Design and Critique #10 – Larch

Larch bonsai critique and design

Masculine vs Feminine:

I feel this is a masculine tree due to the thick flakey bark and dead wood at the top. The big thick pads help to push me in that direction as well. While typically round pots lend themselves to feminine design, I don’t think this pot strikes me as a feminine pot. I’m not a huge fan of the pot (or what I can see of it) and would like to see it in a more rectangular pot with some gradual curves or lines to it.


The balance in this Larch is fantastic. The trunk curves first to the right and then to the left past the center line of the tree. Then it is balanced well by the foliage coming back to the right to counterbalance the weight of the trunk on the left. I’m not a huge fan of the branch on the left, but I think that branch is what helps it to maintain balance so well. On top of that, the tree leans forward just enough to appear normal while helping it to display itself well.


There is a little foliage blocking the jin on the upper portion of the trunk. I wish I could see it more clearly.

Some of the foliage has downward growing needles and would look much better if they were plucked for the display

A shot with better lighting would help to show off this tree with more detail in the trunk.***

Also the obligatory comment that this tree, like many aren’t photos sent for display, but just common photos of trees. This is honestly an amazing tree and the process of critiquing and judging the display is almost always a process of nitpicking, even the amazing trees.

***Turns out I just saw this posted on the bonsai subreddit and it is Tony Tickle’s Larch. Here it is with better lighting and a great shot of the pot that I think much higher of now that I can see it.

Next Up: Olive

olive bonsai tree on display

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