Collected larch design - Apex decision

Hello everyone, this is my first message on this forum and I am pleased to discuss with the Mirai community ! I am from Montreal, Canada so I represent, like a few others already, the Canadian bonsai folks.

I am presenting a collected Larch (larix decidua) that is very inclined. It has been let growing wild in its pot for two years to gain strength. I attach a picture before cleanup. I am planning to tilt it towards the vertical.

The second picture shows the tree after cleanup and inclined. I plan to compact the middle section and extend the bottom branches.

I am not sure what to do for the Apex. I see two viable options:

  1. Jin the top branch and build a canopy/apex from the top of the middle section.
  2. Wire and compact the top branch to build an apex that blends with the remainder of the tree.

I am leaning towards the option (1) - Jin the top branch, considering the diameter of the base to keep the tree in proportions. Current height of tree is 24 in from base to top. If I do option (1), the height would be reduced to 12-14 inches.

What are your thoughts ?

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Here is the tree inclined and cleaned up.


Hello and welcome to Mirai.
Proposing move in the contrary direction. Lean down?

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hi and welcome !

Beautiful tree, the middle branch does not convince me. perhaps because it creates a line parallel to the ground and does not recall an alpine landscape.
if I took it upwards it would be more harmonious in my opinion.

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So I’m guessing this? Great tree :drooling_face:if it was just those 2 options I’d compact and Jin the top. But it looks very interesting and more angles would be helpful if you want advice :+1: cascade sounds good


As antelion suggested, I lean down the tree and took more pictures. It looks interesting as well and removes that obvious parallel line that Eros93 mentionned.

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Here is a side view, You can see how the bottom branches belong to the lower trunk and the top branches belong to the top trunk,

Finally a top view. So the question is now: If I go with the “lean down” option which is good (thanks @antelion), how should I build my Apex.

(1) using the far right branch by wiring it to the front.
(2) jin the right branch and use the existing twigs on the middle plane to build a canopy

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I like the image that is leaned to the right. I see a somewhat windswept tree. This also opens up the option of ground layering where it splits to develop a nice wide base.

@MartyWeiser I really like the idea to push the tree to the ground. This tree has no real taper from the base to the split junction. Ground layering the tree at the split junction would address this issue. The tree would become a mix of windswept and multi-trunk/clump style tree, not following traditional design but a more natural design. This tree could happen in the far north, in an open field beaten by wind and snow loads.

I did a photo edit to show what it would look like. Left branches are compacted and wired down. The far right branch is wired up to be later converted into jin. New branches will be grown on the right to fill the space.

I really like your story of the tree - I find that creating the story of the tree helps me with the design, particularly when it is not a conventional design. I was thinking more along the line shown in the picture below for the ground layering to preserve the jin on the right. However, after I rotated the image I see that the smaller trunk is now near vertical which may or may not be a good thing.

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