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. It is a very hardy species with good bonsai characteristics. Grows very well in our climate and is quick to develop as bonsai responding well to all bonsai techniques. We have sold this 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 was began using raw material collected locally by ourselves and has had maybe a couple of styling exercises so far. The tree will now be approximately 60 to 70 years of age and is starting to show real characteristics of age particularly in the bark on the lower trunk. That impressive trunk measures 14 cm. across at the base. The tree is 54 cm. high with branch spread of 68 cm. The trunk features interesting rootage and a significant area of deadwood created from a large branch or trunk extension removed early in the trees’ development as bonsai. Good mature primary branching is in place with fairly good secondary branching. The main development will involve fine branch creation within the existing shape. It is potted in a Chnese round unglazed ceramic 33×10 cm.