Is it time to prune my larch?

Bases of the growth is starting to turn green. Is it time to do the initial prune? Given my climate I’m going to skip the mid-year pruning to allow the tree to have the foliar mass needed to move water as a cooling mechanism.

They still look a bit soft to me. What difference in response would you anticipate from pruning now v.s. later?

Depends on what you mean by later, but I’m just following the advice given in the larch streams. Ryan said that when the bases start to darken it’s time for the first of three pruning. With larch being so vigorous you have to let it run out its energy and by the third pruning you’ll get ramification.

I won’t be able to achieve three prunings. At best I’ll get two, but if I wait too long on the first pruning the tree will suffer by not having enough foliage to make it through the summers here in SC. My larch is was the first tree to push buds this spring by close to a month. It’s well ahead of my other trees. I just really don’t want to miss the window. I’ll never get as highly refined of a tree as ppl can achieve in cooler climates, but I do want to achieve some level of refinement someday.

I’m comparing your larch to my own and the one Ryan is working on in the May 2019 late spring Growth Management video. The videoed larch appears a darker green but it may well be a difference between outdoor light v.s. indoor studio lighting.
It sounds like your spring is very compact. I really appreciate that the streams are divided into early, mid and late spring as I live with a very long spring and am new to bonsai. The timing of some of these demonstrations must be a little frustrating. Do you think the tree is still in energy deficit or will the new foliage have moved it into an energy positive mode?
I can see that timely pruning is crucial and I suspect that you should proceed. Hopefully someone with similar climactic conditions will respond.

Way too late for plucking; way too early for pruning. Let it elongate until it starts to turn purple, and then trim back to a bud. I pluck my Japanese ALL summer… buds like crazy…
Japanese larch or western… different growth habits. Looks Japanese. neither will grow well in SC.

@KurtP Yeah, Japanese. Several ppl have told me that it won’t grow well here, but Ryan mentioned that someone in Tennessee was able to grow one kind of using the same strat. That being keep it bushy in the summer. I also plan on protecting it from the scorching sun as much as possible. I haven’t heard of larch turning purple. :confused: That’s interesting.

@cab_lad_70 The running joke around here is that we get two weeks of spring and then go straight into summer. :weary: Based on what I’ve learned larch is so vigorous that you’re trying to run out its energy. That’s why it has so many prunings in a year. Only then can you get it to ramify. This is solely based on Ryan’s streams. This is my first larch and my first spring with it, so I’m by no means an expert lol.

It is the stems that start to turn purple or a bit redish as they harden. I have also pinched the new growth all summer and gotten lots of ramification, but not as fine as Ryan was targeting in his stream. I tend to get 1/4 - 1/2" internodes and so many buds at junctions that I just had to cut out a bunch of swelling areas. For the record, Kurt lives a few miles from me and we have nice cold winters for the larch and moderately hot, but dry summers.

Ah, okay. That makes sense. I’ve heard that American/golden larch can grow here, but I’ve never seen it and can’t find anything but seeds online.

Thank you Marty. Purplish stem.
I trimmed my larch today… stray extensions and bud direction. Several largish limbs.

If you look close, it is flowering.
I think I still need to address the apex… it HAS grown out of control.

That’s from today? I guess I’m so used to everything having already pushed down here. I looked at my tree this afternoon and decided that I need to continue building secondaries, so I won’t touch it.

My smaller forest from today…

See anything that needs to be worked on?
It’s blooming, too!