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.
We are pretty sure that this tree has been a bonsai for a very long time but has at sometime in the past suffered major branch loss leaving it as it is now almost devoid of secondary branch structure. However, it is now growing very well and new branching has started to develop. What makes this tree worth putting in some time to create a structure is the phenomenal bark character which gives the real impression of great age. We contemplated keep this tree back from sale until we had achieved some of that branching but in truth we have more than enough other sorts of bonsai work to do and if this was in an enthusiast’s collection the time and effort could be more readily applied. We think it can be a really interesting exercise creating a design to do justice the the many interesting characteristics this tree features. The tree is 58cm high with a spread of 58cm. The large root is 16cm. across and the trunk diam. 5cm. The round Mica training pot is 27x10cm.