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Larix decidua

Larix decidua var. polonica - Polish larch


The Polish larch is a form of the European larch (L. decidua) found on the highlands of central Poland. Some botanists consider it an intermediate relict form between the European and the Siberian larches, based on cone shape.

The largest larches at Mustila are Polish larch planted in the 1920s at Lepistö crossroads. The tallest specimens were measured at over 35m at the turn of the millennium. With thick twisted trunks and hanging branches they are extremely picturesque, especially in spring when the fresh green leaves appear. The species has not been much grown in Finland although it is fully hardy at least in the south, and possibly further north, too.


Larix decidua var. decidua - European larch

The European larch is native to the mountains of central Europe, particularly the Alps. It grows well in southern and central Finland and is common in the country’s oldest larch plantations. It has also been much used in landscaping. The trunk of this species is not, on average, of the same high quality as the Siberian larch (L. sibirica), which limits its use by the timber industry.

The oldest European larches at Mustila are from the Austrian Tyrol. They have grown well and are now large thick-barked trees. Planted European larch often suffer from larch canker but fortunately there has been little evidence of this at Mustila.

Ecologically the European and Siberian larches are very similar and can be used together as park trees. This offers an extended autumn colour period and colour variation, with the European species changes colour several weeks later than the Siberian. The best way to distinguish between the species is by the shape of the cone.


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