Several species of larch have been planted in Iowa, mostly for farmstead protection. The larch is not a true evergreen since it is one of the few conifers which lose their leaves in winter. It is a tall tree with a straight, central trunk and many spreading branches. It grows 40 to 80 feet tall.
Hardiness: Zones 2 through 6
Growth Rate: Moderate to Fast
Mature Shape: Upright, spreading, and vase-shaped canopy
Height: 70-75 feet
Width: 25-30 feet
Site Requirements: Sun and well drained soil
Flowering Dates: March - May
Seed Dispersal Dates: September - Spring
Seed Bearing Age: 10 years
Seed Bearing Frequency: Every 3-10 years
Seed Stratification: No stratification period is needed.
The leaves are needle like, but are flat, soft, slender, 3/4 to 1-1/4 inches long and borne in clusters on spur like branches. In the spring the needles are bright green and very soft and flexible. In the fall they turn a dull yellow just before falling off.
The cone is small and nearly spherical, 1/2 to 3/4 inches long. The young cones are reddish to green in color, turning brown as they mature often remaining on the tree for several years. As they mature and open in the fall, they liberate small, winged seeds.
The twigs are light brown to gray in color, and covered with numerous tiny spurs or short branches. The rough bark separates on the surface into thin, reddish brown scales.