317. Golden Larch

Golden Larch

Pseudolarix amabilis

Accession 16779*A 

The golden larch is a member of the pine family, and is unusual because it is deciduous—meaning it drops its leaves in the fall. This tree was grown from seed from Horatio Hollis Hunnewell, a longtime friend and benefactor of the Arboretum, in 1896. In spring, the tree grows soft, bright green needles in star-like clusters. These needles darken in summer and turn a rich gold in fall, giving the tree its common name. The golden larch grows distinctive cones with scales that bend outward from the center, and, by mid-fall, break apart, scattering cone scales and seeds to the wind. By winter, the needles have dropped, and the broad, spreading structure of the tree is on full view. Year-round, this area gives a view of the hundreds of trees that form the Arboretum’s conifer collection.