There is not a lot of action at the moment in Larchland. There may be a slight swelling of buds, but this is probably wishful thinking by Ms Eager Beaver. So I will use this lull in visible activity (I am sure there is a lot going on behind the scenes) to get you up to speed on Larix decidua. We wouldn’t want any embarrassing silences would we? It is a deciduous conifer, native to central Europe and introduced to Britain in the 17th century. It is a fast growing tree and the resulting timber is strong and resistant to rot, however the Japanese larch, Larix kaempferi, is considered superior and is more often grown as a plantation crop. “So how” you may well ask “do you know the difference between the Japanese and the European?”. Well apparently the seed scales on the cones bend downwards in the Japanese tree while the European’s curl upwards. As I have only just discovered this fact, I am very pleased that it appears I have identified this tree correctly, admittedly it was more luck than judgement. Unless, of course, I am deluding myself again and there is a little downward motion ….. no I must be strong in my convictions. These cones with their, undoubtedly up-curling, seed scales may remain on the branch for many years, so it is not even worth loitering just in case the deadlock may be broken by one falling off. Never mind, another month and it could be all steam ahead, otherwise brace yourselves for some more scintillating/sleep inducing facts!