The Mystery of the Needle-Dropping Conifer

It’s amazing how many new things you discover when you start paying attention.

In my nearby conservation area, I found a magnificent tree. It was quite striking, and I was absolutely baffled. It was spring, but it looked fluffy, with new soft needles in tiny little tufts. Was it a confier? Was it deciduous? At the same time, it drooped to the ground, almost like a weeping willow. In all my years visiting forests and in all my biology training, I had somehow never taken note of this particular species. Doesn’t it look like it belongs in a haunted forest?

 

20160904_110053

After very little research, I discovered it was a Tamarack, or Eastern Larch tree.

Tamarack or Eastern Larch:

Larix laricina

This is actually a native member of the pine family, but it loses its needles in the fall! In 20160904_110111fact, they turn bright yellow before falling off, adding to our spectacular Ontario autumn displays. From the pictures I’ve been looking at, it seems they don’t all “weep” like this one. But, for this particular tree, the bare branches in winter look quite spooky.

I have seen it numerous times since then. Funny how that happens!

Nice to make your acquaintance, my new tree friend!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/tamarack

http://ontariotrees.com/main/species.php?id=2054

https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/library/documents/treebook/tamarack.htm

Advertisements

Posted on September 14, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: