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TOPIC: Just bought a (tall) Japanese Larch (Diana)

Just bought a (tall) Japanese Larch (Diana) 1 year 7 months ago #30738

Hi there!
Another newbie here! This is my first post and I hope someone can help.
Last year I thought I'd get in to Bonsai and took the quick route by buying some nursery stock to make a quick bonsai or two. I didn't go too well. Like many beginners, I rushed into it and pruned a Juniper too much which died, wired a Hornbeam and left the wire on too long. So this year, I thought I'd better take some advice from the pros!

I saw a really nice looking Japanese Larch at my local garden centre. It was the only one they had so I bought it. The only problem is it's 90 cm tall! I'd like to know what you all would do with it. I'll try and attach a few photos to help.
I've not done anything with it but bring it home. I don't really know if I should prune this right now. I hope someone can help.
Thanks.
Mark

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  • Brom
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Just bought a (tall) Japanese Larch (Diana) 1 year 7 months ago #30742

Hm.. Why did you buy it if you have no idea what to do with it?

I would probably cut it ay down, allow some side-branches to grow out, and get a bit more trunk on it. Or you can cut to the lowest branch, and start working on a final appearance. Up to you, decide how bit a tree you are after and in which style. After that, better advice can be given.
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Just bought a (tall) Japanese Larch (Diana) 1 year 7 months ago #30744

It looks like you have some good starting material. The trunk is skinny for my taste and the taper of the trunk is minimal. On the good side you have a lot of lower branches and that will help you thicken it up. Doing this along with letting it grow will help thicken the trunk. Without seeing the larch in person you are probably 5-10 years from it being a good bonsai. It has a fast growth rate which is nice.

I would suggest this journal post from Nick Lenz about Larch. If you google Nick Lenz include bonsai in the search because there is another one that did some bad stuff. Also Nick is very big into the "Art of Bonsai" type of work.
bonsaijournal.com/larch-with-taper.php

If it was me, I would plant it in the ground (or if that is not possible, a slightly larger planter), Cut it back and create a new lead, and fertilize it.
My favorite B.Empire post about working the trunk.
www.bonsaiempire.com/blog/bonsai-trunk-creation
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Just bought a (tall) Japanese Larch (Diana) 1 year 7 months ago #30747

Bonsai Bender wrote: My favorite B.Empire post about working the trunk.
www.bonsaiempire.com/blog/bonsai-trunk-creation


Thx. My original series is here: www.growingbonsai.net/cats/growing/trunks/
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Just bought a (tall) Japanese Larch (Diana) 1 year 7 months ago #30777

Thanks Leatherback and Bonsai Bender for replying. Leatherback, I've just noticed you are in Northern Germany. I'm a British expat in Cologne.
Anyway, thanks for the advice. It seems that planting the tree in a bigger pot may be the best thing to do right now to promote trunk growth. Planting in the ground isn't possible. Being a newcomer, I'm hesitant about cutting it back correctly. Could I simply place the tree in a large pot for a year without doing anything? I'm tending towards having a larger style bonsai that's maybe 50cm tall.
If I put the tree in a large pot, what kind of soil would be best? Also, I saw some fertiliser labeled as 6+4+5. Would this be suitable?
Thanks again for the advice.
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Just bought a (tall) Japanese Larch (Diana) 1 year 7 months ago #30793

Brom, look for bonsai.museum dusseldorf. That is some 2 hrs from you. For sure they can help you hands on. Thursdays i think they are in the open door mood. This is where i go to school nowadays
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Just bought a (tall) Japanese Larch (Diana) 1 year 7 months ago #30868

As planting in the ground isn't possible, what size pot would you pick? The round pot it's in is 40cm wide by 17cm high. Are deeper pots better or should I keep to the wider but shallow style for maximum trunk growth?
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Just bought a (tall) Japanese Larch (Diana) 1 year 7 months ago #30869

I would go wider rather than deeper because you want the roots to grow out and not down (preferably).
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Just bought a (tall) Japanese Larch (Diana) 1 year 7 months ago #30871

Thanks again. Any particular soil recommendations?
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Just bought a (tall) Japanese Larch (Diana) 1 year 7 months ago #30911

Nice project to watch
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