These Tamarack Trees seem to glow in yesterday’s light rain and, while doing so, they are revealing their summer secret.


At a distance in the summer, it’s hard to tell the Tamaracks from their neighbors, the Balsam Firs, Pines, and Spruces. All are a mass of green-needled branches. But, in fall and early winter, the Tamaracks flare into incandescence before they drop their needles and sprinkle gold around their trunks. These trees are different from most: they’re “deciduous” (not evergreen), but “coniferous” (cone-bearing), and “monoecious” (they produce male and female cones).

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“Tamarack” reportedly is the Algonquin Tribe’s name for “snowshoe wood.” Nonetheless, some Mainers call the tree a “Hackmatack” (the Abanaki Tribe’s name) or a “Larch” (from Latin and German names for European pine-like trees). (Brooklin, Maine)