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 sold this example as raw material quite a few years ago and the now previous owner has done a good job of creating a nice medium sized bonsai from it. The tree has a height of 65cm. and a branch spread of 56cm. The developing nebari [ surface root spread ] measures 20cm. across at the widest. Immediately above this the trunk dia. measure is 7cm, the 2 trunks have a diam. of 5 and 4 cm. A decent primary branch structure has been created with good secondary branching and quite extensive ramification which can obviously be improved with just growing and pruning. There are interesting and mature looking deadwood features on both trunks by way of shari and small jins.. The species is so easy as bonsai that there is a case for everybody to have at least one in a bonsai collection having, as it does, the characteristics of both conifer and deciduous bonsai, a lovely autumn golden colour to the needles prior to fall. It is planted in an oval plastic bonsai training pot that measures 41x29x6cm