Eastern tamarack

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A deciduous conifer, Larix laricina, that is part of the Larch family. The eastern tamarack grows in the northern parts of North America from Newfoundland to the Yukon. The strong, durable, close-grain wood is used for construction, cabinetry, furniture, telephone poles, and railroad ties.

See also Larch.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Larix larcina; mélèze laricin (Fr.); eastern larch American larch; hackmatack; tamarack

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Color: Heartwood is yellow to medium orangish brown; sapwood is white; Section can exhibit interesting patterns
  • Grain/Texture: Grain is straight or spiraled; Texture in medium to fine with an oily feel
  • Durability: Moderately resistant to decay
  • Odor: No distinct odor.
  • Density = 37 pcf

Working Properties

  • Works well with most hand and machine operations
  • High silica content may blunt cutting edges
  • Disparity between the soft earlywood and the hard latewood can create dips and uneven surfaces with sanding

Resources and Citations

  • The Wood Database: Tamarack
  • F. H. Titmuss, Commercial Timbers of the World, The Technical Press Ltd., London, 1965
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Northern Pine Manufacturers: air-dry weight = 37 pcf

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