Larix gmelinii var. gmelinii - Dahurian larch

Dahurian larch is native to the coldest parts of east Siberia, where it forms the world’s northernmost forests on the Taymyr Peninsula, on the shores of the Arctic Ocean. This species even grows in the coldest area in the northern hemisphere, in the Verkhoyansk mountains, where temperatures down to -70C have been recorded. Despite this, it struggles on through dry summers taking advantage of the moisture released by the surface melting of the permafrost. It is assumed to be hardy throughout Finland.

In addition to its hardiness, Dahurian larch has other useful characteristics. In its native habitat it grows into a big tree, up to 35m (135 ft) with a thick trunk. The species hasn’t been planted much in Finland and probably won’t grow here to the same size. At Mustila, for example, trees planted on Pähkinärinne (Hazelnut Slope) between 1910 - 1920 have only achieved 12-18m (40-60 ft) in height. In habit, this tree is conical with long branches growing horizontally. The cones are small, not more than 2 cm.

Though rarely planted, this tree would be suitable for landscaping even in northernmost Finland, where it would probably grow better than in the south, given seed of suitable provenance. It is also adaptable, growing on peat and on packed soil.