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.
For a bonsai that appears to have not had a great deal of shaping this example of the species is already showing real characteristics of age. Look at the quality of the bark on the trunk. It is in the chuhin size class at a height of 34 cm. with a spread of branching that is 38 cm . across. The trunk diam. at soil level is 5 cm. The tree has plenty of branching and the image would be improved, I think, by some refinement of those branches, a bit of separation maybe. The new needles are just emerging with that lovely emerald green colour that they exhibit in the spring. This tree will have been a bonsai for quite a while and will have been created from wild collected material. The plastic bonsai training pot measures 29x20x8 cm.