Larix kaempferi (Lamb.) Carr.

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Larix kaempferi' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/larix/larix-kaempferi/). Accessed 2020-04-08.

Genus

Common Names

  • Japanese Larch

Synonyms

  • Pinus kaempferi Lamb.
  • Larix leptolepis (Sieb. & Zucc.) Gord.
  • Abies leptolepis Sieb. & Zucc.

Glossary

glabrous
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
glaucous
Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
globose
globularSpherical or globe-shaped.

References

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Credits

Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Larix kaempferi' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/larix/larix-kaempferi/). Accessed 2020-04-08.

A tree 80 to 100 ft high, with a trunk 3 to 4 ft thick, and (in the open) a wide-spreading head of branches; bark scaling, showing a pale grey-brown surface beneath; young shoots glabrous to downy, rich reddish brown the first winter. Leaves 114 to 158 in. long, 116 to 112 in. wide, rather glaucous, flat above, ridged beneath, and with two bands of stomatic lines there. Cones somewhat globose, and broader in proportion to their length than those of any other larch, being about 1 in. wide and long; also very distinct in the thin, rounded scales being markedly curved back when ripe.

Native of Japan; introduced by John Gould Veitch in 1861. It is very distinct from the common larch in the reddish-brown colouring of the ripened shoots, in the broader rather glaucous or grey-green leaves, and the broader cones with spreading scales.

It is now widely planted in Britain as a forest tree, especially in the western parts of the country. It is more susceptible to drought than the common larch but more tolerant of shallow, acid soils and more resistant to canker. It does not thrive on chalky soils.

Seeds of the Japanese larch were brought from Japan by J. G. Veitch in 1861, and a tree at Kew, pl. 1868, probably derives from these. It measures 63 × 414 ft (1971). Apart from this tree and a grafted tree in Inverary planted in 1876 (90 × 814 ft in 1969), the oldest trees of known planting date were raised from an introduction of seeds to Scotland in 1883. The dimensions of those that remain from this batch are: Dunkeld, Perths., 102 × 934 ft; Blair Atholl, Perths., 121 × 9 ft; Munches, Kircudb., 88 × 914 ft; Kirkennan, Kirkcudb., 79 × 734 ft (all measurements 1970). Other old trees in Scotland are: Glamis Castle, Angus, pl. 1894, 108 × 734 ft and 105 × 734 ft (1970); Blairquhan, Ayrs., pl. 1900, 105 × 612 ft (1970); Langholm, Dumfr., pl. 1900, 106 × 634 ft (1969); Drumlanrig, Dumfr., pl. 1916, 93 × 814 ft (1957); Glen House, Peebl., pl. 1906, 90 × 834 ft (1966); Brahan Castle, Ross and Cromarty, pl. 1901, 104 × 614 ft (1970).

Outside Scotland few large trees have been recorded. There is one at Fonthill Abbey, Wilts, pl. 1906, 120 × 412 ft (1965), and another at Stourhead, Wilts, 102 × 734 ft (1970).

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Drumlanrig, Dumfr., pl. 1906, 92 × 812 ft and 80 × 912 ft (1984); Rammerscales, Dumfr., 80 × 714 ft (1984); Langholm, Dumfr., the tree measured 1969 has been felled; Castle Milk, Dumfr., 72 × 712 ft (1984); Munches, Kirkcud., 1885 seed, 92 × 734 ft and 98 × 734 ft (1985); Kirkennan, Kirkcud., 79 × 714 ft (1970); Glen House, Peebl., pl. 1906, 102 × 934 ft (1982); Inveraray Castle, Argyll, Lime Kilns, 88 × 814 ft and 88 × 834 ft (1982); Dunkeld, Perth, 108 × 1012 ft and 102 × 914 ft (1983); Blair Atholl, Perths., in Diana’s Grove, 130 × 912 ft (1983); Glamis Castle, Angus, pl. 1894, 108 × 734 ft and 105 × 734 ft (1970); Blairquhan, Ayrs., pl. 1900, 105 × 612 ft (1970); Brahan House, E. Ross, pl. 1901, 85 × 714 ft (1982); Ardross Castle, W. Ross, pl. 1900, 92 × 712 ft (1980).

The tree at Stourhead, Wiltshire, mentioned in the last paragraph, is probably L. × eurolepis.


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