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.
Like most of our raw material this tree has been part worked by ourselves. Really just to point the tree in a bonsai direction with some branch selection and a bit of rudimentary deadwood creation. The upper part of the original trunk lacked taper and had very little interest so it was removed and a rudimentary jin created. Certainly this could be refined to make it more interesting and attractive. As the photos show this raw stock has the potential to form a mother and daughter style bonsai. The tree is now ready to have a start made on shaping the branch structure so as to focus future grow in a more positive way. The tree measures 45 cm in height putting it in the chuhin size category. Branch spread is 52 cm. The main trunk has a base diam. of 6 cm. and the smaller trunk 2 cm.. The pot is a plastic bonsai trainer that measures 35x26x9 cm. A good project with a nice easy species.