How Do You Make a Larch Bonsai Forest?

Larch Forest Work, Day 3, The Bonsai Zone, Jan 2022

As always thanks for your great videos. My advice is to put a submersible uv-c light tube in your rain water barrels. It will kill any algae that promote the growth of lichen and algae on soil and bark. I use it in my fish/wildlife pond and it’s very effective, particularly in the heat of summer when the algae spreads the most. These low power uv-c light are not expensive and should keep on just sometimes, not necessarily continuously.

Yesterday i spent the whole afternoon scrubbing lycan off the trunks and the branches of the trees and today i’m going to continue i was using a spray bottle and a toothbrush to scrub all the lichen off the trunks and the branches of the trees and i noticed by mid-afternoon the lichen was turning like this really bright vibrant green color i guess i it really must have liked that water i was spraying on it and now i come out today and everything looks quite normal like if you looked at these trees you wouldn’t say they’re covered in like and you would just say oh it’s got a bit of lichen on it it’s really toned down just after one day so i think you know when i spray it with water again it’ll probably turn all bright green again this afternoon the lykan seems to really like that misting of water here’s a look at one of the back trees and it’s covered with kind of a yellowish lichen on it i’m going to spray it down and then we’ll check back in on this tree later this afternoon and see if it’s changed see if that lichen is actually kind of puffed up and grown so here i go with the sprayer so this is the before and i don’t know is it my imagination or is it greened up already sure looks greener to me now that’s amazing a little more water on there this is just rain water i’m using there’s no fertilizer or anything in it i don’t know that just looks greener to me right now like almost instantly so i’m gonna leave that tree until last to scrub it down so we’ll come back later this afternoon and see if it looks much different i’m going to start on this little entry today so i’ll rotate the planting around kind of get that tree up front where i can reach it get it sprayed down nicely and then i’ll get the toothbrush and begin scrubbing so i’ll just keep scrubbing away get this first tree done and i’ll show you each tree as i as i finish it and again it might take me a long time it takes about an hour per tree but it’s well worth doing i think it’s good to get the lichen off i’m sure it’ll grow back again i’ll be doing this operation again maybe even next year i don’t know i’ll keep track and see how long it takes for it to get thick again i’ve got the entry all lichen free now i can see some branches on here that will need some addressing they’re starting to get quite thick i’ll have to reduce the vigor on them try and balance them a bit so yeah so there’ll be some pruning work coming up after all this cleanup work i’m making good progress just four trees to go what a peaceful sunday afternoon just me and the crows it’s tricky work getting in between all these branches and that’s why it takes so long per tree some of the liking comes off easily some doesn’t i am moving right along i’ve got this tree at the back done so i have three more so i’m going to do this one and the one over here and this is the one i was going to leave to last to see how green the lichen gets i’ve got the forest turned around so you’re seeing the back of it now so the next tree i’ll be working on is this one right here [Music] all right let’s start up top here a very thick layer of lichen on this tree wow and it’s nice to see the sun out today it came out this morning and then it kind of clouded over and i thought oh sure would be nice to have sun in the plant room this afternoon and then it came out again so hopefully it’ll stay out get those uh tropical trees a bit of sun today it’s very cold in the greenhouse today the sun is just about to hit the greenhouse and that’ll warm it up quite a bit you can see all the frost on the windows and on the roof so the temperature today inside is 8.3 degrees celsius or 46.9 degrees fahrenheit outside it’s -7 or 18 degrees fahrenheit so it’s pretty cool in here i’ve got the heater running when i’m not videoing which helps a bit but it’s still pretty cold on the old hands here so i’m working away i’ve got my second last tree almost done got a few more branches to get the lichen off on that and then it’ll be tackling the last tree in the forest i’ve got all the trees cleaned of the lichen except for that one you can see how bright bright a green it is it’s almost like a fluorescent green or satellite green color it’s quite amazing i i really like liking i hate scraping it off but i think it’s just building up too thick and affecting the health of the trees just covering up the branches and the buds and i think this will hopefully help me get back budding by removing all this lichen there’s a look at the lichen up close so yeah quite a green color i’ve got to take it off now i’ve got to do the last tree the sun is now shining in the greenhouse i noticed that all of my windows are frosted up from the cold and the sun isn’t as strong because it has to go through the glass layer and then the ice layer so i’m kind of getting diffused light in the greenhouse so i’m not sure how warm it’ll get in here this afternoon i hope it gets warm in here because it’s getting mighty cold on the old hands i’ve got one more tree to go so i’ll get to it here’s one last look at the green lichen before i scrub it off it almost glows it is very very amazing wow the only green tree in the forest my cold bluing solution for my tools is on order it still hasn’t come in yet i’m still waiting for it so hopefully soon and i can get back to doing some of my tools restoring them getting them all ready and sharp for spring i have finished brushing all the lichen off all the trees now it was a big job but it was really worthwhile i think the trees are going to look fantastic this summer when you can actually see the bark on them let’s go in and have a look at the trees so here they are you can see the main tree out front there is the bark is drying on it you can see how the bark is starting to crack on it all the branches there’s a lot of work scrubbing that all down but yeah definitely worth it get all those trunks and branches cleaned up so my next step i’ve got to come down to the landscape so i started clearing away moss at the base of this tree so i’ve got to do it for all the other trees i don’t want this moss climbing up and i was looking at this other tree i don’t know what happened over here you can see it looks like there was some bark over it and when the bark fell off it looked like it was kind of rotted or chewed under there none of the other trees have any rotting on them so i don’t know what happened there i’m just not sure so i’ll keep an eye on it i don’t think it’s any major concern but it’s something there very interesting i noticed a lot of branches on the tree that need pruning where they divide from one to three some of the branches i mentioned were getting a little long maybe like that one so i’ve got some pruning and sorting out to do usually i leave that to later in spring but i might do some major like try and get the major branch work done now and then leave all the fine tip pruning for later on so if i’m going to remove a branch or you know cut a long branch back it’s a good time to do it now so i’ll keep working away i’m going to clear away the moss at the base of each tree that’ll be my next step in cleaning up this forest i’m coming in with the tweezers and just pulling the moss away from the base of each tree you can see how it’s starting to climb up the trunk and it’ll hold too much moisture against that bark and it could rot it out so i’m going to make sure you can see that nice root flare so it might involve you know clearing a fair amount of moss away it’s really grown in amazing i guess just like the lycan it just likes this environment here’s a look at all the moss i’ve cleared away from the base of the trees so there’s a look at the main tree moss free at the base the one behind it continuing over here so just clearing it all away i’ve got a lot of landscape work to do too um reestablishing my dry riverbed in the middle here pruning the moss up it’ll be a lot of fun really looking forward to it so yeah that’ll be coming up probably tomorrow i finished removing all the moss from around the base of all the trees i think i’m going to switch gears i’m going to finish removing all the needles that are falling down on top of the moss getting ready for tomorrow where i’ll be doing all the creative landscape work i’m thinking of relocating my drives my dry stream bed here more centrally located between these two trees it may involve moving one of those moss bushes so a lot of landscape work i’ll really step back and have a good look at it and kind of decide where i want to go so that’ll be coming up i was cleaning up needles in this area and i thought i better clean out all the excess moss this is my kind of dry stream bed and this is sort of the flood plain down here and it was covered with moss and all kinds of weeds debris so i was just cleaning all that out i think it’s important to have variation on your forest floor i’ve got kind of a dry stream bed area there i’ve got mossy areas i’ve got rocks and all these little details add to the realism of the forest and it also makes it more interesting so you’re it takes longer to explore it and see all the details that’s what i want i want someone to look at the forest and then they bend down and they look at all the details and all the trees and the shadows the trees create and all the little details that make the forest look like a miniature forest it’s getting late in the afternoon the sun will be setting behind the fence soon so the light will be going away so i thought i’d show you the progress on the forest all right let’s fly in you can see the trunks of the trees and the branches are all clean of lichen looking nice you can see it’s starting to turn more of that gray color now the landscape it’s slowly getting there i’ve been doing a lot of cleaning out of my river my dry riverbed here still picking away needles off the moss but i really enjoy doing the landscape work so yeah this dry riverbed kind of comes up here it’s very close to that one tree and i was thinking maybe more in the middle would look better kind of have it start like it is and then come over and up so i might have to move that one moss bush back there which i can do um there’s a couple of times over the past few years a squirrel has knocked them off they come in here and digging or a bird or something and i find this moss bush lying on the ground or the bench and i just put it back in position and slowly the moss grows back in and it reattaches itself so you can see you know they’re kind of that one’s attached so is that one but they could be pulled off easily and relocated so i’ll continue with the uh clean up of the needles until my light fails but i think this is going to be it for tonight for the video i’ll just work away by myself until it gets a little darker out the days are definitely getting longer now we’re about halfway through winter i had a lot of fun working on my large forest today getting it all cleaned up it made a lot of progress so tomorrow will be day four for the larch forest where i’ll be doing a lot of that creative work on the landscape it should be fun so that’s all for today i’m nigel saunders thanks for joining me in the bonsai zone [Music]

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