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Tree Campus: Weeping Japanese Larch

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Weeping Japanese Larch

Larix kaempferi ‘Pendula’ (PINACEAE)






"As a pioneer tree species, it invades the bare ground on disturbed mountain slopes or gullies and often forms pure stands." [5]

Ectomycorrhizal fungi live in the fine roots of L. kaempferi. The fine roots die back every year, but then grow back, giving the fungi a chance to recolonize. [4]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"In Japan, many forested landscapes are composed of conifer plantations (mainly Cryptomeria japonica, Chamaecyparis obtusa, and Larix kaempferi) and abandoned coppice forests, with large variations in management concerns. The purpose of plantations has changed from timber production to performing multiple functions (e.g., providing habitat for wildlife and plants)." [6]



"Because of its fast growth, strong pest resistance, and better wood quality than native tree species, L. kaempferi is regarded as a valuable timber species for furniture making and papermaking." [3]

"The invasive pathogen Phytophthora ramorum is the cause of 'sudden oak death', a dieback and mortality of more than one million live-oak and tanoak trees along 1500 km of near-coastal native forest in California and Oregon since 1995. P. ramorum has also spread across Europe, mainly within the ornamental nursery trade. From 2003 onwards it was found infecting rhododendron and woodland trees outside nurseries in Britain and has recently spread to native Vaccinium swards. Until now, tree infections in Britain have been comparatively few (<100), mostly foliage or stems of Fagaceae (Fagus, Nothofagus, Quercus and Castanea) in the vicinity of infected Rhododendron in south west England. In August 2009 extensive dieback and mortality was observed in mature (25-30 m tall) and juvenile plantation Japanese larch, Larix kaempferi, at multiple sites in south west England." [1]

"Since the timber price of L. kaempferi has been decreasing, forest owners and managers have tended not to cut at the standard rotation age of 40 years... [T]he rotation age of plantations has been extended to obtain larger timber, adding to economic value." [2]



[1] Webber, J. F., Mullett, M., & Brasier, C. M. (2010). Dieback and mortality of plantation Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi) associated with infection by Phytophthora ramorum. New Disease Reports22(19), 2044-0588.

[2] Nagaike, T. (2002). Differences in plant species diversity between conifer (Larix kaempferi) plantations and broad-leaved (Quercus crispula) secondary forests in central Japan. Forest Ecology and Management168(1-3), 111-123.

[3] Pan, Y., Jiang, L., Xu, G., Li, J., Wang, B., Li, Y., & Zhao, X. (2020). Evaluation and selection analyses of 60 Larix kaempferi clones in four provenances based on growth traits and wood properties. Tree Genetics & Genomes16(2), 27.

[4] Zhou, Z., & Hogetsu, T. (2002). Subterranean community structure of ectomycorrhizal fungi under Suillus grevillei sporocarps in a Larix kaempferi forest. New Phytologist154(2), 529-539.

[5] Terazawa, K., Maruyama, Y., & Morikawa, Y. (1992). Photosynthetic and stomatal responses of Larix kaempferi seedlings to short‐term waterlogging. Ecological Research7(2), 193-197.

[6] Nagaike, T., Hayashi, A., Kubo, M., Abe, M., & Arai, N. (2006). Plant species diversity in a managed forest landscape composed of Larix kaempferi plantations and abandoned coppice forests in central Japan. Forest science52(3), 324-332.

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