Good Morning Bonsai Lovers;
I’m thinking about expanding my species in my collection. Is there different questions ? I should ask myself before purchasing any of them ? I,m looking at Pacific Hemlock and/or Larch. Larch mainly because of the deciduous color in the winter
I have asked around and nobody seems to know anything about these species. Is it b/c the Bay Area environment is not the suited for these species?
or should I be asking different questions? I am in 10A – climate chart and the coolest temperatures are a week or two at 36 - 34 degrees all year in January
I’ll chime in with my own personal experiences. Based on what I’ve heard about Hemlock, I’m not sure that 10A would be the greatest environment. I’ve heard that they like to have very cool roots and like their cold winters, I’m not sure that is something 10A would be able to offer.
I think Larch would be more tolerant to that zone, although I think you’ll have to be very mindful about watering regiments. They move a lot of water and can get fried very quickly in extreme heat and dry conditions. Even here in the PNW I worry about Larix in pots - you have to keep a close eye on their delicate foliage. I would think that you’d probably have more success with Larch than Hemlock FWIW.
I think you’re also not seeing much discussion about those species in that area because of the zone issues. There are ample Tsuga and Larix to be had here in the PNW (Portland, OR, to be specific). They’re commonly collected by those in the area. I think there is a fair amount of discussion and visibility for the species here - primarily because these are common trees to find in our backyards, parks and forests.
As mentioned before, Western Hemlocks may fare better than Mountain Hemlocks in your region, but it might be a stretch for your region. It might be that people haven’t experimented with those two species yet in your region.
Maybe ask around as to what elongating species might do well in your region. Maybe a coastal redwood. Doug firs range all the way down to the Bay Area too. Maybe a white fir would work.