western Larch is an important timber tree. It can grow to great size with straight boles and grows rapidly in height though it takes longer to increase in girth. The wood is durable, hard and strong and used for long poles, railroad sleepers, mine timbers, fine veneer, and pulpwood for the paper industry. The resin from the wood has useful water soluble properties for a variety of industrial products especially applied in ink, paint and offset lithographic printing. The use of this species in amenity planting is limited, although some provenances should grow well in cooler climates.

Threats [top]

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

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is present in several protected areas, while as a valuable timber tree it is encouraged to (re-)grow in montane forests managed as a timber source.

Citation: Farjon, A. 2013. Larix occidentalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T42315A2971858. . Downloaded on 14 December 2017.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided