Reworking Some Larches

I have quite a number of larches that I have collected over the years that I have never been entirely happy with and which have consequently spent most of their lives out of sight at the back of my garden. The reason for this is that they all suffer from a lack of movement and taper in the trunks. Taper and movement in the trunk are, in my view, two of the most important attributes of a good bonsai. Recently, I have been looking at those trees again, with a view to considering what can be done to improve them.

This tree is a typical example. The first picture was taken in 2012. There is a little movement in this trunk and the taper is almost imperceptible. This type of tree can be quite useful as part of a forest planting but on its own it has little to recommend it. Last year, in an attempt to add interest and improve this tree, I chopped it back to two of the lowest branches and wired one to form a new apex.

l3a

This is how it looks today, one year on from the work described above. I think it looks better already and it should get better in the coming years.

l3

Here is another, more extreme example, which was cut back today

Before

l1

After, with a re-pot and a slight change of angle

l2

And here are a couple of small trees, which were also cut back today

l5

l4

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