How to Care for a Weeping Larch

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Growing best in cool, northern latitudes, the weeping larch (Larix decidua "Pendula") is a uniquely needled conifer that drops its leaves in autumn. Weeping larch are sometimes grafted onto a 6-foot-tall rootstock, which then grows into a 12-foot tree with a 10-foot spread. Larch needles are bright lime green during the growing season and turn golden-yellow in autumn, when the tree also produces decorative, 1-inch cones.

Plant weeping larch in full sun and in soil that is rich, heavy and moist.

Mulch the soil at the base of the tree and in a 2- to 4-foot ring around its trunk. This helps the soil retain the moisture that the larch requires in order to thrive. A good mulch for larch is pine needles or shredded pine bark. Make the mulch about 4 to 6 inches thick for maximum water retention and weed suppression.

Provide weeping larch with the equivalent of at least 2 inches of rainfall per week. Do not allow the soil to dry out. A slow-running hose placed in the root zone of the tree is the best method of watering. Allow the hose to run for a couple of hours.

Observe the needle colour and growth rate of the weeping larch from growing season to growing season. If the needles appear lighter or sickly during the growing season and new growth is slow, then fertilise the tree with granulated 10-8-6 fertiliser any time from early spring through midsummer. Do not fertilise later in the growing season, or new growth may suffer winter damage. Weeping larch, like most coniferous trees, do not require applications of fertiliser every year.

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