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Classroom Corner – Dave’s Larch..Drastic pruning step by step….

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.

Classroom Corner –┬áDave’s Larch..Drastic pruning step by step….
Dave brought in this Larch to the midweek class held earlier this week. The tree obviously has some age to it and the trunk is quite impressive given that it is around Chuhin size. The problem is basically with the branch structure.
IMG_3936The primary branches are all substantial which helps promote a feeling of greater age and maturity in the tree. It is an ongoing problem with Larch in general that the bark and branches thicken up very quickly and need to be replaced, especially those near the apex. You have to be prepared to select buds/young shoots and let them grow to eventually replace existing branches which have become too thick.
Some of the primary branches here are too long. The secondary branches are too thick in many areas and the internodes on the thinner side branches are generally too long. The overall appearance of the branch structure and growth on this tree is somewhat too coarse.
The tree needs to be drastically pruned back to the basic structure so that side branches and shoots can be re-grown in scale with the tree. We can then achieve a much more refined appearance with both the summer and winter images.
The sequence of pictures below will take you through the pruning carried out in the order in which each branch was pruned. Dave has a slightly more compact tree to take home after the class…..nothing new here then!!!…..but hopefully the basis for a better tree in the future.
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