Tamarack-American Larch

Gandalph

Yamadori
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Has anyone had experience growing these in Zone 6A (around St. Louis MO)

If so, what sort of soil mix do you use and where do you located the tree (i.e shade, part shade, etc.)

I've been told that our summers are too hot for them, but the trees are beautiful and I'd like to give one a shot.

Thanks in advance
Kerry
 

HotAction

Chumono
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Sorry, not gonna happen. I've read that warmer climates have had some success with japanese larch.

Dave
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
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Brussel's (Memphis area) has Japanese Larch, and they're kept under shade cloth in soil that appears to be haydite and bark. A good test if a tree will do ok in your area is to see if they're being sold in your local nurseries. Most of them won't risk the investment in inventory that's not likely to do well in their nursery.
 

Gandalph

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Sorry, not gonna happen. I've read that warmer climates have had some success with japanese larch.

Dave

I have seen some huge examples growing around here. Seems like it could happen !
 

rockm

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Zone 6a will probably be fine for them. Zone 7 is borderline. I've killed a few here in Zone 7 in no. Va. They do fine 50 miles north of me in Maryland, though.
 

Tink32

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One of my fellow club members has a few that he has collected from Pennsylvania and Maine. He is in zone 7. Hes says he has a hell of time caring for them, but he managed to take best of show with a group planting he put in the club exhibit this year! Japanese Larch is easier to grow around my way. heres a pic of the group planting.IMG_0270.jpg
 
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Zones are relative... I'm an 8b.... and they grow fine here. It seems to me the zoning is about the coolness of winter temps and has little to do with heat and humidity... both of which would be a bear to overcome in ST Louis.

Victrinia
 

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Chumono
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I've lived in St. Louis, the winters are nothing like they are here, not even close. To my understanding, American larch like to get cold, and stay cold, for a long time. Mine stay outside all year, and we average over 140 inches of snow a year. I understand your wanting to grow larch, I think you will avoid frustration by trying the Japanese variety. BTW, I've never attempted to grow a larch in a warmer climate.

Dave
 

rockm

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Vic is right.

The problem with keeping ANY kind of larch (I've had American and Japanese) in this area are hot summers, specifically hot nighttime temps. Larch come from cooler dry climates where summer nighttime temps dip into the high 60s even high 50s consistently. For many temperate trees, nighttime temps have to get to or below 70 F to function effectively.

Here in Northern Va., we're lucky to see July and August Nighttime temps below 75, or hovering in the 80s. Larch don't die outright here. They just gradually fade away over three or four seasons, gradually losing their vigor. I've seen it happen again and again with them. Disappointing to, since I've seen some very nice collected larch for sale at regional bonsai auctions.
 
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Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
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There is a Larix laracina bonsai that has been thriving for some time ( I think ) at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, NC, which is also zone 6. The elevation of approx 2300' must be beneficial, but there are generally many factors that allow a tree to do well outside of its indigenous environment. If you are seeing healthy, older examples in the landscape, I'm sure you can grow them there in a pot. Good luck,

Dave
 

Gandalph

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One of my fellow club members has a few that he has collected from Pennsylvania and Maine. He is in zone 7. Hes says he has a hell of time caring for them, but he managed to take best of show with a group planting he put in the club exhibit this year! Japanese Larch is easier to grow around my way. heres a pic of the group planting.View attachment 12299

Thank you everyone for the responses.

My home is located in somewhat of a valley, so the nightime temperatures are sometimes significantly lower than the mean temperature posted in St Louis.

Tink, any chance of receiving some pointers from the club member you mentioned? Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks
 

rockm

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The last word in collected American larch bonsai is Nick Lenz. His book "Bonsai From the Wild" is a must have if you plan on keeping this species. It has an entire chapter (one of the longest in the book) on this species' care and design as bonsai.
 

Tink32

Yamadori
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I will see him tommorrow night at our club meeting, and I will definitely ask him for any pointers he might have and pass them along. :) I agree with Rockm in that I have also heard that they dont die right away, it usually takes a couple of seasons before they go to the grave.
 
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But I don't want a Japanese Larch, not even slightly attracted to it. Japanese Larch cannot shine a candle to the Tamarak. *sigh* I now live in New Jersey, so no larch tree for me. Dang! too cold to grow a ficus of substance, and too hot for a Tamarak. =/
 

Jzack605

Chumono
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You might want to try golden larch (Pseudolarix ambilis) or euro larch (Larix decidua). Both grow fine in zone 7
 

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