The natural range of the Kurile larch in eastern Asia includes the Kurile Islands, Sakhalin Island and, according to some interpretations, the Kamchatka Peninsula. The species can be grown at least to central Finland. It is easy to recognise from its long sweeping branches which produce a special feeling in the woods. The brown needles remain on the tree until late autumn, till the snows come.
The Arboretum’s oldest Kurile larches were planted in 1919 on Pohjoisrinne (Northern Slope) and at Lepistö. The biggest plantation, in the western part of the Arboretum at Nokkala, is about 10 years younger. The species seems to grow well in almost any kind of soil. The handsomest stand grows on clay, which is a rich but hard medium.
Of the larch species growing at Mustila the Kurile, together with the European and Siberian larches (L. decidua, L. sibirica), has shown itself the most promising from a forestry standpoint. When young, it grows very fast and at 4 years old is already noticeably larger than the other larches. It quickly achieves logging size if stands are sufficiently thinned.