Stunning yamadori larch

Newest addition to my collection. A yamadori larch (Larix laricina), collected in May 2016. About 3" trunk, incredibly aged bark, stunning movement, super healthy. I could style it now but I feel I need some time to consider the best front and angle - not necessarily the one shown in the picture.

Here is a little video. Suggestions for front and angle are welcome.


Hey Rafi, are you asking for suggestions or do you just want to soak it in?

1 Like

I updated the post with a video and asking suggestions for front and angle…

1 Like

That’s a great tree. The wonderful trunk gives several viewing possibilities so maybe front comes down to where the tree can best and least obscuringly “bow to the observer” while hiding the minimum amount of trunk. Would this be considered Literati? If so does it need to bow forward? After another good look with the great length of bare trunk would say is Literati but question of bowing still remains. To me. How about the front being at “about” the back right corner of the pot, This shows great movement at current planting angle without trunk “stabbing” from pot toward viewer but going away instead.


What an incredible serpentine trunk line. The design that came to me was semi cascade related to how the tree emerges from the soil and then the first sharp curve downwards. There are lots of informal uprights out there but few good cascades. Those tight curves keep the foliage close to the focal points of those amazing trunk curves. That is great that you provided a video so that we can see the tree from all sides. Everyone asking for design suggestions should do that. I like the front from the still shot - moving to the right. For one thing, you could use the jins at the front. I think I would develop only the first branch and remove the rest. How flexible is this branch? Great tree Rafi. Good luck with it.


My suggestion is to start by eliminating everything you know you absolutely don’t want in any final design possibility. If find this prelimary work can help illuminate the best front/angle for me. For example that thick branch stub coming inward from the first sharp curve in the trunk. A Jin seems nonsensical in this position and you already have a smaller nicer looking Jin on the outside of the curve. And it is just obscuring the nice movement of the trunk currently. Unless you’re New front and planting angle makes sense with keeping some portion of it. Though I think it will have to be reduced in size at the very least. This stub:

After cleaning up what seems unnecessary for any design possibility, I would suggest propping up the pot on blocks or whatever in as many different planting angles as possible and then just standing back with a glass of wine and seeing if anything grabs you. I feel that with material with these kind of sharp curves there are a lot of directions you could take it, but that it would especially look good as a semi cascade or cascade of some sort, because you’ve got the hairpin turn as the first turn in the trunk. I was thinking something like this design could really maximize the material. Blue is the new “pot” green is an approximation of what the foliage mass could look like.

Nice tree man! Wish it was mine! :joy:


Thanks @Mike_Hennigan! That stub is definitely coming out, I just don’t know how thin or if at all I will leave a tiny jin there that is proportional to the others but does not close the beautiful negative space of that sharp turn. I like the front you propose as the trunk base has some gentle counter clockwise rotation to it that I think is a nice feature. The only problem with this front is perhaps that the last section of trunk is going backwards and all the foliage is far away but I suppose it is something that can be dealt with with one more runt forward of the flexible branches. It may take some years to get there but It will be a stunning tree.


@rafi yea I thought that may be an issue. Consider tilting that semicascade planting angle forward a bit (toward the viewer). This may help. Otherwise I would also consider the opposite side of the tree, 180 degrees to the back as a possible front since you will still see much of the same movement from there. Looking forward to seeing how you develop this!


@rafi was this a collection you made or another collector? it is one hell of a tree. @Mike_Hennigan i really like your planting idea.

1 Like

It is someone else and I purchased it from a second person who bought the tree off the collector. So I’m the third owner - lucky me - and it hasn’t been styled yet.

1 Like

An incredible Larch! I love it. The proposed planting angle based on the picture and idea by Mike looks really interesting. Collected in the US?


Thanks @MattSfromMI, it was collected near Sept Iles, about 10 hours drive north of Montreal.