The LARCH (Larix europaea, D.C.) produces the most valuable timber, which is of great durability. Young larches, 6 or 8 feet high, are useful for sheep stakes, rustic palings, or dead fences. Young trees from 10 to 15 feet in height are found toform excellent hop-poles. The bark of the larch is of considerable value in tanning; and as the leaves are decidous, grass grows better under its shade than under any other species of pine. The larch is readily increased by seeds, which ripen abundantly in Britain; it prospers best in cool argillaceous soil, moist rather than dry, and at a considerable elevation above the sea. In certain soils, it is subject to decay of the heartwood; and of recent years disease has seriously affected many of the finest plantations in this country especially those beyond the age of fifty years. The larch is indigenous in the alpine region of Central Europe, and is a striking example of the successful introduction of an exotic, having been completely naturalized in Scotland for more than a century. Other species of Larix, natives of Siberia and North America, are inferior as a forest trees.
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