The Tickled larch

Seeing growth in all of the shoots I left on the tree since the first styling I decided to make the tree more compact.

Starting state:









The photo on the right shows quite a mess in branch structure I left last time. Growth was everywhere but it deteriorated the state as almost all branches became too long. There was plenty of places where more than 2 branches start from the same location.

Removing the wire didn’t help at all. Almost all the branches returned to their original shape. The trunk was the main problem as being so thick did not want to stay where it was supposed to and it was clear the wiring had to stay for much longer time with stronger growth. Having thick wires around the trunk already stopped me creating jins where I wanted to so I decided to handle this a different way.

In his advanced styling course Colin Lewis tells clearly: “We don’t do ugly”. I like that. Especially that my skills are not yet in the shape to always do it like he says 😀

The technique explained and I used here was to use the guy wire but the wire would not be tied to another piece of tree or pot but would be thread through a whole in trunk/branch. Details are very well explained in the course. Here is the result:









The trunk drilling and guy wire installation was followed by:

  • Shortening branches heavily (each tip was left with the last 2 buds)
  • Creating and treating jins
  • Wiring of all branches again

The end result:


The view from the top (the trunk looks straight here but it has a bend perpendicular to the view line now so it is not visible in the photo below):

And here a 360 view:

next to consider
  • A left branch in the upper part of the tree is still way too long. Might be I don’t actually even need it but decided to leave it for this season.
  • The lower part of trunk might become one huge jin at one moment. Not sure about it yet, I kind of like this dragon style of the tree at the moment with white jins showing like teeth.
  • Pot, too deep due to problematic root system. The trunk splits into 2 quite long pieces which didn’t allow me to pot it deep enough even in this pot which I made for this tree knowing the dimensions. Maybe at one moment later on a new pot would fit better but for the moment I am OK with it, I actually even like it 🙂

On the below photos is the result of playing with the “exhibition concept” 😀 The bottom photo has the tree in slightly better position and the top one has the scroll in better location and nicer lighting which reveals the horisontal surface which to me looks better considering there is a scroll in the background.


And a trial with the wooden stand, not really a bonsai stand. It doesn’t really fit to this composition but I anyway tried:


The Larches

Both larches I have I brought from Manchester, Tony Tickles Burrs Bonsai Workshop. One of them I bought for the workshop which Tony found and arranged for me (Thanks Tony!). The other one I got from Mikey (Thanks Mikey!).

Both of the trees were outside most of the winter and a short time period in the cold frame. I took them out end of March but we had so terribly slow Spring this year that only about 10 days ago it got substantially warmer and nights above zero so their wake up was very very slow. I waited for some foliage to grow to take the first photos.

Here they are!

The “Tickled” larch

As the tree was arranged by Tony for me I named it the “Tickled” one 🙂

I modified the branches/wiring and cut some out since the workshop. I left too many too long, being too scared. It is better now, I think.


I just love this tree!!! 🙂


More jins to be done next year. Now they serve as anchors for wiring so I couldn’t carve them.

The pot I did myself 🙂 The clay I used was “Terrazzo Blue” and was supposed to have blueish spots on light grey background. When I just got it from the oven it looked so blue that I thought it is a disaster. Luckily the color faded away after couple of watering. I wanted some blue color so when the autumn comes with orange/yellow foliage color those should fit together. Time will show if I was right. I am satisfied with the pot though the leg didn’t come out so well, too dominant. But for now it stays there.

I had some problems while potting the tree. It had incredible roots but the trunk split in 2 directions under the soil surface. I had to shorten it somewhat to fit into the pot. The tree itself is a little bit too high in it, should go deeper but it just didn’t fit. Next re-potting I will try to shorten it more to get it deeper. Like it is now the negative taper is visible in the beginning of the trunk which was under the soil in the old pot.20170429_105914








I also had issues to stabilize the tree which I didn’t solve the best way.


The “Mikey” Larch

This larch is now in a wrong pot but was the only one which fitted its size. I cut off a part of the top of the tree as it was too heavy in my opinion. Almost all branches I brought more down. After the modification I realized that I love this tree too! 🙂 The “nebari” is non existent and some work to be done in the years to come…if anything succeeds. The tree looks much better in nature.


Below is not so successful photo from slightly above.



From the very beginning the foliage of these 2 trees differed in color. I thought it to be just difference in light but it wasn’t. Here is how the foliage looks when compared:


The “Tickled” one has more blueish foliage. The “Mikey” one more light green. According to this link the “Tickled” one is a Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi) while the “Mikey” one is a European larch (Larix decidua). I somehow doubt the other one is really decidua, rather it is a cross-over of both of these.

Anyway, I am glad I have 2 different ones.

I am very satisfied with both of the trees! They look great (much better than the photos) and more ramification will make great trees of them I believe.