Tamarack tree, Larch (karamatsu)

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Tamarack tree (karamatsu)

***** Location: Japan, North America, other countries
***** Season: Late Autumn
***** Category: Plant


Karamatsu 唐松 literally the "Pine from China"

Larix kaempferi (Lambert) Carriere
(Larix leptolepis (Sieb. et Zucc) Gordon, Pinetum)

The American larch (Larix Americana), a coniferous tree with slender deciduous leaves; also, its heavy, close-grained timber. Called also tamarack.

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The tamarack tree
is a member of the pine family. It usually attains a height of between 30 and 50 feet high but in favorable conditionscan reach a height of 90 feet. The slender branches droop in long sweeps or grow horizontal. Bark on the younger trees is quite smooth and on older ones rough. Its twigs are slender also with smooth bark and terra cotta to tan in color. The needles of the tamarack are pale, bright blue green, 3/4 to 1 inch long, triangular, soft, deciduous, and cluster. They turn ocher yellow in the autumn. The tree flowers in March and April. It has very small cones less than an inch long and light chestnut brown. They remain on the tree throughout the winter when the seeds are dropped.


The tamarack tree has a strong history with Native peoples since its dried, hardened wood was ideal for making shelters, tools, and other instruments. The Cree even used the inner bark to help stop bleeding, treat hemorrhoids, earaches, inflamed eyes, jaundice, colic, and melancholy. The scene in the photograph is believed to have been an ancient resting area for hunters in the spring and summer.


.. .. .. Tamarack tree spirit and energy

When you come into our energies and notice just how beautiful our energies are, you forget that your energy holds the same beauty. Your energy is just as clear, just as full of joy and quiet bliss as ours. Yours is as full of wisdom, as full of knowledge, as full of strength as ours. As you feel the sweet, quiet, happy energy that we are, you tune into an aspect of tree consciousness. You would be unable, however, to notice this, if you did not have these same essential qualities in your own energy field. There is no separation.

Thinks of this, then, when you sit in Nature. It is a reflection not only of the innocent and pure energies around you but the resonating energies of your own. We are Tamarack.
source : people.tribe.net

Worldwide use


Lärche, Latin: Family of Larix.


North America

CLICK for original LINK. David Little © 2002

Native Corniferes

About a dozen species are members of the genus Larix, although there is a great deal of disagreement about species limits in the Old World. Three species are found in North America, the widespread Tamarack (Larix laricina) occurring throughout the northern boreal forests and the woods northern and eastern United States and Canada. The two other species have much more restricted ranges in the Pacific Northwest. The genus is also found in the northern and montane regions of Europe and Asia

Things found on the way

Karamatsu Shrine, Karamatsu Jinja 唐松神社

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Karamatsu Shrine has one is one of the most famous shrines in Akita Prefecture and stretches back over 1000 years, the original priest of the shrine is said to be a descendant of a god. The beautiful rows of cedar trees lining the path to Karamatsu Shrine are over 300 years old and are said to have been planted by the Satake feudal clan in 1680.

In the Edo Period, Princess Hisashi of the Satake feudal clan was suffering during child birth, and is recorded that she visited Karamatsu Shrine.
“I heard that the God of Childbirth resides in Karamatsu Shrine in Senboku. I prayed for a safe childbirth and for the God to alleviate my pain,” the Princess said.
At the exact moment the servants prayed for a safe childbirth, the Princess safely delivered a baby boy.

The Satake feudal lord gave Karamatsu Shrine a wooden snake mask in gratitude for the safe delivery of the Princess’ child, and it is said that at this moment the snake whirled around – a sign that the God was pleased.
The mask is still displayed today, and has been designated as a ‘Prefectural Important Cultural Asset’.
Karamatsu Shrine is still a site of pilgrimage and people come from all over Japan to pray for a safe childbirth.

© www.city.daisen.akita.jp 秋田県大仙市


Karamatsu Kannon 唐松観音
Karamatsu Temple to the Goddess of Mercy

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Coming over Sasaya Pass from Sendai to Yamagata, there is a vermillion temple building clinging to a cliff on the right overlooking the Mamigasaki-gawa (Mamigasaki River).
Karamatsu Kannon is number five of the sacred Thirty-Three Mogami Kannon Pilgrim Temples. It is said to be patterned after the platform style of Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto, and to have been constructed around eleven hundred years ago.
© murayama-r/yamagata

... ... ...

Click for more photos / Japanese LINK !

Ceiling of the main hall

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 © やまがた好日抄


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soft golden tamracks
patchworked with deep green spruce trees
hillsides like old quilts

Tamaracks are the only "evergreen" that changes in autumn. Then eedles turn an old gold color, looking quite a bit like feathers. A beautiful sight among bare trees.
Bob Hunt


golden afternoon --
the chickadee scatters
tamarack needles

Cindy Zackowitz


the mutt
tamarack needles
on his tail

Geert Verbeke


Page with Japanese Haiku about the Larch


唐松や 神社もあれば 観音も
karamatsu ya jinja mo areba kannon mo

tamarack trees -
there is a shrine and
a Kannon temple

Gabi Greve, October 2007


***** Spruce tree, Fichte

Spruce (etymologically from an obsolete term for Prussia) refers to trees of the genus Picea, a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal (taiga) regions of the earth.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Two seasons could qualify as KIGO:

(1) the spring, when spruce trees have gorgeous, light green and soft growth, putting out fast-growing extensions to the previous year's branches,

(2) the winter, when so many of them serve as Christmas trees.

Spruce trees are the bread and butter of most Northern European forests -- perhaps 80 percent or more in Ireland, at least the same proportion in the Scandinavian countries, and a fair chunk of the German forests (the famous "deutsche Wald") too.

Most of the European paper industry is supplied by spruce trees too (nowadays in conjunction with recycled paper).

Isabelle Prondzynski


logging road
the smell of cut spruce
in the air


Related words

***** . Tree (ki, jumoku) and Forest .


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