Larch development.

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Is this an ok development in a year and a couple of months? We have a pretty short growing season, from middle of May to end of August.
 

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No, just water, feeding and free growth. The first pic is from June 2nd 2006 and the other from today. I actually thought that it was good growth considering the short growing season. Glad I do something right :)

I think I'll let it grow for a couple of more years, but I'll try to replace the sacrifice branches continually as the soon become too thick and causes huge scars.
 

irene_b

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Wow! Emil that tree is doing great!
Good job!
Mom
 
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Emil,
It looks fantastic to me, and I think the larch is a colder-environment tree, so it should be fine. But I am no expert with larch.

Do we have any larch experts on this forum? Anyone?
 
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This Larch (Larix sibirica) is hardy to Swedish zone 7 or 8, I live in 6. I bought it last summer and kept it like in the picture during winter, no mulch or anything, without any damage whatsoever.

This is where I live, btw. The dotted line is the artic circle. I stole that map from somewhere, feel free to delete it if it violates some copyright-thingy...Or I altered it a bit, and it's now officially a work of art. Take me to court, I dare you! :).
 

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tom tynan

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Emil: I am no expert - but as a fellow larch grower I will try and share a few thoughts/ideas. Your tree has been in the ground for about 1 1/2 years and has grown well - that is, you have increased the base diameter of the tree and you have some good low sacrifice branches to work with. Keep those low branches and try and get the base even fatter. I am not sure why you recently pruned - I think it was too soon. A tree like this can grow 1 or 2 meters easily in a season - that is what puts on the thickness at the base of the tree. When you prune - you slow down the growth "engine".

It is a very straight looking larch - you have to try and induce some movement in the tree at some point [unless you want a very formal straight looking tree...] - you can do this by cutting the trunk back hard at some point and then taking a side branch and growing that is the new top. From the photos - I think it is too soon for the chop...

I would not be afraid of keeping the sacrifice branches that you have - the pruning scars can heal well on a larch and this can help thicken and roughen up the base of the tree - give it some character...

You might also think about digging it up and then re-planting it at an angle to create a more slanted style - this of course will slow down the growth for a season - but it may be worth it if you want that look.

Probably the best source on Larch growing is the book "Bonsai in the Wild" by Nick Lenz. You can read that Larch chapter all winter long and get seriously inspired by his trees. Also check out the Evergreen Gardenworks website and read the articles on trunk development - because that is what you are doing - growing a trunk to someday use to create a bonsai...

It looks like your growing conditions are favorable and the larch is doing very well - with the right growing techniques and some more time [years..] you may have a nice trunk to work with...

Good luck.... Tom
 
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Keep those low branches and try and get the base even fatter. I am not sure why you recently pruned - I think it was too soon. A tree like this can grow 1 or 2 meters easily in a season - that is what puts on the thickness at the base of the tree. When you prune - you slow down the growth "engine".

The reason I pruned was to avoid scarring. I'm allergic to big scars and wire marks!

It is a very straight looking larch - you have to try and induce some movement in the tree at some point [unless you want a very formal straight looking tree...] - you can do this by cutting the trunk back hard at some point and then taking a side branch and growing that is the new top. From the photos - I think it is too soon for the chop...

For this particular Larch, I want a very formal tree, I'm actually gonna wire it even straighter in the future! I have two others though and one of them is getting a trunk chop next spring to develop more movement.

I would not be afraid of keeping the sacrifice branches that you have - the pruning scars can heal well on a larch and this can help thicken and roughen up the base of the tree - give it some character...

I agree.

This tree is just an experiment, I'm much more into my collected ones. I'll try to see how much taper I can develop...
 

serpentsgarden

Sapling
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an idea

If you get you larch in a larger box and making it movable you might some effect to increasing the vigor in a greenhouse (65 to 78 degrees F) during growth but letting the outside cold work on it during dormancy. CAREFUL green housing this tree you can cook it death it needs air around it so ventilation is required or you will make soup of the roots. High draining mixture as well. The years My larch have had bad winters then warm summers have caused incredible bolts of growth as compared to milder summers after milder winters. That is in Japanese larch and Larix Pendula. I do not know if the little warming for the Siberian variety will help. They are one of the most opportunistic trees. they grow so many places others can't. One rule is with larch warmer wetter (without wet feet) conditions will create larger whorls and faster larger growth. Cooler drier conditions help create smaller whorls and more compacted growth. Also larch is known for how much foliage in can replace in just a few weeks of favorable conditions but that vigor slows down in later years due to the physical changes in structure with maturity. Read oxford journals piece on larch structure in maturity compared to juvenile growth. IT will really help you understand the way larch does its thing. The control is with a tamarack but similarities among the species are very broad and many things apply.
 

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