While Maine is known for the incredible leaf peeping opportunities, some of the most dramatic contributions here at Viles Arboretum comes from our Larch Collection.
Our larch collection features three unique species and hybrids between them. Larch are unique as they are one of few deciduous conifers, meaning they drop their needles seasonally. In the weeks prior to leaf drop, larches also exhibit vibrant gold hues.
Also featured in this collection is the European larch. This species of the larch family is similar to that of our native tamarack, however it is native to the mountainous regions of Central Europe. It is a popular choice as an ornamental in North America. The wood of the European larch is highly valued for yacht construction.
Japanese larch are very similar to their North American and European cousins. The Japanese larch exhibits slightly droopier branchlettes than the other two species featured in this collection. It's native range extends through the mountains of Japan, however it has been introduced to Europe through cultivation. The wood of the Japanese larch was traditionally used for fencing and rough construction.
For those interested in finding out more about leaf peeping and finding the best spots in Maine, check out the Weekly Foliage Report brought to you by Maine.gov.