Larch Tree · Mélèze · Mashkiiwaatig
Larch leaves look like pine needles, but they change colour in the fall. Photo via Pixabay
In between this marker and Marker 18.0, you can spot a pair of large, distinctive-looking trees. These trees belong to the larch family, sometimes also called tamaracks. The two trees you see here were planted many years ago. Although there are several kinds of larch trees in Canada, these two are European Larch, brought from the old country to be enjoyed here in Sault Ste. Marie.
Larch trees are unique because they have soft, slender leaves. The leaves look like pine needles, but unlike spruce and pine, larch leaves change colour and are shed every fall. If you are here in the winter, the trees look dead, but they revive every spring. Stop here in the spring or summer and touch the leaves, which are very soft and gentle. Keep an eye out for brown creepers, chickadees, flickers, ruby-crowned kinglets, and yellow-rumped warblers among these trees.
Feel the leaves of the larch trees. What do they feel like? How are they different from other needles? Can you spot something in the forest that is a similar colour?