Montana Outdoors

October 18, 2007

Western Larch in autumn

Filed under: Autumn, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Trees — montucky @ 10:50 am

This is the only tree of which I am aware that is both deciduous and coniferous. At this time of year the needles on most of the Larch have turned yellow and will soon drop off. They provide spectacular color to our northern forests for several weeks. This is what a stand of them looked like a week ago. Here they are mixed with a few firs and spruce, which are evergreens.

Western Larch

The Western Larch grows in the U.S. only in eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, northern Idaho and western Montana. They live long lives, some well over 400 years and it isn’t too uncommon to see one over 200 feet tall with a trunk diameter of four feet. The large ones tower above the pines, firs and cedars as this one does.

Western Larch

These are just beginning to shoot up above their neighbors.

Western Larch

In this photo the Larch are mixed with full grown firs and cedars.

Western Larch

When they grow in a spot where they are not crowded, their branches really spread out.

Western Larch

I especially like the contrast of their yellow needles with the green of the other conifers!

Western Larch

(Photographed October 10, 2007 at Siegel Creek Divide in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains of western Montana.)

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