European Larch (Larix decidua)
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The European larch is a deciduous conifer and is native to Europe, where it grows in the same area as the Norway Spruce and are frequently seen growing together. It can be a very large tree growing over 100 ft and have a trunk diameter of 4 ft, it is hardy in the zone of 2-6. The European larch is an excellent windbreak tree even though it does loose its needles in the winter. Its many branches help stop the wind and it will grow faster than any other conifer I have ever seen in Iowa .
In our field windbreak it is the largest tree we have, growing faster than any evergreen or deciduous tree. As with the Norway Spruce it likes the same soil and moisture conditions. Have not seen any types of disease problems here in the mid west. It is a highly recommended windbreak tree from Nebraska to the Atlantic Ocean in conjunction with other evergreen trees. We are putting them in the middle row of our three row windbreaks as they do grow the fastest. Plant 20+ ft apart in rows and between rows. A 2-3ft potted plant can be 12 ft+ tall in 5 years with good weed and grass control and no mulch.