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Tamarack

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Tamarack

Postby Jimr » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:23 am

I was reading some of Joseph N. LeConte's Sierra Bulletin entries about his exploration to find a high route from Yosemite to Kings Canyon. He often referred to a particular type of tree as Tamarack. I think that particular tree he referred to is actually the Sierra Juniper. Does anyone know for sure which species of tree he and others from that era were referring?
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Re: Tamarack

Postby maverick » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:37 am

The Pinus Contorta Var. Murrayana is commonly known as the Lodgepole Pine, Sierra Lodgepole Pine, Sierra-Cascade Lodgepole Pine as well as Tamarack Pine.


http://www.treesofnorthamerica.net/show ... k-Pine/106
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Re: Tamarack

Postby Jimr » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:56 am

I saw that and wondered which it could be. Tamarack seems to be Alagonquin referring to wood used to make snowshoes. Looking at pictures of actual Tamarack, I don't think they would have confused what they were referring to with that. The actual Tamarack seems to be quite a flimsy tree compared to anything that would be noteworthy in the Sierra. He does refer to stands, so perhaps it is the Lodgepole Pine being referenced.
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Re: Tamarack

Postby cgundersen » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:16 pm

Hi Guys,
Having spent puberty portaging canoes through tamarack bogs in northern WI/MN/MI, I decided to see what Wikipedia says and here it is:

Larix laricina, commonly known as the tamarack,[3] hackmatack,[3] eastern larch,[3] black larch,[3] red larch,[3] American larch [3] or juniper. is a species of larch native to Canada, from eastern Yukon and Inuvik, Northwest Territories east to Newfoundland, and also south into the upper northeastern United States from Minnesota to Cranesville Swamp, Maryland; there is also an isolated population in central Alaska.[4] The word tamarack is the Algonquian name for the species and means "wood used for snowshoes."

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Re: Tamarack

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:48 pm

It's like how some people call junipers red cedars -- except that's back east. The juniper here is a different variety.

And what we call an incense cedar is not even a cedar.

Plants are funny.
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Re: Tamarack

Postby Big Ed » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:58 pm

AlmostThere wrote:And what we call an incense cedar is not even a cedar.



What is it then?
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Re: Tamarack

Postby Jimr » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:36 pm

Reading "Norman Clyde of the Sierra Nevada Rambles Through the Range of Light" It's a collection of his essays. He refers to them as Tamarack Pine. I'm suspecting they are, in fact, referring to Lodgepole Pine.
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Re: Tamarack

Postby rlown » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:43 pm

Western larch (Larix occidentalis), a deciduous conifer, is also called tamarack and western tamarack; less commonly used names are hackmatack, mountain larch, and Montana larch (17). It is largest of the larches and is the most important timber species of the genus.


And to add to what Cameron said:

What is tamarack wood?
About The Tamarack Tree: Tamarack twig, adapted from Whitman 1988. The Latin name for Tamarack is Larix laricina. Other common names are Eastern Larch, American Larch, Red Larch, Black Larch, takmahak and Hackmatack, which is an Abenaki word for 'wood used for snowshoes' (Erichsen-Brown 1979).


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Re: Tamarack

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:54 pm

Big Ed wrote:
AlmostThere wrote:And what we call an incense cedar is not even a cedar.



What is it then?


Widely used in parks and landscaping, the Incense Cedar is probably the most well-known of the Pacific northwest native false cedars.

Unlike the other native false cedars, the Incense Cedar prefers drier, even drought prone areas. In drier areas, the thick green foliage creates a lush backdrop that may be harder to achieve with other trees.


It is a member of the cypress family.
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Re: Tamarack

Postby Dave_Ayers » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:26 pm

Also from Wikipedia under Pinus Contorta:
Pinus contorta subsp. murrayana: Tamarack pine, or Sierra lodgepole pine; Cascade Range from Washington into Northern California; the Sierra Nevada, the Transverse Ranges of Southern California (including the San Bernardino Mountains, the Peninsular Ranges into northern Baja California, and the Spring Mountains of southern Nevada).

I've seen Sierra Lodgepole referred to as Tamarack (Pine) in a number of old texts by the likes of Muir, Clark, and King. I suspect that it was once the most common term for them.
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Re: Tamarack

Postby Jimr » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:36 pm

Sub murrayana is what I was looking at because of it's distribution.
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