American Larch

tmmason10

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Hi All,

This is my first post on this forum so I thought I'd share one of my main projects at the moment. This is my first year working on bonsai so I am pretty much a complete newbie.

The first picture is of the larch when I brought it home from New England bonsai in the 2nd week of July. About a week later I decided to style it when I had a day off of work. It was brought to my attention that I would need some nebari work on this tree because it was too low, making the tree too tall. I applied a tourniquet this last weekend in order to try and produce new roots. My plans now are to wait until probably spring of 2013 to check the roots and repot. Hopefully by then I'll be able to seperate the bottom of the tree. After that, I plan on shortening the smaller trunk to help the appearance of the tree.

Thoughts and suggestions are welcome.
 

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JudyB

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Welcome, I'm new to this forum as well. I do like your larch -hope it gives you lots of happy roots.
 

Bill S

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A suggestion if i may, or 2.

Wrap the area of the tourniqet with sphagnum moss, lose the rocks and fill the pot with soil. The sphagnum will help larch throw new roots(think bog), and the rocks are taking away from having soil built up around the wire, less soil will dry faster, and lessen the chance that if you get new roots they will live(dry root=dead root for this purpose).
 

tmmason10

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A suggestion if i may, or 2.

Wrap the area of the tourniqet with sphagnum moss, lose the rocks and fill the pot with soil. The sphagnum will help larch throw new roots(think bog), and the rocks are taking away from having soil built up around the wire, less soil will dry faster, and lessen the chance that if you get new roots they will live(dry root=dead root for this purpose).

Thanks for your input Bill, I can certainly do that. Makes sense, thanks for your response.
 

tmmason10

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This was a long time coming but I finally got around to applying some sphagnum today. i took off the rocks and soil, and put a small plastic pot around the tree. Reapplied rooting hormone, packed in some wet sphagnum, and then filled the top with the bonsai soil I took out. If I remember I'll get a pic up soon. Hopefully the moss will help keep the area moist and roots will form next year.
 

Joedes3

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I never thought about using the sphagnum moss on the larch. I'll have to wait until next spring now.

Tom, please give us updates on the larch next spring. I'm very interested because I bought larch seedlings this past spring.
 

tmmason10

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Winter

Thought I'd show a pic of the larch barely holding on to some needles. I plucked them off afterwards. Again, you can see the pot I added for the ground layer. Not much to look at but I thought I'd post the pic anyways.

larch_winter.jpg
 

Vance Wood

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Thought I'd show a pic of the larch barely holding on to some needles. I plucked them off afterwards. Again, you can see the pot I added for the ground layer. Not much to look at but I thought I'd post the pic anyways.

View attachment 20006

The Sphagnum moss does work. If you talk to anyone who harvests Larch from boggy areas they will all tell you that the older Larch tend to have several layers of roots one on top of the other. As the bog builds up around the trunk the tree throws roots into it. It is my understanding that there is a natural hormone in the moss that encourages the formation of roots. This way the tree can live in a hostile environment without becoming buried and drowned. The tree basically climbs to a level in the bog where it can survive by growing new layers of roots.
 

JudyB

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It's not much to look at now, but it will be exciting to see after next season what this gives you! It's good to keep a record of this stuff, helps us (me at least) to follow along and learn new stuff.
 

tmmason10

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The Sphagnum moss does work. If you talk to anyone who harvests Larch from boggy areas they will all tell you that the older Larch tend to have several layers of roots one on top of the other. As the bog builds up around the trunk the tree throws roots into it. It is my understanding that there is a natural hormone in the moss that encourages the formation of roots. This way the tree can live in a hostile environment without becoming buried and drowned. The tree basically climbs to a level in the bog where it can survive by growing new layers of roots.
Thanks Vance, I got this larch because I purchased Lenz's book and it does describe it nearly word for word from what you said. It's a great book and gives me hope one day I'll be able to collect great material around here.
 

tmmason10

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It's not much to look at now, but it will be exciting to see after next season what this gives you! It's good to keep a record of this stuff, helps us (me at least) to follow along and learn new stuff.
Thanks Judy, I'm excited to see how it buds out in the spring. I'll let it grow wild all next year and take the wire off too.
 
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do you have any updates on your tree?
 

tmmason10

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It's pretty much an eye-sore right now but it did wake up and put on some growth the past few weeks. The top of the smaller trunk died off so I jinned it, and will be leaving it to it's own devices the rest of the year. Not sure if it has been growing roots or not, but next early spring I will be unwrapping it and repotting it, hopefully.

larch_05.16.2012_3.jpg

larch_05.16.2012.jpg
 

tmmason10

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By the way, I decided that I would take wire off earlier this spring to try and take away any extra stress as this year I'd like it to just grow as wild as possible, so that it can grow as many new roots as possible. This is another reason why it looks so unorderly right now, the branches really sprang back once the wire came off.
 

JudyB

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yup, and it'll get even more unruly, but that's what it needs right now. Thanks for the update!
 

tmmason10

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It's growing very well lately. I have pinched a few times, but thr last few weeks have been letting thr growth extend. If the top growth is equaling new root growth, then I'll be good. I'll post an update when I get a chance.
 

tmmason10

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And the pictures. I lost the lone branch at the top of the jinned trunk, I think I disturbed it while making the jin. I think that whole trunk may be jinned in the future. I haven't been timid with fertilizing my plants this year because of what we went over in class, and the trees have really been responding well. I think Mr. Pall has the right idea about substrate/fertilizing.

larch_07.03.2012_1.jpg

larch_07.03.2012_2.jpg
 

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