Larch Progression

This is a medium sized Larch from my collection, which was wired earlier this month (March 2014) and re-potted last week after some root reduction work. It is 45cm high and is just beginning to look like a bonsai, I think. I haven’t wired all the secondary branches as I am still trying to set the primary branches.

larch 1

It was collected about 10 years ago but lay neglected, apart from the occasional trim, in a plastic pot at the back of my garden for about 7 years. The next picture shows the tree in March 2011.Look at the wire on the lower branches, what was I thinking about then. As you can see, the trunk had no taper and would never make a pleasing bonsai in that form.


In 2012 I decided to chop the trunk back to one branch and start again. when I removed it from its pot I saw that the roots had grown very thick indeed but with a bit of work they would help to produce an interesting nebari. I cut the roots back quite severely and re-planted it in this clay pot.


In the next picture taken in March 2013 you can see that it didn’t grow very vigorously in the previous season but what new growth there was got wired for a second time. I suspect the poor growth in 2012 was due to the severe root pruning and the poor weather that followed.


Throughout 2013 the tree grew strongly and in June I decided to do some carving on the stump.


By the end of the year it had put on a lot of new growth and was ready for its third wiring. The next picture shows the tree just before wiring in March 2014.


And this is how it looked after the wiring.


I’m beginning to wonder if wiring Larch, which is still in training, in the winter/spring period is worthwhile as the branches thicken so quickly in spring and the wire has to be removed soon after it was put on. Certainly it’s easier to do at this time of year and it tidies up the winter image but does it help to set the branches. I don’t think so.


7 thoughts on “Larch Progression

  1. Hi Shah
    I use a fairly coarse mixture of hard akadama and kiryu in approximately a 60:40 proportion. I find that this works well for me in our wet/cool climate.It allows g for good drainage and plenty of air circulation around the roots for strong root growth.

  2. Pingback: Larch in Summer | Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

  3. Pingback: Larch (update) | Robert Nocher Shohin Bonsai

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