My First American Larch

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IL
USDA Zone
6
#1
I got this American larch from menards a few days ago and after reading about larches on this forum and the internet plus the litle info from the books i have theres not alot about these trees as bonsai.I read about the book by Nick lenz so i ordered it.The tree is 28'' tall with base about 3 1/4''.Does anyone know whats the best soil mix for these trees?The best time to cut major branches?When is the best time to repot? i have an ideal but not for sure i work with mostly maples and this isnt a maple.I cant wait to get the book and im very excited to finally find one and it was only $20 Thanks for any help
 

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MN
USDA Zone
3A
#2
1)Read the book
2) people get tense about this question but I find when they are in finishing mode they like a finer organic mix (that goes through 1/8 screen and retained on a window screen) Turface based with 30 percent finer organics added such as 1/8'' decomposed wood (such as sifted Fafards soil conditioner). A little coarser mix can be used in development.
3) If your looking for actual healing on a healthy tree cut large branches in the height of the growing season and vaseline the cuts and retain enough of a head of green to keep growing strongly. If you cut off allot of green it will heal much slower. If it is in a small container it will heal allot slower.
4) Spring is the best time to repot --if it is maintenance repotting and you satisfy a few requirements, fall can be done too. I suspect you will need to be pretty brutal when repotting this next spring so don't cut off too much green this year.
***Keep in mind sometimes with larch it is best to abandon the structure you have and instead cut the whole plant back to its lowest point and regrow for the taper and fine branching otherwise you are stuck with the heavy branches and no taper. During this developmental time you can work the roots. If you instead chose to develop it as is chose you structure using as fine of branches as you have and slow it way down in a small pot in the next couple of years. They are fun to grow.
 

JudyB

Imperial Masterpiece
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#3
If you can get hold of a copy of Bonsai Today issue 79, there is a good Colin Lewis article about larch. And that book you are getting is good as well.
Listen to Crust, the crust knows of which he speaks....

And have fun with it!
 
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Grand Rapids, MI
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#5
Depends on preference, I suppose. I will say that I don't have too much wiring experience, but I've heard from more than one person that summer is best as you don't have to worry about covering/damaging dormant buds.
 

JudyB

Imperial Masterpiece
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#6
I wire mine during the late winter and take it off when it starts to grow after bud break, as they swell so quick in the spring. I've wired in summer before, but it's easier to do when it's leafless.
 
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#7
I wire mine during the late winter and take it off when it starts to grow after bud break, as they swell so quick in the spring. I've wired in summer before, but it's easier to do when it's leafless.
I concur with What Judy says. I do all my detail wiring late winter. Some people will wire in dormancy then bend in spring when growing--that's safer. I do this with with mega major bends only.
 
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Location
IL
USDA Zone
6
#9
I did some basic trimming and clean up on this larch last week.Now im going to let it grow and recover the rest of this year and wire late winter next year and reduce roots next spring then look at what branches to keep,jin or remove.Any help or thoughts welcomed
 

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Location
Illinois
USDA Zone
5
#11
Hey Kid, I think I've asked you before, but where are you in Illinois?
I've had others tell me, I'm also in Illinois, that larch don't do well here.
I'm in the central part of the state, Bloomington/Normal.
 
Messages
134
Likes
3
Location
IL
USDA Zone
6
#13
Its growing like a weed and no ill affects it gets morning sun till about noon then part sun to shade.i think some shade and a little extra water the 2 months we get hot itll be ok.
 
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