Shop Products
Houzz Logo Print
mike_larkin

Larix kaempferi Pendula

Mike Larkin
15 years ago

During the hot part of each summer I have had problems with needles turning brown. New growth does come back during the same season.

It is planted in full sun, zone 6 and has been planted at the location ( and growing well) for about 6 years.

In PA. we have had days that temps have exceeded 90 F for as long a week or two.

Is this a plant that should be watered more fequently in the summer ( more so than most conifers)? I do water all plants thoughout the summer, but I may need to water the larch more often.

Or is this a plant that could use a little PM shade?

Mike

Comments (15)

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    15 years ago

    i have both of the pendula larix ... as they are mixed up in the trade .... so .. if you are relying on the tag that came with it.. it might be L. kaempheri or L. decidua ... but it doesnt matter ...

    mine both turn brown in summer.. full blistering sun ... its the spring needles.. as the new growth is going on 18 to 24 inches of growth ...

    i figure if it is growing that well ... it has to be watered well ... it just wouldn't put all that growth out if it was starving for water ...

    and i doubt it would grow that well in shade ....

    i think it has something to do with the pedulas ... as i have many other smaller types that never burn ..

    the beauty of larix .. is that it will soon shed those needles and you wont have to look at the brown needles for the next few years ...

    this summer seems worse than others... two weeks near 95F ... with drought and low humidity for 6 weeks.. i watered then properly the whole time.. and they are the brownest they have ever been ... i am thinking it might be more of a humidity issue rather than watering ... perhaps resin can tell us the relative humidity of there native ranges.. in relation to ambient temps..and see if there is a corollary ...

    anyway ... i don't recommend moving it... keep it properly watered.. and hopefully one year.... it will have a big enough root mass to offset water issues ... ground and air ..

    good luck

    ken

  • Mike Larkin
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Thank Ken
    I really did not want to move it.
    As with many of my established plants I water throughout the summer but I treated it like most conifers and did not over do the water.
    I was thinking that maybe the Larix liked moist soil - and drying out may be an issue.
    With the other conifers looking blue or green or yellow, It is not very appealing to have a tree with brown needles.
    Thanks again

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    15 years ago

    hey .. mine are right out the front door, where i have to look at them EVERY TIME I STEP OUT FOR A CIGARETTE .... they cant bug you any more than mine do me ...

    i have had l. k. Diana for 10 years or so ... it has good years.. and bad years ... mostly good or great years ... when you have more than one plant.. across the whole yard.. you can see that the problem is one specific tree.. or one specific family .. or just that plant ...

    i see the problem as the dangly ones ... maybe the tighter, more compact ones just don't suffer as bad ... and the species larix just grow 4 to 8 feet per season and don't care what the water or humidity is ...

    the easiest solution .. buy another 100 conifers and look at them during the bad years ... lol

    i am still waiting for resin or others to tell us what its native range is like ...

    ken

  • nikkie_in_toronto
    15 years ago

    Mike, Hi. My parents live in Ohio and have a set of Larix kaempferi pendula's. They are actually growing under the canopy of three very large old birch trees. They get good drainage. I think that larch appreciate good drainage and I don't think they like much water. But their larches only get about 3-4 hours of direct sun a day, but filtered sun most of the day. They look very good and put on good growth every year. Occassionally they burn a little bit by mid August if the temps remain in the 90's for a long time, but nothing severe or disfiguring. Up here in Canada they do fine in full sun w/ out any burning, but it doesn't get into the 90's very often!

  • kim_dirtdigger
    15 years ago

    Our Larix decidua 'Pendula' was pristine until the Japanese Beetles showed up. Even though the beetles are nearly gone, the browning continues to worsen, but so does the heat and humidity. I thought it was strange that the beetles never seemed to actually eat the foliage, just somehow turned it brown. Could they be excreting some kind of gunk on the foliage that slowly continues to kill it? Have others noticed the browning starting with the arrival of JBs?

  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
    15 years ago

    boy kim that's a tough one.. because the JB's showed up when the heat hit in my yard ... i am suspecting coincidence in timing ...

    ken

  • conifers
    15 years ago

    I've never heard that. I'd not rule out rootstock completely as possibly having something to do with it, but not-likely I don't believe. Larix are most commonly grafted only to Larix decidua because of a better root system.

    It seems to me that the cultivar itself shows a tendency to burn as do other cultivars known for doing so. Pinus sylvestris 'Barrie Bergman', for example.

    The humidity issue, during drought I'd suspect would be a bonus. Dampness to the air, providing dampness to the foliage. If humidity were at all an issue, I'd think it would only be in the presence of fungi. I could be wrong if the "heat index" temperature is so severely effected in terms of "raw heat" that there isn't an equilibrium to off-set the ratio of temperature to humidity. A subject I certainly don't know enough about.

    Larix kaempferi I believe grow in the cool mountains of Japan along with Cryptomeria, etc -. It's quite possible that this exchange of cool climate to hot climate is the reason. Your symptoms also correlate with overwatering (brown tips on the needles).

    We'll see what the more knowledgable have to say.

    Dax

  • sam_md
    15 years ago

    Japanese Beetle populations cycle, luckily for me, none this year. No browning of my weeping larch this year.
    JB's don't eat the whole leaf like caterpillars do, notice what they do to lindens, sassafras, grapes, etc.
    In previous years I could shake the larch and the JBs would fly out or drop to the ground.
    I'm in Maryland, I've had my weeping larch for several years, full sun, I can honestly say, I've never watered them.
    In my area, pinetums or conifer collections are w/o question located in full sun. While there are some exceptions, lower branches of conifers which recieve too much shade soon die out and the plant becomes unsightly.
    Sam

  • Mike Larkin
    Original Author
    15 years ago

    Sam
    could you describe the growing conditions of the larch.

    Soil- rich, clay , well drained , sun - shade, mulched well, etc. Temps in you area this summer.

    I am thinking that the larch likes a better quality soil, one that retains moisture, vs a well drained soil that some other conifers like spruce appeciate.

  • sam_md
    15 years ago

    Plantsman 56,
    I grafted my larch about 20 years ago. I got it from Michael Kristick who was a collector in Wellsville PA which is west of York.
    My plant is growing in well-drained, clay loam in full sun. I have typical mid-Atlantic summers probably very similar to yours in Harrisburg.
    These are about the most carefree plants on the property. I can honestly say the only problem has been Japanese Beetles. As I said before, this year for us, no beetles, no browning.
    Sam

  • nick725
    14 years ago

    Hi all!
    Want to buy this nice tree
    I'm in Chicago area
    Do You have any idea where to find?
    Maybe, on internet?

    thanks in advance

  • wisconsitom
    14 years ago

    I cringe (Just a little bit ;^) when I see folks stating that spruce, larch, fir, what-have-you like "dry" conditions. Almost without exception, these plants are native to areas having considerable precipitation. To me, the confusion, if it is such, arises from the fact that many of these plants DO like good soil drainage.

    Take the case of Picea pungens-Colorado spruce. While it IS more prone to cytospora canker in the E. U.S. than in its native haunts, this is due to atmospheric moisture-humidity, not excessive soil moisture. In fact, if my understanding is complete, the combination of drought stress coupled with high humidity is the combo most likely to tip it over the edge towards full-blown infection. Kind of like late-summer lawns getting powdery mildew. The soil is dry, but there is much evening humidity. The drought stress weakens the grass plants' defenses against the pathogens, and the high atmospheric moisture content facilitates the spread of these pathogens. Morning dew is not anywhere near sufficient to moisten badly dried out soil, but it's just great for airborn pathogens.

    That's how I see it anyway. Now, back to conifers. I've never seen larch happy anywhere but in full sun. If drought continues long enough, the tree simply runs out of water, resulting in dessicating foliage.

    +oM

  • wisconsitom
    14 years ago

    Jeez, I thought my bombastic comments would elicit at least a LITTLE reaction. Ya'll can't just agree with me, can you?

    ;^) +oM

  • pineresin
    14 years ago

    "Ya'll can't just agree with me, can you?"

    I do!

    Tho' with this being a cultivar thread, I've not been following it very much.

    Resin

  • Embothrium
    14 years ago

    Maybe you got the weeping European larch from a specialist, otherwise it seems all seen in general nurseries (and often in photos in books etc. as well) are weeping Japanese larch - the mixing being of the names rather than the plants.