I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do. ~Willa Cather, 1913
The Tamarack or Larch..it's scientific name is Larix laricina. It is a Northern, cold climate tree. It is a deciduous evergreen..confusing..all it means is that it loses it's needles every fall..looks deader than a doornail all winter and in the spring..the needles come back again..first as a soft green haze..becoming less hazy with every spring day. Nothing spectacular happens with this tree until Autumn. In Minnesota when every other tree has done it's thing, all the leaves have colored up and fallen to the ground, or turned an ugly brown color while clinging to it's branches for dear life. It is time for the Tamarack.
The soft needles turn a golden yellow, it is like a million little sunbeams are caught up in these trees.
I do believe that the Tamaracks are anti social, they want the stage all to themselves. They want me to ooh and ahhh.. I have to admit they put on one heck of a show.
Tamarack usually grows in swamps or low lying areas, however I believe there are a few used as ornamental trees in Fargo, ND. If you can get past the Charlie Brown winter time look. Needless to say they are not grown for Christmas Trees, perhaps it is their silent protest against that barbaric practice. Wood from the Tamarack is used to make beautiful floors. It can be used for lumber. It can also be used for firewood, although you best not use it in one of those decorative fireplaces where the pretty little birch bark logs lie in repose. It burns way too warm.. and will probably warp your fireplace. We have used it in our outdoor wood stove, it is built to withstand the higher temperatures.
Tamaracks aglow..just one more sign that Fall is well underway and Winter is not far behind:)