Champion Trees of Scugog – The European Larch
Thanks to those who expressed an interest in the trees I have featured here already. I have quite a list of trees to check out throughout Scugog when I get free time this summer. For those not familiar with this feature, I am presenting some larger and older trees that are noticeable and have likely been around longer than any other residents of Scugog. We often notice our area’s historic buildings and landscape but often miss the fact that some trees have been here even longer. I am giving our trees a point system based on height (metres), width (metres) and diameter (cm). Maybe by keeping some records of our largest woody inhabitants we can become more appreciative and aware of their significance. My next tree is an oddball in the tree kingdom. It is a European Larch (Larix decidua) and its on Queen St. in Port Perry just east of Ottawa St. It is noticeable enough that others have asked me to include it in this column. I don’t think I have seen one this size anywhere in the GTA. This tree is not native to Ontario, unlike its cousin the Tamarack also known as the American Larch (Larix laricina). Larch is a deciduous conifer; it loses its needles every fall and regrows them in the spring. There are very few cone-bearing trees that behave this way. If you like to classify trees as conifers and deciduous you will have this guy in both categories. Our native Larch, or Tamaracks, are sometimes seen in Southern Ontario wetlands, but the further north you drive the more you notice they are a regularly occurring Ontario forest tree. I am guessing this larch was planted when the houses along Queen were built. I would easily estimate this tree at being over 100 years old. Share any other trees you think are significant with me. I already have some rural giant Poplars and Cedars to check out soon.
European Larch at Queen St. Height – 25.3 m Canopy Width – 16.6 m DBH – 92.0 cm Total Points = 133.9