Pseudolarix amabilis golden larch
The small leaves of the Golden Larch are bright green, and turn a brilliant golden yellow shade before falling in the autumn; the leaves are arranged spirally, widely spaced on long shoots, and in a dense whorl on the short shoots. Reddish brown bark is found on younger trees turning grayish brown with some ridge and furrowing as the tree ages. Golden Larch is said to be one of the best deciduous conifers for autumn color. The Golden Larch also has small purple-green cones that turn golden brown in the fall.
When weather is severe in the winter, the Golden Larch demands protection. This bonsai will produce shorter, more compact needles in cooler climates, and in hot and humid conditions, their needles will be longer. The golden larch handles humid heat well; this being said, it does very well outdoors during the warmer months, but also does well indoors if provided with enough humidity to combat the dry conditions found indoors in the winter. However, it is desirable to let the tree overwinter with ample protection in a frost free protected location such as a cold frame or storage shed.
This bonsai will enjoy being positioned where it can receive ample morning sun and afternoon shade, or dappled shade all day. In order to prevent leave scorch, you will need to protect your Golden Larch bonsai in the summer by placing them in the shade of a larger tree.
Larches love water and the Golden Larch is no exception, even though it is not really a Larch. They are the perfect conifer for those who find watering an enjoyable occupation. Be sure to keep this bonsai evenly moist, watering every day from April through October, and two times a day during the heat of summer to ensure that it doesn’t dry out. This bonsai will benefit from a humidity tray filled with stones so that the roots will benefit from needed moisture without suffering from being waterlogged which can lead to root rot. Your Golden Larch is not drought tolerant, so if travel is of necessity, be sure to make arrangements for bonsai care while you are away.
Between April 1 and mid-July, you will want to fertilize this young and vigorous specimen about four times a month with a mild liquid organic fertilizer diluted to one-fourth the recommended strength. Starting in late summer, you will want to use a low-nitrogen fertilizer to strengthen the tree for the coming winter.
Pruning / Training:
The Golden Larch should be pruned in the spring when its leaf buds are ready to sprout and the bare branches can still be seen taking great care to avoid knocking off the new buds. The branches of this bonsai will thicken rapidly and wire should be inspected regularly to ensure it is not damaging the bark. Old branches can be successfully wired as long as protection with raffia is provided to avoid marking the rough bark. This bonsai tends to be quite flexible and takes to wiring easily and are beautiful in all forms of bonsai except the broom style.