Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Report Dead or Dying Eastern Larch Trees (Tamaracks) to DEC

tamarackDEC has been receiving reports of dead and quickly-dying eastern larch/tamarack trees (Larix laricina) in the Adirondack region. Upon inspection, the trees have been found to be infested with the eastern larch beetle (Dendroctonus simplex LeConte) an insect native to NY that very rarely attacks healthy trees in the northeast.

DEC is seeking additional reports of dead or dying eastern larch trees in the Adirondacks so that we can better determine if this is a local infestation or a larger outbreak. If you have seen any in this region, please report it by sending photos and location information to DEC at foresthealth@dec.ny.gov, or by calling your local DEC office and speaking with a forester. You can find tamarack photos and identification tips on the Wild Adirondacks website.

Photo by Melissa Hart from the Paul Smith’s College VIC

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Information attributed to NYSDEC is taken from press releases and news announcements from New York State's Department of Environmental Conservation.

16 Responses

  1. Boreas says:

    I will report the mortality I have had with several nursery tamaracks I have planted over the last 5 years. I assumed much of it was from the recent DRY springs. There has been more mortality on the trees planted by the road, where infestations like to travel. Could also be salt, but I doubt it – not much salt the last couple years in my location. I see no beetles, but haven’t really been looking and don’t know what I am looking for. I guess I have some research to do.


      If YOU PLANTED TOO DEEP or did not root prune correctly, then all tree species can have rotten stems, poor root growth, and be susceptible to anything. Logging equipment can spread disease and insects. Another reason to leave Adirondack forests alone, and log SUBURBIA where trees are already susceptible .

      • Boreas says:

        I lost another tamarack over the winter. I think it was just the trees I purchased. I bought 10 (?) trees about 60″ tall for a good price. All arrived healthy but I believe poor siting was part of the trouble with longevity. The trees I planted closer to my brook seemed to have the highest mortality. Some were in drier (but more compacted) soil and others in damp soil. None were in clay. I didn’t think moisture would be an issue with tamaracks, but those trees seemed to be the first to go after a couple years. They never really looked sick – just failed to thrive and gradually went downhill until they stopped bouncing back. All followed the same pattern.

        It could be they were just poor nursery stock. The trunks seemed pretty thin for the height of the tree. I have had better luck with shorter root stock tamaracks. They seem to grow very slowly, but appear very healthy.

  2. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “There has been more mortality on the trees planted by the road..”

    This is common to see….dead or browned-out trees along roadsides. I have always attributed this to either carbon emissions, or from Roundup, or whatever the choice poison may be, for those occasions when our government officials send out crews to spray unsightly weeds or overgrowth alongside our byways.

    • JohnL says:

      Wouldn’t it be natural that we (laypeople) see more mortality in trees close to the road? This is where we spend most of our time, i.e. we don’t spend that much time in the backwoods. The old…’if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, did it make a sound’?

  3. Charlie Stehlin says:

    “DEC has been receiving reports of dead and quickly-dying eastern larch/tamarack trees (Larix laricina) in the Adirondack region.”

    A year from now it will be birch trees, or poplar’s, or the striped maples….. We keep doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Let’s build more roads! Let us carve more paths into the forests so snowmobiler’s can have their way!

  4. Charlie Stehlin says:

    JohnL…… Don’t know where you’re going with your comment but it seems to me you’re getting ahead of yourself. We’re talking about trees near roadsides not deep in the woods, trees with a variation quite distinguishable compared to those a little further away from said road/s.

  5. JohnL says:

    Wasn’t going anywhere in particular. The article only mentions wanting information about dead or dying treee ‘in the Adirondacks’. Then in the comments you and Boreas only talked about trees ‘by the road or roadside’. I simply commented that there may be more to see and learn away from the roadside. Maybe I didn’t say it very well. I’ll do better next time.

    • Boreas says:

      I was only speaking of tamaracks I had planted around my property. The ones in my back yard have fared much better than the ones closer to the road. Could be many factors. I planted several closer to the road as a tiny riparian buffer for a brook on my property. But in my area the soil is sand and stone. When you get closer to the road, it just gets stonier. Over 5 years, 3/4 of them have slowly died. I doubt it had anything to do with beetles as they were young and not old, stressed plants. Probably just a stupid place to plant them.

  6. Charlie Stehlin says:

    I have learned over my short span that there is so much to see JohnL no matter where it is my position on Earth, whether it be on the outskirts of a forest, or in the midst of one; set on a rural landscape or among a crowded square in the heart of suburbia….. beauty is everywhere, even when seemingly being surrounded by chaos or in the midst of a wasteland. Whenever someone says to me on a sunny day, “It’s a beautiful day!” I respond in kind, “Every day is a beautiful day” and I mean it.

    Only you know if you need to do better JohnL! From this end you’re fine just the way you are.

    • Boreas says:

      Nothing prettier on a crisp, fall day than a big tamarack in a clearing just before it drops its golden needles!

  7. Marcella Dodds says:

    Have at least 1 dead tamarack

  8. Carol Entwistle says:

    We have had so many dead trees over the past few years and there are many more to fall down with the upcoming winter season. There used to be many tamaracks and not many now. This is in ADk park.

  9. Carol Entwistle says:

    There are so many tamarack trees that have died and they keep falling. There is a bunch of dead trees where the pile is growing to push the trees off the open lot. There are many dead trees that will keep falling down. This is in the ADK park, eagle bay, ny. Most of these trees are in the swamp where they have thrived for years, but no more.

  10. paul kordziel says:

    it has killed many larches up at big moose in the higby point area

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