of Oregon > Western Juniper
Western Larch Forests
Ecology: Western larch, one of the world’s few deciduous conifers, is noted
for its brilliant golden autumn colors. Rather than forming extensive forests,
stands of western larch commonly develop within Douglas-fir, grand fir, and
ponderosa pine forests following fire or major disturbance from wind, soil
movement, or logging. Without periodic disturbance, larch stands will eventually
be taken over by Douglas-fir on drier sites or grand fir on milder sites.
Lodgepole pine, western hemlock, western white pine, and Engelmann spruce
also occur in this forest type.
Climate: Western larch prefers cool, moist
sites and depends on frequent disturbance.
Management: Because of its intolerance
to shade, western larch is managed with even-aged techniques such as clearcutting,
shelterwood, and seed tree
that encourage soil disturbance and improve chances for natural regeneration.
Controlling competing species and creating mineral seedbeds with fire is
essential to maintaining western larch in forest stands. Larch is harvested
quality lumber that is resistant to decay.
hemlock/Sitka spruce forests urban
mixed conifer forests coast
redwood forests hardwood
pine forests subalpine
larch forests western