Featured Plant

Larch

If you love the shape of an evergreen tree and the amazing fall colours of deciduous trees, look no further than the Larch (Larix spp.)! Larch trees are deciduous conifers that look like evergreens in the spring and summer, with needles that turn golden yellow in the fall then drop before winter. One of the best places to witness this transformation is Larch Valley near Lake Louise, a valley just above Moraine Lake where the entire valley glows. It is just as stunning in the fall as it is in the spring as the green needles return.

Larch trees are perfectly suited for Manitoba. These hardy trees are commonly found in boreal forests in Scandinavia, Russia, and Canada, and are found throughout cooler areas in North America. These trees thrive in locations with cooler summers and cold winters. Most larch trees are quite large, and sport a wide canopy with lower branches that may droop and mid-level branches that are nearly horizontal. Some common larch tree variations are:

  • Tamarack - Larix laricina: native to North America and grows up to 75 feet tall and 30 feet wide. Tamarack derives from the Algonquin word akenantak which means wood for snowshoes.
  • European larch - Larix decidua: the largest larch species, growing up to 80 feet tall an introduced species to North America and one that is often used as a parent plant for plant breeders.
  • Western larch - Larix occidentalis: most commonly found in British Columbia and Alberta.
  • Siberian Larch - Larix siberica: most commonly used in the nursery trade and well suited to our climates.

Most larch trees are massive at maturity, so consider the size before planting them in your yard. Larch are likely most suitable for large or rural properties, or come admire the larch trees at Assiniboine Park! If you decide to plant larch trees, you’ll find the process to be quite simple. Plant your tree in an area with full sun and make sure your soil is moist, but not over-watered. Your larch tree will survive our chilly Manitoba winters, and provide a beautiful splash of colour in the autumn.

Find larch trees at Assiniboine Park on the traffic island across from the Mayors Grove.

Sources: Gardening Know How | Better Homes & Gardens | Natural Resources Canada 

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