It is a small to medium-size deciduous tree reaching 33–66 ft tall, with a trunk up to (24 in) diameter. The tamarack is not an evergreen. The bark is tight and flaky, pink, but under flaking bark it can appear reddish. The leaves are needle-like, 0.8–1.2 in short, light blue-green, turning bright yellow before they fall in the autumn, leaving the pale pinkish-brown shoots bare until the next spring. The needles are produced spirally on long shoots and in dense clusters on long woody spur shoots. The cones are the smallest of any larch, only 0.4–0.9 in. long, with 12-25 seed scales.