Japanese Larch (Larix kaempferi)

Japanese Larch (Larix kaempferi) is a deciduous conifer species of larch native to Japan.

  • Japanese Larch Tree  -  Larix Kaempferi  -  Mature Trees
  • Japanese Larch Tree  -  Larix Kaempferi  -  Leaves
  • Japanese Larch Tree  -  Larix Kaempferi  -  Seed Cones

Useful info about Japanese Larch trees

Latin NameLarix kaempferi
TypeDeciduous (loses its leaves in winter)
HeightCan grow up to 20 - 40 metres (65 - 130 feet)
SpreadThe branches can spread out to 4 - 8 metres (15 - 30 feet)
Soil Types PreferredClay, Loam, Sand
Locations SuitableFarmland, Gardens, Parks
FlowersPink flowers in spring
FruitBrown cones in autumn


Japanese Larch is a medium-sized to large deciduous coniferous tree reaching 20-40 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter.

The crown is broad conic; both the main branches and the side branches are level, the side branches only rarely drooping.

The shoots are dimorphic, with growth divided into long shoots (typically 10-50 cm long) and bearing several buds, and short shoots only 1-2 mm long with only a single bud.

The leaves are needle-like, light glaucous green, 2-5 cm long.

They turn bright yellow to orange before they fall in the autumn, leaving the pinkish-brown shoots bare until the next spring.

The cones are erect, ovoid-conic, 2-3.5 cm long, with 30-50 reflexed seed scales; they are green when immature, turning brown and opening to release the seeds when mature, 4–6 months after pollination. The old cones commonly remain on the tree for many years, turning dull grey-black.

It grows at 500-2,900 m altitude on well-drained soils, avoiding waterlogged ground.

Japanese Larch is an important tree in forestry plantations, being grown throughout central and northern Japan (north to Hokkaidō), and also widely in northern Europe, particularly the British Isles.


The wood is tough and durable, used for general construction work.

Small larch poles are widely used for rustic fencing. It is also widely used as material for bonsai.


Any uses for trees or tree extracts, whether edible or medicinal, have not been tried or tested by EFORESTS.

Please take caution and seek proper advice before attempting any recipes or medicinal extracts from any of the trees listed on our site.

Culture and Symbolism

Larch trees are believed to represent rest and recovery.

Click here to dedicate a tree to be planted in a woodland in England, Scotland or Wales

Want to have a tree gift delivered to your door or to send a tree gift to someone special? We have a wide variety of UK native trees for sale in our tree shop.