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Forum Index -> Trail Talk -> Larch or tamarack?
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arohwed
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Post Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:15 pm   
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jd_hiker wrote:
This might be showing my ignorance, but can you purchase larches and grow them at lower elevations? If so, do you know where?

Always wanted to pop one of the little ones out and take it home.  I'm sure there will be no objections.

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...wait...are we just going to hang here or go hiking?
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509
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Post Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:10 pm   
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natures child wrote:
to ward off any more generalities, i might point out the example, I live in Eastern Washington, and i've only heard them referred to as larches, never heard the term tamarack until i went to colorado.

Hmm....where did you and your parents grow up??

I would suspect most "flatlanders".....those that did not live in the mountains would probably use the "correct" name.

Really when you come down to it...if it is an important part of your environment you probably have a local term for it.

I understand that western Washington residents have 37 different descriptions for the type of rain.
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kyle d
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Post Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:24 pm   
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I am also from the east side of the Cascades (Wenatchee -- not originally though) and I, and most of the people I know (which admitedly isn't many but does include at least a couple mostly native Wenatcheites), call them larches.

Before moving here I lived in Montana where most of the people I associated with also called them larches, although tamarack was semi-accepted as well.  I heard there (MT), like others apparently have elsewhere, that tamrack more correctly refers to Larix laricina.

Larchseems to be the common reference for the genus Larix, and for what it's worth the Wikepedia link above also lists L. laricina as tamarack larch.

Of course its a common name, so whatever people recognize is most correct, I guess.
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HunterConservationist
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Post Thu Oct 30, 2008 8:15 pm   
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hitthetrail wrote:
Question of the day: what's the difference between a larch and a tamarack tree?

Get both!
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Peacenik
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Post Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:47 am   
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LizzyBob wrote:
To confuse the issue: A forester once told me that Tamarak are Eastern Larch and anyone who calls Larix Occidentalis (our lovely western larch. Also found in abundance east of the crest around white pass)  tamarak is mistaken. bawl.gif

I biologist friend of mine says this same thing.

I grew up in North Idaho where everyone calls them "Tamarack."  In N. Idaho, there is quite a variety of tree species.  Pretty much everything you can think of.  The most lauded of those species for purposes of firewood are Red Fir and Tamarack.  I am particularly impressed by Tamarack.  It's like solid chunks of kerosene.  And they are BEAUTIFUL in the Fall.  They are deciduous.
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Flora
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Post Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:11 pm   
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Red fir?  I think you're talking about Douglas Fir.  I found out from a ex-logger friend that they call Dougs, Red Fir.  The only red fir I know about are the ones in Southern Oregon and California...beautiful tall trees that are TRUE firs.  They don't grow up here.

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Flora
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Peacenik
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Post Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:17 pm   
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Yes, where I come from they call 'em "red fir" and "white fir."  I believe most "white fir" are Grand Fir.  Red fir is, as you say, probably Doug Fir.  And.....I'd regard them as "real" firs.  We also have plenty of cedar which is a stately species like you describe.  But cedar's claim to fame in the wood stove arena is speed.  I think paper burns slower.  But again, "red fir" is one of the most revered heating wood species.  It's really good, but my money is on Tamarack.  It's like burning magnesium.

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The stuff you believe......is true.  All generalizations are false.  Everything is funny, unless you're confused.  Attitude is everything.
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treeswarper
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Post Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:21 pm   
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Red fir is also what tighter grained older, doug fir is called.  White fir is also called piss fir, and includes silver and noble fir.  I call large old growth trees punkins, and there's other names for shapes and defects..school marms, for ked tree, cat face etc.

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Keep cuttin' 'em... we'll keep growin' 'em! Welcome to the Great Pacific Northwest! --Madhatte
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Flora
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Post Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:21 pm   
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Guess it's my horticultural training...Douglas Firs are Pseudotsugas...False Hemlocks, so not a true fir.  But they are outstanding timber tree and do make good houses and firewood.

Grand Firs are called White Firs?  Hmmm, will have to check up on that one.  I learned about Red and White Firs when I was in grade school.  Those are the trees that populate the Sierras among others, like the Sugar Pine and Jeffrey Pine (yummy tree!).

Common names are always a stumbling block when it comes to different areas.

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Flora
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Flora
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Post Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:23 pm   
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treeswarper wrote:
Red fir is also what tighter grained older, doug fir is called.  White fir is also called piss fir, and includes silver and noble fir.  I call large old growth trees punkins, and there's other names for shapes and defects..school marms, for ked tree, cat face etc.

Interesting.  The older Dougs are sure elegant trees, even the wolves.

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Flora
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Peacenik
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Post Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:25 pm   
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Thank God for trees.  I know it's a twisted and perhaps even macabre thought (my mind does what it wants), but I've thought about what it would be like to lie in a hospital room during one's last days.  In my thoughts, that fate becomes potentially tolerable if there is a tree outside the window.  I think I could watch a tree's leaves flutter for hours....days.....weeks.....so great is that beauty.

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The stuff you believe......is true.  All generalizations are false.  Everything is funny, unless you're confused.  Attitude is everything.
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Flora
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Post Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:38 pm   
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You're so right!  I love trees, big and little.  My heart leaps when I see a handsome oak or huge Sycamore... I never, ever get tired of seeing them.

Treewarper... I did some quick checking.  The White Fir that I'm talking about is Abies concolor, not Abies grandis.  And the Red Fir is Abies magnifica (huge 125 to 200 feet of grandeur!) that grows only in the Sierras and Southern Cascades, to around Crater Lake.

Like I said, common names are just not definitive enough.

Guess it's the end of larch season.  I drove by a local park; it was a carpet of golden leaves, brought down by the latest wind and rain.  Winter is coming soon...

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Flora
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treeswarper
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Post Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:07 am   
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Yes, tree names vary by location.  Red Fir is a species in N. California and maybe Southern Oregon, but around HERE it is Doug. fir.  White fir is any true fir.  But there is a White Fir in Oregon.  It might have to do with log pricing.  Doug fir stands alone, but often Hemlock, and the true firs are called White Woods.

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Keep cuttin' 'em... we'll keep growin' 'em! Welcome to the Great Pacific Northwest! --Madhatte
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mtnmouse
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Post Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:07 am   
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In Idaho, many trees have local names differing from those found in standard tree identification books.  Some were a result of the logging industry, but it is not clear how they did get different names in some cases.

Western Larch (tamarack in Idaho)

Douglas-fir (called red fir locally, but there is a different red fir in northern california)

Grand fir (called white fir locally, but there is another white fir, abies concolor, in the high country)

Ponderosa pine (locally called yellow pine, jack pine, bull pine.  They are usually all the same species)

Usually an established ID book will be definitive, however it is good to know the locally popular common names to communicate with folks.
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Flora
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Post Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:21 pm   
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And then there are the names you make up!  I call old growth ponderosa, Big Reds...and the younger version, Blackjacks.

Thanks, Treewarper, for your logging wisdom.  I would ask my friend, but he passed away suddenly about two weeks ago.  Quite a shock!

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Flora
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