The Weeping of the Larch


The larch tree looks deceptively like an evergreen, and I’m often at pains when insisting to friends that it’s deciduous, especially at the start of summer when it looks so convincingly like a spruce. It takes until the end of fall, when those leaves turn a stunning gold, to completely convince them, and that’s a long time to win an argument – but I’m a patient man.

It took me a long time to come around to the weeping style. It always felt too fussy for me – most of them require some sort of staking or graft to get them high enough for the weeping aspect to be realized. I may be many things, but quite contrary to popular belief, fussy is not one of them – particularly when it comes to the garden. It was a weeping Katsura tree that changed my mind. Its style was beautiful, and the way its branches cascaded down like a waterfall, or the gently-curled mane of some gorgeous woman, was a revelation. From that moment on I was a sucker for a weeper. A cherry tree was first to be planted, following by this weeping larch. The former just finished its bloom season, while the later will look as fresh as this until September.

Don’t be fooled by its seemingly fragile appearance – the larch is one of the hardier plants, withstanding winters as far North as Zone 3, possibly 2. That’s some serious hardiness – and I like hardy.

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