Larix laricina 'Bear Swamp' / Bear Swamp tamarack

Larix laricina 'Bear Swamp' is a slow-growing selection of tamarack, densely congested darker-than-typical branchlets holding light, Blue-gray foliage. The color contrast is quite remarkable. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 32 inches (80 cm) tall and 48 inches (1.3 m) wide, an annual growth rate of 3 to 5 inches (7.5 - 12.5 cm).

This cultivar originated as a witch's broom found in the 1980s by Greg Williams of Wolcott, Vermont and introduced to the nursery trade through his Kate Brook Nursery. Supposedly, Greg's field notes make the claim that "Bear Swamp" is a place in Newfoundland, Canada. However no such place could be found at this time. A more likely origin was Bear Swamp State forest in Cayuga county, upstate New York.

Larix laricina 'Bear Swamp' — a mature plant in an arboretum setting.
Photo by Bill Barger
Larix laricina 'Bear Swamp' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger