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 simple looking example has actually been a bonsai for a very long time having come from the collection of an enthusiast of 30 years plus who had to reduce her tree number due to ill health. The age is indicated by the character showing in the bark at the base of the trunk. The tree is 55 cm high with branches 47 cm. wide. The trunk is 5 cm. in diam. at the base. Develop some more fine branching, particualrly on those lower branches and it has the makings of a nice bonsai that is very typical of the species as seen in the landscape. The pot is a hand made round ceramic 24×5.5 cm.