Japanese Larch

grouper52

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Well, unless you all are too busy attacking each other, maybe you could give me some thoughts about a tree - you DO remember trees, don't you, those little things bonsaists put in pots. Anyway . . .:D

Here's an unusually styled Japanese larch I got two years ago.

http://bonsainut.com/forums/images/attach/jpg.gif

Although certain things appealed to me about it, I had no idea where in the world I might go with it, but this past winter while dormant I took it in this direction. I am in some ways happy with this direction, but I still wonder if it might go in an even better one. Any thoughts?

http://bonsainut.com/forums/images/attach/jpg.gif

grouper52
 

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Graydon

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Ahhhhhhhhh larches. I do love larches. Damn shame it's another tree on the long list that I can't have down here. I tried but failed. After 2 years mine gave up, mostly due to the wife forgetting to water it while I was out of town but I believe it was doomed anyhow...

Nice tree you have there. Have you let it bloom and cone at all? Not really healthy for a captive tree but quite a nice show from bloom to cone.

I'm not nuts about the second image mostly due to the upper jin. First it sees to lean out and poke at my eyes. Second it seems a little out of scale based on the lower jin. In nature the upper dead branches always seem to be smaller than the lower dead branches simply due to the reality the the lower branches are older and larger. But as always anyone could spend one minute in nature with a camera and take dozens of photos showing quite the opposite so...

If it were mine I would address the jin sizes and begin to work on the ramification. To me larches are best shown not in bud but naked where the twigging can be appreciated. The process for achieving nice and believable ramification on a larch seems to be a special procedure as the spurs sometimes only bud and not extend. I have an old bonsai today with an article (I think by Colin Lewis) that really explains it well. Do a search and see if you can find it or I can dig around and look up the issue number if you would like.
 

Bonsai Nut

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First, grouper wins the award for taking the best photos of his working bonsai. It looks like you have a photo booth set up there or something! I'm lucky if I can move my bonsai in front of a stucco wall :)

Where are you planning on going with this tree? I looks really well-cared for, and the detailed deadwood work is inspiring, but I don't get a sense of your plan for the foilage. Do you have any virtuals to share?
 

grouper52

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First, grouper wins the award for taking the best photos of his working bonsai. It looks like you have a photo booth set up there or something! I'm lucky if I can move my bonsai in front of a stucco wall :)
Ha!! :D Just a hunk of black velvet I got cheap when a local fabric store went out of business last year! It shows trees so well and is so suitable for virts that a bunch of folks on another site I frequent complained bitterly recently when I used what I thought was a suitable hunk of plywood instead as a backdrop for some highly unfinished trees.

Where are you planning on going with this tree? I looks really well-cared for, and the detailed deadwood work is inspiring, but I don't get a sense of your plan for the foilage. Do you have any virtuals to share?
I really don't have a clue, which is why I'm posting it here hoping some more expereinced folks might suggest some possibilities. I like the downward branch on the left, and hope to develop that in a way that harmonizes with the odd trunk line, but am not sure where to go with the other foliage in relation to that. The little tuft along the trunk, BTW, has grown to a foot long branch in the short time since I took this photo, and may open up some possibilities either by itself or in providing material for a point or thread graft somewhere further down on the trunk.

grouper52
 

grouper52

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Ahhhhhhhhh larches. I do love larches. Damn shame it's another tree on the long list that I can't have down here. I tried but failed. After 2 years mine gave up, mostly due to the wife forgetting to water it while I was out of town but I believe it was doomed anyhow...

Nice tree you have there. Have you let it bloom and cone at all? Not really healthy for a captive tree but quite a nice show from bloom to cone.

I'm not nuts about the second image mostly due to the upper jin. First it sees to lean out and poke at my eyes. Second it seems a little out of scale based on the lower jin. In nature the upper dead branches always seem to be smaller than the lower dead branches simply due to the reality the the lower branches are older and larger. But as always anyone could spend one minute in nature with a camera and take dozens of photos showing quite the opposite so...

If it were mine I would address the jin sizes and begin to work on the ramification. To me larches are best shown not in bud but naked where the twigging can be appreciated. The process for achieving nice and believable ramification on a larch seems to be a special procedure as the spurs sometimes only bud and not extend. I have an old bonsai today with an article (I think by Colin Lewis) that really explains it well. Do a search and see if you can find it or I can dig around and look up the issue number if you would like.
Graydon, thanks. Interesting point about the jin sizes - I'll give that some thought and study. I'm aware of one method for developing ramification on larches that I've seen, but it may not be the same as the Colin Lewsis method you talk of, which I can't seem to track down. Thanks again.

grouper52
 

JasonG

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Hey Will,

I tend to agree about the upper jin but that can always be dealt with down the road when you have a vision of the tree. For me, I see it growing out another 2 years before anything else gets done with it. You and I know that larch grow like crazy here in the NW so getting ramification and tons of explosive growth is easy to do.

I like the over all shape of what you have done as it is just a bare bones skeleton right now. I think if you feed well and continue to take great care of it like you have, then in 2 years we will be discussing a totally different tree.

Thanks for posting and 1 question how tall is it?

Oh, and Nut, Will was using his webcam to take pics less than 18 months ago, you should have seen the bad pics back then... he has come along way, lol!!

Jason
 

Jay Wilson

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I really enjoy larches and , like Graydon, wish I we could grow them down here in florida...
That is a nice trunk Will. I look forward to seeing where you go. with this in the next few years.

Thanks for posting!

Jay
 

grouper52

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Hey Will,

I tend to agree about the upper jin but that can always be dealt with down the road when you have a vision of the tree. For me, I see it growing out another 2 years before anything else gets done with it. You and I know that larch grow like crazy here in the NW so getting ramification and tons of explosive growth is easy to do.

I like the over all shape of what you have done as it is just a bare bones skeleton right now. I think if you feed well and continue to take great care of it like you have, then in 2 years we will be discussing a totally different tree.

Thanks for posting and 1 question how tall is it?

Oh, and Nut, Will was using his webcam to take pics less than 18 months ago, you should have seen the bad pics back then... he has come along way, lol!!

Jason
Thanks, Jason. It's a tall lanky fellow, about 33" +/- 3" or so, IIRC.

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Graydon

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I'm aware of one method for developing ramification on larches that I've seen, but it may not be the same as the Colin Lewsis method you talk of, which I can't seem to track down. Thanks again.

grouper52
Issue 79 of Bonsai Today pp. 43 - 46. Well worth the back issue cost.
 

cbobgo

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here's my suggestions, for what it's worth . . .

I agree with decreasing the size of the jin/shari on the top section of the trunk.

In the middle section of the trunk (Between the lower shari and the main branch) a bit of carving along the right side might help give a little taper to that trunk section.

The main branch I think will look better if it was pulled in a little closer to the trunk, sweeping downward, and then outward, rather than out and then down, if it's still soft enough to bend.

The little branch that goes off to the right at the top should probably be pulled down a little too.

Too swamped to do a virt, sorry.

good looking tree.

- bob
 

grouper52

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here's my suggestions, for what it's worth . . .

I agree with decreasing the size of the jin/shari on the top section of the trunk.

In the middle section of the trunk (Between the lower shari and the main branch) a bit of carving along the right side might help give a little taper to that trunk section.

The main branch I think will look better if it was pulled in a little closer to the trunk, sweeping downward, and then outward, rather than out and then down, if it's still soft enough to bend.

The little branch that goes off to the right at the top should probably be pulled down a little too.

Too swamped to do a virt, sorry.

good looking tree.

- bob
Thanks, Bob! Good suggestions all.

Increased and more appropriate motion on the main branch through wiring and clip-and-grow was already in my mind, although the specifics were not, and I was beginning to see the need to bring that right foliage down a bit as well. Thanks for confirming those.

Carving the right upper trunk a bit strikes me as a very helpful suggestion, and I'm always pleased as punch any time I have an excuse to pull out my die grinder - :D :eek: - uh, I mean my chisels and jin pliers . . . That process could go hand in hand with the thinning of that thick jin, it seems to me.

Thanks.

grouper52
 

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