General information

Larch wood


Larch is one of the most common coniferous tree species. Belongs to the family of pine.

The plant is often found in forests, mountains, park areas. In addition, it can be a wonderful part of the decor of your garden. This breed is valued not only for its beauty, but also for durable, resistant to rotting wood. In total there are about twenty plant species, the article describes the most basic species and varieties of larch.


American larch in nature is most common in Canada and northeastern regions of America. The tree reaches a height of 12 to 30 m, the trunk diameter varies within 50 cm. It has a dense cone-shaped crown with long curved branches.

The bark of young representatives has an orange or dark yellow shade, in adult plants - brown with a red tint. The needles of larch in length reach from 1 to 3 cm. The plants of this species have the smallest cones. In size they reach only 2 cm, but they have an unusually beautiful shape, like rose flowers. In the cones is only up to 4 seeds.

Archangel larch

The height reaches 40 m, with a diameter of about 150 cm. It is very similar to the Siberian larch, but it has some differences. Some of them are:

  • stem thickening to the base,
  • light yellow, slightly raised branches,
  • larger seeds.
The needles are collected in a bunch, formed on short shoots. Cones are brown, covered with orange fibers, may have both oval and rounded shape. It can grow with spruces, firs, pines. The period of development reaches 350 years.

Larch Gmelin (Daurian)

This species of larch is known for its extraordinary resistance to frost, adverse weather conditions and poor soils. It grows in areas of permafrost, on mountain rocky slopes, marshy and peaty places. It reaches a maximum of 30 m in height, and 80 cm in width. It is distinguished by a thick bark with deep furrows. The crown is oval. The needles are collected in a bundle and densely scattered along the branches, mainly in a checkerboard pattern. The needles are narrow, long, has a beautiful light green tint in spring and bright green - in summer. Cones, when blooming, are very similar to flowers of a rose. By the end of the summer, they acquire a charming purple color. Fruits of larch ripen in late summer - early autumn.

This type is actively used for decorative purposes. Gmeline looks great in park areas and alleys. The disadvantages of such larch are low seed germination and slow growth.

European larch

Under natural conditions it grows in Western and Central Europe on the slopes of foothill zones. It grows in height from 25 to 40 m, in width - from 0.8 to 1.5 m. Sagging branches are an expressive feature of the species. The crown can be oval or irregular in shape. The young representatives of the bark gray, adults - brown. The needles have a delicate light green color, reaching a length of 0.4 cm. On the branches are collected in bunches, which are densely scattered in a chaotic manner. Cones in trees of this species open weakly, have a rich brown color.

Propagated by seeds that ripen in October. An empty cone can hang on a tree for about ten years. European larch is cold-resistant, grows well on mountain soils, does not like marshy soil. Today, many ornamental varieties of European larch are bred. The most popular representatives include:

  • weeping - looks like a willow, its branches are thin and with their tips go downwards,
  • creeping - it is distinguished by an unusual trunk, which practically lies on the ground and winds along it, the crown is represented by thin falling shoots,
  • "compact" - it is distinguished by its low growth, thick squat crown with thin shoots,
  • "korlei" - has a round shape, does not possess a central shoot.
In the scientific literature, the European Polish larch is also isolated separately. It is very rare. It differs from the European larch by the oval shape of the cones and by a slightly curved pillar (from the side it resembles a crescent).

Western larch

In height, the plant reaches from 30 to 80 m, in diameter from 0, 9 to 2, 4 m. It differs from the previous species by short shoots and a crown in the shape of a pyramid. The bark of this species has a brown tinge with a grayish tint and deep furrows. The needles are light green, from 0.2 to 0.4 cm long, gathered in bunches and densely planted on the shoots. In mid-October, the needles turn yellow and fall off, and in May a new one will grow in its place.

Cones are long, red-brown, open badly. By such biological features, they differ significantly from the previously considered species. After opening, the cones often remain on the tree, acquiring a grayish tint. Seeds of western larch germinate well and quickly.

Larch loves well-lit areas with loose, fertile soil. Decorative forms of the plant should be regularly cut. It prefers moist soil, therefore it needs watering during periods of drought.

Larch cajander

The characteristic of Kayander larch is very similar to the description of Gmelin. They especially look like cones, which are represented by five or six scaly rows and have a charming dark red color, which is very similar to roses. Old buds change color to light brown. The length reaches 0.3 cm. However, Cajander has cones narrower than Gmelin. In height it grows up to 25 m, in width - up to 0.7 m. The bark of young trees is gray, in adults it is dark brown with a red tint, densely strewn with longitudinal cracks. Needles reach a length of 6 cm, collected in bundles of 10-60 needles.

Larch Kamchatka (Kuril)

In natural conditions it grows on the Kuril, Shantar Islands, Sakhalin. It reaches 35 m in height, 0.4 m in diameter. The crown is irregular, closer to the oval shape. It differs from other species by long horizontal branches. Cones are oval, in length reach 2 cm, in width - 1, 5 cm.

Primorye larch

Is a hybrid. She was bred by crossing Kamchatka larch with Gmelin. It is 25 meters tall, 0.6 meters wide. The branches are grayish in color with sparse hairs. The needles are dark green in color, slightly bluish on the tips, reach 3.5 cm in length. Oval-shaped cones, grow up to 3 cm in length. During maturation, the scales of the cones open 40-50 degrees. Brown seeds with a red tint.

Siberian larch

Under natural conditions, it grows in coniferous forests of Siberia, in the Urals, and Altai. In deciduous forests is rare. He loves podzolic, moist soil and a lot of sunlight.

The height reaches 40 m, the diameter of the trunk varies from 10 to 180 cm. The crown is rare, oval. The bark has a grayish tint and deep longitudinal grooves. On young plants, it is light yellow and smooth. The needles are narrow, 4.5 cm long, flat, light green in color. On the branches of the needles are collected in bunches of 25-40 pieces. Cones of Siberian larch are oval, up to 4 cm long, up to 3 cm wide. They are formed from 20-40 scales, which are located in 5-7 rows. Young cones are brown, old - light yellow color. Empty cones hang on the branches for about 4 years, then they fall off. Larch seeds are small, yellow.

  • long annuals with single-spaced needles,
  • short perennial, on which the needles are collected in bunches.
This species also has a strong root system. Therefore, even strong winds do not threaten the trees. The larch blossoms in April-May with spike-like flowers. Seeds ripen in October. The tree begins to bear fruit at the age of 12-50 years, depending on the climatic conditions of growth. On average, larch lives about 400 years.

Properties and specifications

Larch wood is more durable than that of oak and is 96 MPa by 94 MPa, while their density is almost the same. A distinctive feature of larch wood is also a characteristic structure and beautiful color.

The structure of larch refers to the sound rocks. Its sound part has a reddish color, and sapwood is presented in the form of a narrow band with clear outlines of white or yellowish color. Year rings are clearly visible, the border between early and late wood is pronounced. The wood has a beautiful texture. The reason for this is the different coloring of the core and sapwood parts of larch, as well as the fact that there are very few knots in its structure.

Larch wood coloring

It has an uneven density, due to the large difference in the density of the layers of early and late wood. Dense larch wood in a freshly cut form has a water absorption of 126%. Depending on the season and time of day, the humidity of a growing tree changes its value. True, in a small range, the reason for which, again, high density.

Low values ​​of water absorption of larch allow using its wood for the manufacture of high quality floorboard. Larch tends to significantly reduce its volume after drying. Due to the low water content of the tree, the process of its drying itself differs from the drying of other types of wood. Larch warps and cracks during drying, because the internal stress increases greatly.

The climatic conditions in which the tree grows also affect the physical properties of the wood. So, for example, larch grown in the conditions of the European climate has a much lower density than that grown in the Altai or the Urals.

Larch wood is almost impossible to impregnate any protective properties. This is due to the high density and low air and moisture conductivity.

The physicomechanical properties of hardwood allow it to be used in many directions. The processing technology is specific. It is very impregnated with resins, and when sawing, it is often necessary to clean the saw blades from resin. Before dyeing and grinding finished products from larch, the top layer must be degreased and cleaned from resin, otherwise it will not be possible to obtain the desired result. But after the resin cleaning procedures, larch wood can easily be painted and polished.

Larch wood has unique properties for which the most important ones are valued especially:

  • Larch has a very high resistance to fungal diseases and other biological lesions. Moreover, the most biological stability is observed in the lower root part of the trunk.
  • Resin, which is impregnated with larch, has very strong bactericidal properties. Now, in pharmacies, they started selling it as “larch sulfur”, and earlier, and now and then, people willingly collected it and melted it, getting an unusually fragrant and useful “chewing” gum. But this is not the main thing. Due to this resin tree does not require chemical treatment from damage by harmful insects.
  • Under long-term exposure to water, the hardness of larch rises, the tree becomes hard stone. At the same time, the time the tree is in the water also works to increase its strength. In Venice and Amsterdam, houses stand right in the water on the foundations of larch piles. That is, without any reservations, it can be said that this tree acquires strength over the years and more than a thousand years have passed the test of time.
  • Its fire resistance in comparison with other conifers is much higher. So, in relation to the pine, this figure is 2 times higher.

Varieties of larch flowers

Among all the coniferous trees harvested in Russia, larch is unambiguously in terms of its physicomechanical and decorative properties, and in its Russian varieties the Dahurian larch is considered the most valuable. It surpasses other types in strength characteristics and decorative. The trunks grow to a height of more than 45 meters, and escapes are 1.2%.

Japanese Larch (Kempfer)

In natural conditions it lives in the vastness of the Japanese island of Honshu. If you wanted to know which larch grows as quickly as possible, then such is the Kempfer larch. It reaches a height of up to 35 m. It has long, thick, horizontal branches. The crown is represented in the shape of a pyramid. The bark of the tree trunk is thin, red-brown, and the branches are grayish.

Japanese larch has a very beautiful long green-blue needles, which can be up to 5 cm in length. The cones are round, formed by thin brown scales. Propagated by small brown seeds. Empty buds may still hang on the tree for about 3 years.

A feature of this species is that its growth requires clay or loamy moist soil. Most widely used for decorative purposes.

Now you know about the most common larches and can easily distinguish them. You can grow any of the presented species in your garden. Before purchasing, be sure to consider the preferences of a particular type and the climatic, soil conditions on your plot.

Daur larch

Daur larch the most cold-resistant breed from all the trees. She easily tolerates the brutal Siberian frosts and feels great in the cold pole - in Yakutia. However, it also transfers heat up to plus 44 degrees Celsius. It is difficult to imagine a tree that would adapt to live in permafrost conditions, and Daur larch lives.

And in general, it does not shun any soil, even strongly marshy. And then she adapted. Since the roots of her all the time are immersed in the quagmire and die there, for this reason, the larch begins to develop adventitious root system. It lives on marshes as long as on drained soils, but does not have wind resistance.

Of course, if you translate it into good conditions, then it will grow better.

Larch is the most light-loving breed

But what most likes larch? Shine. Larch is the most light-loving breed our forest and one of the fastest growing. During the climax of growth, it gives height gain to one meter more than a year. The tree is the pioneer of the forest, confidently populating the cuttings.

Peter the First and his entourage predicted larch the role of the main building material for the construction of large and small vessels. Famous larch Lintulovskaya grove near Leningrad was founded in 1738 on the orders of Peter the Great. The landings were led by the "forest knowledger" Fockel. Larch products retain their qualities for a very long time. For example, the larch piles of the Roman bridge at Zurzach and the Trojan Bridge at the Danube Gate, having stood for 1700 years, were so well preserved that their wood was used for turning products.

According to foresters, based on the characteristics of larch - this is the most light-loving and unpretentious breed, is a good building material, it has a great future.

Larch wood uses

The remarkable properties of larch wood are the cause of a wide range of its use in industry. Construction, shipbuilding, manufacturing of musical instruments, production of parquet, laminated veneer lumber, sleepers in the construction of railway tracks, poles, pylons of power lines - it is impossible to list all the possibilities of using this wood.

Larch in historic buildings

  • In the palace of Count Sheremetyeva larch parquet.
  • In Moscow, in the Kremlin's cathedrals and the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed, as well as in the Winter Palace of St. Petersburg, window frames and floors were made of it.
  • Olympic track in Krylatskoye - the tracks are made of larch.
  • Larch was used in the manufacture of an organ in Kazimierz (Poland) as early as the 17th century, due to the high acoustic properties of its wood.
  • In the city of Zagorsk, a handmade bucket has been preserved, which is hollowed out of larch root. The wood of its root system is the most decorative. The magnitude of the roots is amazing. So, this bucket, which is hollowed out of the root, has a volume of more than 15 liters.
  • Underwater piles on which buildings in Venice and Amsterdam stand.

Application in construction and industry

Larch timber

The demand for this wood does not decrease and is always high. This type of wood was especially loved by the residents of Western Europe. It goes on sale not only in the form of sawn timber of a different plan, but also in the form of logs (round wood).

Modern builders use it when equipping berths, pools, loggias and balconies, shower rooms, wall panels and furniture. In Russia, the construction of wooden houses are trying to tie the lower rims of the house from larch. If a wooden bath is being built, then the use of larch in the lower crowns has become the rule.

Not only wood is used. A valuable raw material is resin and bark of larch. Tannins, essential oils and dyes are produced from the bark, and larch sulfur is a taiga chewing gum, which has antibacterial and healing properties.

Agrotechnology larch cultivation

Larches are lovers of sunny expanses, more or less demanding of fertility and prefer light and loose soils. Они хорошо переносят обрезку, во всяком случае, в молодом возрасте. Хотя у каждого вида есть свои особенности. Так, лиственница европейская наиболее светолюбива, не любит даже боковое затенение, она же и менее засухоустойчива. Лиственница американская терпима к избыточному проточному увлажнению. Агротехника выращивания лиственницы сибирской и даурской предусматривает известкование. Молодые растения и карликовые сорта очень чувствительны к жаре и засухе. Их лучше держать в прохладных, даже притененных местах.

Выращивание лиственницы

Приступая к выращиванию лиственницы, следует помнить о том, что этот вид деревьев не будет вам радовать круглый день хвоей насыщенного зеленого цвета. В отличие от прочих хвойных листопадны и кардинально меняют окраску в течение года. Очень эффектны в осеннем желтом наряде. In winter, all species of larch, as seen in the photo, look good due to openwork crowns with black cones. Species such as Siberian larch and European larch tolerate city conditions particularly well. Large trees are traditionally used for alleys in parks. Combined with many breeds in groups. Varieties with an interesting crown shape can be planted with tapeworms.

Types of American Larch

On sale, both the wild form and the few species of American larch are rare. The wild form is found in botanical gardens and arboretums, it is possible to grow American larch from seeds.

Larch ‘Arethusa Bog’. Dwarf. Up to 1 m tall. Crohn rounded. Branches are horizontal, with drooping ends. Witch broom.

Larch ‘Deborah Waxman’ (1988, United States). Dwarf. It grows up to 2 m. Crohn wide-pyramid, neat. The needles are bluish. Fruiting young buds pink.

Larch ‘Newport Beauty’ (1988, United States). Miniature. At 10 years old less than 0.3 m tall. The crown is round, dense. The needles are short, blue. Seedling witch broom. Grafted on shtamb. May be offered as a grade l. eurolepis (L.eurolepis).

Larch ‘Steuben’. Dwarf. The crown is round, dense, irregular. The needles are bluish. Grafted on shtamb. Problem grade.

Larch ‘Tharandt’ (L. gmelinii ‘Tharandt’, L. sibirica ‘Tharandt’) (Germany). Dwarf. With age it reaches 2 m in height. Crohn first cushion, then becomes pyramidal.

Dahurian larch (Larix dahurica)

Other names: Gmelin larch (L. gmelinii), l. Olginskaya (L. olgensis), l. Prince Ruprecht (L. principis-rupprechtii), l. Kuril (L. kurilensis).

By age 40, Dahurian larch reaches 20 m in height (Moscow). The crown is wide-pyramidal, with spreading horizontal branches, becoming multi-top with age. The bark on the old trunks is thick, lamellar, cut through deep grooves. Sprigs are yellowish or reddish, pubescent. Needles about 3 cm long, bright green. Cones are oval, 2-2.5 cm with bare shiny scales. The tops of the scales are cut, solid or notched. Eastern Siberia, the Far East, China, Korea. Forms forests. In culture before 1827 on about. Iturup often meets a highly decorative form with a flat "Japanese" crown.

Dahurian larch varieties

In the wild form, Dahurian larch varieties are often found in botanical gardens and arboretums, possibly cultivated in local nurseries. Varieties are few.

Larch ‘Dortmund’. Dwarf. At 10 years, height 0.5 m and width 0.6 m. Crohn rounded, flattened. The needles are bright green, crowded.

Larch Romberg Park ’. Dwarf. Grows less than 1 m tall. The crown is very dense, even, hemispherical. The twigs are very short. The needles are bright green, short.

Types and varieties of larch in the photo

Fallen larch or European larch has a pronounced cone-shaped crown with horizontally open skeletal branches from a young age, with age the figure becomes more sloppy. By 15 years reaches 8 meters, grows very quickly (Moscow). The trunk is grayish-brown, the young shoots are bare, light, yellowish-gray. Leaves 2-3 cm long, green. Cones up to 3.5 cm long. Young cones of scales, pubescent from the upper side, with a wavy edge, in mature ones - bare, their edges are wide-rounded. The wings of the seeds stick out from under the scales.

These species of larch, as seen in the photo, are widespread in the mountain forests of western Europe. In culture since the XVII century.

An interesting form with a lodging and ascending trunk (f. Pendulina) in the botanical garden BIN (St. Petersburg), the age of trees is about 200 years.

European larch varieties

The wild form is often on sale. There are about 25 varieties. Some may be on sale as varieties l. Kempfer, from which they differ pure green, without a gray shade, needles. We have noted the following:

Larch ‘Corley’ (1971, England). Dwarf. At 10 years, the height of about 1 m. Crohn rounded in the form of a bump. The needles are bright green.

Larch ‘Little Bogle’ (1990, Australia). Dwarf. In 10 years, about 1 m in height. In the form of a miniature tree with a curved trunk. Branches are short, horizontal, curved. Witch broom.

Larch ‘Globus’. Dwarf. An annual gain of 10-15 cm. Reaches 1.5 m in diameter. Crohn rounded. Usually vaccinated on shtamb.

Larch ‘Horstmans Recurved’. Small tree At 10 years, height is 2.5 m with a width of 1.2 m. The branches are diversely directed and twisted, partly weeping.

Larch ‘Kurnik’ (‘Kurnik’, ‘Kyrnik’) (Poland). Dwarf. Up to 1 m in diameter. Crohn rounded, somewhat oblate, thick. Usually on the trunk.

Larch ‘Krejci’ (1980, Czech Republic). Dwarf. At 10 years old about 1 m tall. Shrub with long and few branches. The branches are variously directed and twisted. Shortened shoots are unevenly distributed in groups. The needles are dark green. Witch broom.

Larch ‘Pendula’ (1836, England). A small tree, often with several hanging tops. Skeletal branches hang down, forming cascades at different levels. By grafting on a bole and trimming, you can get a variety of shapes. Rarely found on sale, can be mixed with a similar grade l. Kempfer

Larch ‘Puli’ (1972, Hungary). Creeping Usually grafted onto headquarters to get a weeping form. Often sold as a grade l. Kempfer, although the needles are pure green, which is typical of European larch varieties.

Larch Repens ’ (from 1825, England). Creeping It is usually grafted onto a stem to get a weeping form. The shoots are long, arcuately descend and creep along the ground. The height depends on the trunk. Usually sold under the wrong name ‘Pendula’.

Larch ‘Varied Directions’ (1985, United States). Powerful, but low tree. The crown is weeping. The central leader is variously curved, often bent and spread horizontally. Skeletal branches are also diversely prostrate or hang down. Small twigs hang down. Each copy is unique. Very effective. It may be listed as a sort of l. eurolepis (L. x eurolepis) or l. Kempfer

Kempfer Larch (Larix kaempferi)

Other names: Japanese larch (L. japonica), l. fine scab (L. leptolepis).

Crown in old age is very wide, with horizontal branches, it is characteristic that the trunk below the attachment of skeletal branches is often strongly overgrown with short shoots. The bark is relatively thin, reddish-brown, exfoliated by thin plates, after which the reddish spots remain. On the old trees in the cracks of the bark raspberry-red layers are visible. The leaves are 1.5-3.5 cm long, bluish, completely gray from the lower side because of the stomatal bands, harsh, form neat sockets on the shortened shoots. Cones up to 3.5 cm with numerous thin leathery scales, which, when ripe, bend in the upper part outwards like rose petals. Found in Japan (about. Honshu) in the mountain forests. Cultivated in Europe since 1861

One of the most beautiful and fastest growing. Often used for bonsai.

Photos of larch "Kempfera"

This species of larch has 30 varieties, including many dwarf, often grafted on shtamb.

Larch ‘Blue Dwarf’ (1987, Germany). Dwarf. At 10 years, height 0.3 m with a width of 0.6 m. The crown is dense, rounded. The ends of the branches are hanging down. Needles with a strong blue tint. There are many similar varieties of larch - witches brooms, often of German origin.

It's ‘Blue Ball’ (1990, Holland), ‘Varley’ (green needles), ‘Wehlen’ (1972, Germany).

Larch ‘Blue Rabbit Weeping’ (1965, Holland). Tree with a weeping crown. Up to 4 m height. Needles are blue.

Larch ‘Diana’ (1974, Germany). Tree of medium height. At 10 years old 2.5 m tall. With age it reaches 8-10 m. It grows relatively quickly. The crown is pyramidal, irregular. The photo of this species of larch clearly shows that the trunk of the tree is twisted, and the branches are variously twisted. Needles are also curved. This variety can be grafted onto a stem to reduce growth.

Larch ‘Gray Pearl’ (1989, Holland). Dwarf. Up to 0.6 m in diameter. The crown is round, irregular. The branches are short, thick. Shoots raised. The needles are gray-green.

Ствен Hanna’s Broom ’larch. Dwarf, with a bushy growth and a loose crown. Usually on the trunk.

Larch ‘Jakobsen’s Pyramid’ (Germany). Pretty tall slender tree. The crown is narrow pyramidal. Needles when blooming green, then celadon.

Larch ‘Pendula’ (1896, Germany). Looks like a similar variety of European larch. On sale is rare.

Larch ‘Stiff Weeper’. It can be grown as a tree with a weeping crown, but more often it is grafted onto a shtamb, forming a form like ‘Pendula’.

Larch ‘Wolterdingen’ (1970, Germany). Dwarf. At 10 years old, height is 0.5 m, width is 0.7 cm. With age it reaches a height of 1.5 m. The crown is cushion-shaped, flattened, dense, irregular. The branches are short, thick, spread horizontally. Shoots are short, sticking out.