The tamarack is an unusual conifer since it loses its leaves, or needles, in autumn. The leaves take on a yellowing colour prior to falling. As with hardwoods, the needles grow again each spring.
The tamarack is the only representative of its species in eastern Canada, but it can be found round the country, with the exception of two provinces. Of the ten species found in North America, three are indigenous. The larch is a slim, straight tree that can grow to a height of 20 to 25 metres (65 to 82 ft.) It usually grows in a humid environment and on peatland. It is a species that does not thrive in shade, which possibly explains its preference for peatland.
This species is also economically significant and, thanks to its strong, long-lasting wood, it has a range of uses. It is more especially useful for structures that are in contact with water, but it is also one of the best fuel woods in its category. The larch is also used as shelter and food by the porcupine.