Larch (Larix)

These huge trees grow up to 30–40 m height, with trunks of a diameter of even 1.75 m, and can be up to 300–500 years old.


The reddish wood of the pine, interwoven with resin passages, is very durable and solid; this is the most valuable conifer tree. Thanks to its high resin content, it tolerates the vagaries of the weather and it is also flexible, tough and easy to split. Its specific weight is 650–700 kg/m³. It is an excellent building and mining, structural and ornamental wood. It had been used mainly in water construction, mining and in roof structures; today it is very popular as a raw material in the furniture and construction industries. It is used extensively for railway sleepers, fence posts, external windows, stairs and floors. As it is also acid-resistant, it is also used to make tubs and barrels for the chemical industry. Larch beams are widely used in interior design and furniture manufacturing; they are processed into veneer and lumber. Larch dries well, cracks and warps moderately. Its wood is heavy, medium hard, very flexible, beautifully designed and durable. The cutting age of larch is 60-100 years, depending on the place of production.

Archaeologists have found larch beams and other larch objects more than 2 500 years old; larch wood found in the remains of a 500-year-old grave in the Altai region was so hard, it could not be cut with a knife – these finds were exhibited in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

Larch was used in Ancient Rome also to construct amphitheatres. Remains of the bridge built by Emperor Trajan and used for almost 1 700 years, still in good condition, were found in the River Danube. Venice in Northern Italy and St Petersburg in Russia were also constructed on larch columns, and the same wood was used to construct the foundation of the Parliament building in Budapest.

Larch is called “eternal tree” for a reason. In Russia, it was considered the most suitable tree for building ships, especially during the reign of Russian Tsar Peter I, when the Russian navy was built. The interior of the Moscow Kremlin Church and the interior of Vasily Blazenny Cathedral were also made of larch. And larch covers one of the best bike lanes in the world in Krylatskoye.