New Japanese Larch

I just picked up this Japanese Larch. I have watched the Larch videos but am a little lost on what i should do first with this tree as it is much smaller. It is 17 inches tall, 1/2 inch diameter 1 inch from base, and bottom branches are 7 to 9 inches long. I picked this to make an upright formal. I would like to keep it about this height but thicken the trunk and create some nice pads along some of the branches.

Where would you start?

Thanks,
Darryl

1 Like

Darryl - I have a similar one that is a few years further along that yours. I selected branches, trimmed to length, and wired when it was at about the same stage as yours. I repotted into a wider, shallower pot when is started to push buds in the spring (next year for you). I repotted this past week for the second time and did not get it quite vertical. I am starting to form pads and have one very small branch on the left that is behind the others, but it will catch up.

1 Like

I would put it in a root bag and put it in the ground for a few years for development.
This is the best way to achieve overall thickening of the trunk and branches.

1 Like

Marty,
Yes, a very similar tree. That looks very nice and similar to what I want to see in year for mine. I picked this one up after needles had started pushing out, so I figured I needed to wait to do anything with it. I will prune and wire once the new growth starts darkening up. According to Ryan’s videos, it looks like there are three opportunities during the year. Then pot early next year.
My other couple of trees are informal so I haven’t had to worry about shape quite as much. This formal style seems to be a little harder to achieve. How do you work the top to keep it from growing more vertically but also tapered to a point?
Appreciate your help.
Thanks,
Darryl

MtBaker,
Great advice. I have had one of mine in the ground and another in a colander type basket for a couple of years. They both have grown well, but a little wild. Although I would like a little more taper on the trunk, I don’t know if I want to go that route. This one may be a slow and steady project.

Thanks,
Darryl

1 Like

Darryl - For the slow and steady project I would probably use a developmental mix (bark + pumice with a bit of manure) for the first repot to encourage stronger growth. You can then go to a refinement mix in a couple of years (I use 4-1-1 akadama-pumice-lava which works a bit better with my watering than solid akadama). I am still trying to figure out apices. This one just has the tip bent to the side with the goal to slow it down a little.

Marty,
Thanks. I will try that out.

-Darryl