By Marcy Bean
Our front yard at the MWMO Stormwater Park and Learning Center is home to a tree that I had always heard of, but had never seen up-close.
Planted in our stormwater tree trenches, the Tamarack (also known as Larch, or Tamarack Larch) is a deciduous conifer — a tree with needles that drop in the fall. There are around 10 species of Larch in the northern hemisphere; this one is native to Minnesota and doesn’t mind our cold winters and wetland soils.
When the needles begin to form in the spring, the trees are covered in cute, soft tufts that slowly lengthen. Our trees are relatively young (planted in 2012), but eventually they may grow up to 50 feet tall. You might catch a glimpse of these golden beauties in mass as you head north or east of the Twin Cities later in the fall.
Consider planting Tamarack in areas that are naturally wet, as a backdrop plant. Or, like we do in our front yard, incorporate them into an urban stormwater BMP!
Larix laricina (American Larch / Tamarack) – American Conifer Society