Larix occidentalis

jimbobfeeny(5a IN)October 8, 2012

Anyone have any experience with this tree here in the East or Midwest? I'm thinking of planting a few, and I'd like to know if anyone has had any success with it. Eastern larch doesn't do so well this far south (drought usually does it in), but I was wondering if Western larch would grow better.

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wisconsitom

Jimbob, folks like you trying unusual plants is one way this industry moves forward, but having said that, I'd rate as extremely low your chances of success with western larch in areas too hot and/or dry for tamarack. If I'm not mistaken, western larch has even less tolerance for those conditions.

+oM

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:28AM
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jimbobfeeny(5a IN)

I've got a low-lying spot in an old, unused pasture that is occasionally inundated in the spring when the creek blows its banks. It's right at the edge of a seasonal willow swamp. The ground along the fence is a bit higher, and that's where I was going to plant them. The soil never dries severely (this year was exceptional), and it's fairly rich and well-drained. Tamarack does range into Indiana - We've got quite a few tamarack bogs up North. I've seen a few around here, but I'm not sure if they were tamarack or European larch.

I've always figured that I had better chances for success planting young plants - I've only spent $2.25 on each one (I got 5), so I'm not out very much if they die. If they live, well, that's just a few more interesting trees around here. I'll probably try a few bald cypress, as well, to be on the safe side.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:22AM
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smivies

It grows in Ottawa, Ontario...a very continental zone 5a. It's not as big as Larix kaempferi or L. decidua in this climate and perhaps not as healthy looking as L. laricina. This particular one is planted in a drier upland area of the conifer section at the Dominion Arboretum.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:43AM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

I want a witches' broom of this species...

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:47AM
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wisconsitom

Well there ya go Jimbob-Smivies shows us a decent one in Ottawa. In any case, working with small inexpensive plants, there's nothing to lose.

+oM

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 5:58PM
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monkeytreeboy15(Zone 7b/8a)

Edwin, there happens to be one such dwarf form of Larix occidentalis which was discovered by Jerry Morris! (See link)

-Sam

Here is a link that might be useful: Larix occidentalis 'Bollinger'

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 6:12PM
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pasadena(z6-7WA)

Occidentalis is native in the mountains here and grows on dry, upland sites. The ones in our yard on a sandy loam soil tolerate up to 40 degC quite well; we irrigate with 8 hours of water. The subalpine larch, lyalli is found in wetter, and cooler, situations and does not tolerate heat well.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 6:58PM
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pasadena(z6-7WA)

Should have added water is 8 hours, once a week, in hot weather, less often during cooler spells.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 7:00PM
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jimbobfeeny(5a IN)

Good to hear! Anyways, I'll keep you posted. These things are supposed to grow fairly fast if conditions allow them! We don't get over 100 very often. Usually we only get 7 days over 90! Our highest rainfall comes in the summer, though, when it's the hottest. We don't actually, on average, have a true "dry" season, except maybe late August through October (Not this year!). That's when the field crops dry down and harvest commences.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 7:19PM
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wisconsitom

But pasadena, is that not 'dry' only by comparison with the moister, western slopes of the Cascades, et al? Not being argumentative here, just seeking a better understanding. FWIW, I've never seen any species of larch truly happy in dry conditions. Moist but well-drained sites? Sure, all the time, but dry?

+oM

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 9:09PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Sam, I know that Jerry Morris found 5 brooms of this species, but how many of them are still around in collections?

May be Nate can help us out with some info.
I'm glad that the 'Bollinger' (#1) is still there.
Were was that pic taken?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:24AM
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pasadena(z6-7WA)

tom, you're correct it's all relative. Occidentalis is limited naturally in its altitudinal range by precipitation, but not temperature and is found on all slope aspects within its climatic range.

Here is a link that might be useful: FEIS database: Larix occidentalis

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 12:35PM
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monkeytreeboy15(Zone 7b/8a)

Edwin, this picture was taken at the Oregon State University arboretum. I will be moving to Oregon soon, and perhaps I can obtain scions to propagate and share it.

-Sam

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 7:16PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Sam, that's great news!
What are you going to do in Oregon?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 1:38AM
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monkeytreeboy15(Zone 7b/8a)

I will soon be working with Brent Markus at Conifer Kingdom updating availability, propagating, and posting nursery updates online.
It will be an exciting opportunity to "grow" in my knowledge and love for conifers!

JimBob, I apologize for changing the topic of your thread.

-Sam

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 2:32AM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Sam, please say hi from me to Brent, he and Eric Bizon will visit my nursery in about 10 days...

Jimbob, I also want to apolagize for changing the topic of your thread.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 6:04AM
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blue_yew(Z9 Devon UK)

Anyone got access to seed?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 9:30AM
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salicaceae(z8b FL)

Larix occidentalis grows to 67' tall (~ 22m) in Ohio:

http://ohiodnr.com/Portals/18/bigtrees/treepages/native/images/larch_western04_85.jpg

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 1:50PM
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glaciers_end(8WA)

Hello Jim Bob, I'm going to do a partial hijacking to respond to Edwin but also to inform you that my Larix occidentalis 'Bollinger' is in one of the driest, hottest parts of my landscape. This area get absolutely baked every summer afternoon and didn't get a drop of water during our recent 80 day dry spell.

Edwin, here are pictures of my 'Bollinger.'

and a close up.

~Dave

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 7:30PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Thanks Dave for these nice pics!
I'm very glad that at least one of Jerry's brooms of this species is still among us...

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 2:27AM
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jimbobfeeny(5a IN)

Aye, 'tis foine!

I don't mind in the least - It isn't totally off-topic or anything! Now I'm curious about that 'Bollinger' - Where could I find one of those?

Also, if Western larch will grow in Ohio, it'll grow in Central Indiana. Our climate here is pretty similar to Ohio.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 7:56AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

IMO, Japanese larch will look similar & perform much better in IN.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 10:34AM
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