Start Your Own Bonsai Larch Forest

Larch Forest Work, Day 5 Final, The Bonsai Zone, Jan 2022

I really enjoyed all of the work on this Larch forest!! That sand really adds a lot to the landscape. I’m going to start some forests from seed this Spring and I can’t wait till they look as nice as yours. Also going to attempt at making some moss bushes.

Hi everyone nigel saunders here welcome back to part four of working on my large bonsai forest in parts one to three of this series i cleaned up all the needles off of the trees and the forest floor i scrubbed all the lychen off the trunks i did some pruning to some of the branches and the apex of some of the trees and then i started to lay out the stream bed coming through the middle of the forest so today i’ll continue with that work my dry stream bed will snake through the forest and down to the edge of the pot and it’s made to resemble a stream you would see in spring in the mountains when all the snow is melting and you get these little streams that run down the mountainside i’ll show you some pictures of mountain streams off of the internet and you’ll get an idea of what i’m after that stream kind of snaking its way through a rocky mountainside [Music] i left off yesterday’s video by going outside and getting rocks from my rock collection that i thought would be suitable for my little mountain stream there’s no right or wrong way to arrange the stones you just gotta arrange them so it looks good to you so i’m just trying various rocks out i do like the direction of my path i don’t like the top i think i need something happening at the top i want my stream to kind of disappear behind and still look like it’s going uphill that’s the problem i don’t want it rounding over the crest so i don’t know i may have to dig this out a bit more kind of create a bit of a channel where the river runs that might look good i’ll try it we’ll see how many roots are in there first of all it looks like just some fine roots i don’t think i could make that too much deeper yeah i think there’s too many roots from this tree to kind of make it any deeper so i’m looking i’m looking for interesting rocks to put up at the apex i don’t really want these rounded ones the rounded rocks may look good in the stream down lower so that looks kind of good you know my river disappears behind these rocks i’m going to try building up the hill a little higher in this area so i’ll add some soil just with the spoon the highest point of the planting was always over here which makes sense it’s behind the you know the main tree the planting but i think i can build this up higher here and it’ll make my stream look better hopefully try it out and see what it looks like okay that’s about as high as i can get it before it starts running off the back of the planting i’ll give that new soil a water just to kind of help hold it in place now i’ll try out some interesting rocks up here try and get a good combination of rocks that looks good there’s so many possibilities that one’s not bad it kind of has that canyon effect because it’s got a kind of a vertical edge on it i think it’s going to take me a while to place and position all the rocks in the planting so i’m going to work away and we’ll come back when i’ve got something that i think is maybe getting close to the final arrangement i’ve got an arrangement roughed in place now that i’m 80 happy with it i think there’s some good stuff happening i position that moss bush out front here it needs a bit of trimming up to look good but i think other than you know removing it i think that’s the only place it can go right out front which i’m not sure i’m not sure i like it that far out front it’s kind of like maybe the first thing you notice so i don’t know maybe i have to move it to another forest maybe my avatar grove or something like that but anyway um i’ve got the stream roughed in place i’m not 100 happy but you know with the rocks i have i think it’s maybe the best selection i can or arrangement i can get so i’ve kind of positioned some moss around the rocks a bit just to try it you know to get a feel for what it’ll look like i think it’s close it’s the kind of thing you know if you collect more rocks and you’ll find some really good ones you can replace them with better rocks in the future but i think it’s it looks like a mountain stream kind of wanders through the center of the forest there all right i’ll uh i’ll start uh finishing it kind of uh putting my moss around doing some final arrangements i’ll trim up that bush up front see if i can get that to look good so i’ve got my curved scissors i can kind of prune it to shape and it would have to go somewhere about here in between this rock and the tree so i’ll i’ll stand back and see if i like it it’s the kind of thing you know maybe it’ll look good maybe it won’t i don’t think it looks good i think it’s too close in texture to the you know the moss around the forest yeah i i don’t like it there it’s too too much in the foreground it should be in the background if anything so i think it just can’t go there it looks better back there maybe that could be the spot for it and then i might need a rock for the front here you may have noticed that it’s snowing outside it’s really light fluffy snow i’ll show you what it looks like all right out we go they were cool like a beautiful winter’s day when i cut the top off the main tree yesterday i had some requests to count the rings i’ve had this forest for about 20 years they were collected by lescheck at a hydro cut area and they were just young kind of seedlings and they’ve been growing a training box and then finally into a bonsai pot so when i counted the rings you can see where it was growing in the ground the rings are quite widely spaced and then as it got into bonsai cultivation the rings get finer and finer and i had to get out the magnifying glass to count them because they’re so tight together when it’s growing as a bonsai so i counted the rings and there’s about 20 in the rings in this trunk area here which is about right because you know it the tree’s probably grown a little taller since it was first collected so yeah about 20 years i placed a rock out front i think that looks much better so i’m just having a look at the whole planting now i rearranged some of the rocks over here too they look a little better like that i think you know once it gets a bit of moss growing in on some of those rocks there i think it’ll look better right now it looks maybe a little heavy on the rocks but it’s not too bad it just needs a little green to fill in those you know all the cracks between the rocks and i think that’ll look quite natural then so the last thing i want to do i want to get some sand and put in my dry stream bed and maybe some small fine gravel too just to cover up that bonsai soil and kind of give it a uniform stream bed look i got my bag of sand from the other greenhouse the cold greenhouse and it’s quite frozen but i think there’s enough on top that i can get a few spoonfuls to put on my uh my pinging yeah it’s quite loose on top here yeah so i’ll get my spoon i’ll shovel out some spoonfuls and put them in the dry stream bed all right here i go with the sand maybe i’ll use the smaller spoon and this is just washed playground sand the kind you would put in a sandbox and i do have some white industrial sand that sometimes i mix the white with the uh playground sand and you get a lighter color sand which looks really good in desert plantings it’s just the right color for desert sand whereas this is a little dark which should look good in this forest so once i wash this with the watering can it’ll kind of flow naturally together let me get another spoonful oh it’s starting to look good now i think i’ll wet that down and see how it looks and then maybe add more to kind of uh finish it off all right here i go with the water you can see how it’s settling in nice i’ll start to add the sand around the water areas here down here okay i think i’m going to try washing that now with the water kind of settling it all in it’ll sort of self level when i apply the water to it all right here i go see how it all levels self levels and settles down there’s a look at how the landscape is looking i think it’s looking quite nice i’ve gotta do a bit of touch-ups here you can see some perlite there which doesn’t look very good so i’ll keep adding a little bit more sand out front here too and down the end it’s kind of low the level i finished applying the sand to the landscape let’s fly in and have a look at it so here it is there’s my stream my mountain stream the runoff area some of the shoreline the rocky mountains so it’s looking nice i think it it’s looking much better than it did before it’s all cleaned up i’ve still got some pruning to go on it i’m going to do that towards spring but yeah it’s really fun doing this kind of work i really enjoy it arranging rocks and making it look all miniature really really fun so for us they take a long time you know there’s a lot of work there’s a lot of trees in a forest and but the rewards are definitely worth it i think to look at the landscape and feel like you’re actually there in amongst the large trees here’s a look at my mountain stream i think it’s a nice feature to have in the forest it gives it kind of a a natural element to the landscape i can almost imagine walking through the forest and watching the water flow down the waterfalls it looks like it would be a nice place to visit i really enjoyed working on the larch forest for the last few videos it’s nice to get your forest all cleaned up and ready for spring if i was to put this forest in a show there’d be even more detailed work i would be doing you know pruning all the moss making sure every rock was perfect and trimming all the trees up nicely so yeah there’s never any there’s no end to the amount of work you can do on a a bonsai forest it’s never ending but it’s really fun work i i really enjoy forests and i i enjoy looking at them and letting your eyes wander through that landscape it’s fantastic and that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone [Music]

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