Larch-Tree, or Pinus La-rix, L. one of the most valuable exotics, which was introduced into Britain from the Alps towards the end of the 17th century, and has been lately cultivated with particular attention.

The larch will grow in any soil, but it flourishes most luxuriantly on cold and gravelly lands, or such as are neither too stiff nor too dry; provided its roots can penetrate through the soil to a sufficient depth. It is propagated from seeds first put in a light earth ; and, at the end of two years, the young plants are usually removed to those spots where they are destined to remain. This useful tree should be transplanted immediately after shedding its leaves: during the first four years, it grows s;owly, and seldom exceeds three feet in height; but in the course of 20, it will surpass both in length and girth, a fir-tree 40 years old; at the age of 24, it is, in general, from 50 to 6() feet high ; and, in 50 or 60 years, it often attains the height of 120.

The most proper season for felling the larch, is in the month of July ; because the liquid which oozes from the tree at that time, is speedily changed into a gummy-resinous matter, so that the wood is not drained so much as at other seasons, but hardens, and may thus be sooner employed.

The larch is of singular utility for various purposes, in which durability and strength are required. Hence it is peculiarly calculated for ship-masts and the building of vessels, or for strengthening the wooden frame-work of bridges ; for it is capable of supporting a much greater weight than the oak itself, and almost petrifies under water. It also resists the intemperature of our climate, and is of excellent service for gates, pales, and other works which are exposed to all the vicissitudes of the weather.

Larch timber is equally durable within doors; and houses constructed with it, have a whitish cast for the first two or three years ; after which the outside becomes black, while all the joints and crevices are firmly closed with the resin extracted from the pores of the wood by the heat of the sun ; and which, being, hardened by the air, forms a kind of bright varnish, that has an elegant appearance.—Nor is there any wood which affords such durable pipe-staves for casks, while the flavour of the wine is at the same time preserved and improved.—Its trunk, when perforated and tapped between the months of March and September, yields the purest Venetian tlan turpentine, that is of considerable use in medicine. Its large branches produce small sweetish grains, resembling sugar ; and which are known under the name of manna, from their possessing similar purgative properties with that drug.

The larch is likewise an excellent nurse to the more tender trees; as it is furnished with several small, pliant branches abounding with leaves ; which, from their flexibility, readily yield to the contiguous trees, admit rain more easily than Scotch firs, and receive no injury from inclement snowy winters; when the branches of the latter are frequently stunted, and the trees themselves totally destroyed.

Beside the manifold uses to which this inestimable tree is subservient, we shall mention a few additional facts, chiefly extracted from foreign writers, with the confident hope of promoting its more general culture.—From the inner rind or bark of the larch; the Russians manufacture fine white gloves, not inferior to those made of the most delicate chamois, while they are stronger, cooler, and more pleasant tor wearing in the summer. —A gummy matter, partaking of the properties of animal glue, and vegetable mucilage, is obtained by a curious process from the sap of this tree ; and which greatly resembles the gum arabic or Senegal, though it is of a brown colour ; it is known in Russia by the name of Orenberg Gum. Pallas informs us, that the untutored natives cut a hole at one side of the trunk, near its root, then burn the wood to the very pith, by applying combustible materials in consequence of the heat thus -generated, the circulating medullary juice descends in drops, which concrete into a transparent gum, forming various fanciful configurations.—In countries where the larch-tree abounds, its firm and compact wood (a cubic foot of which, or 144 solid inches, weighs 41 pounds, and exceeds that of the fir in the proportion of 8 to 7), affords a very superior charcoal : this, likewise, in quantity, measured one-third more than that burnt from the fir-tree ; and its specific gravity, on weighing and balancing it with the latter, was as 8 to 5. It is, however, remarkable, that the larch contains more aqueous ingredients than the fir-tree, insomuch that five measures of the oily water collected during the combustion of the former, yielded, on evaporation, only 3 1/2 ounces of pitch; whereas four and a half measures of the latter, produced 4 ounces.—Buildings erected of larch wood, have been observed to remain sound for 200 years; as it is eminently adapted to resist the effects of air and water, while it is exempt from the depredations of the worm : hence it is peculiarly excellent for shingles ; but, on account of its combustible nature, it would be advisable to prepare them in the manner directed by Mr. Knox, vol. ii. p. 283, and foll.-Lastly, the barK and other parts of this profitable tree, have been found, by experiment, to be proper sub-stitutes for that of the o;:k.