The first record of the Hybrid or Dunkeld Larch (Larix x eurolepis) was in Scotland in 1895.
It is a cross between the European and Japanese species and like most hybrids shows greater vigour than either of the parents which are in themselves pretty vigorous. This makes the hybrid very rapid to develop as bonsai and yet is as strong and harder as the two original types.
The Japanese larch or Larix kaempferi, has long been one of our favourite bonsai species here at the nursery. Although of course not a native species it has long been grown in the UK having been introduced as essentially a forestry tree back in 1861. The European larch was introduced as long ago as 1620 but is harder to find as raw material in the UK. They are both very hardy species with good bonsai characteristics. Grow very well in our climate and are quick to develop as bonsai responding well to all bonsai techniques. We have sold the Japanese species over a more than 20 year span in the form of complete raw material through to specimen quality bonsai. It is always a good tree to start beginners with as it is so easy to look after. It is a type of tree where some deadwood is often appropriate to a design, it responds great to hard pruning and is quite straightforward to wire especially when done in the dormant period when needles are absent because it is one of the few deciduous conifers.
This example has a great deal of bonsai promise. A substantial trunk that is 8cm. across at the base with the tree being 68cm. in height. The young and developing branches spread to 54cm. So far almost no branch selection has been done and as soon as that is decided upon the remaining branches will develop more quickly, We have done some rudimentary carving of deadwood areas in the top of the trunk to blend in the pruning scars from height reduction when the tree was collected. This tree was collected in the wild and has a pretty good surface root base for such a plant. It is potted in a plastic rectangular training container 50x42x12cm.