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 is an example of larch raw material where we have taken some decisions about branch selection allowing for the creation of some deadwood features of jin and shari. This sort of just moves the tree along in a bonsai direction , with completely raw stock it is often quite hard to actually see what direction might work best for any given tree, this way we take some of those basic decisions based on our experience with this species. So not finally styled in any sense, just moved a bit further down a bonsai path. There is still plenty of scope for change and development.
This larch has a overall height of 66 cm. and a width of 52 cm. The interesting surface root spread is 13 cm. and above that the trunk diam. is 6 cm. There are still several options with this example, develop that low left hand branch or do away with it and create another jin, grown on most or all of the remaining branches or concentrate of creating a design with mainly the upper portion. The tree is in a Mica plastic bonsai oval training pot 36x25x10 cm. An interesting project with this great bonsai species.