As part of my training at the Dusseldorf Bonsai Werkstatt, in early 2020 I put together a larch forest. The work done included a lot of extreme rootwork, heavy pruning and light wiring. As such, the forest was left alone for most of the last 2 years. They are now fully established and it is time to work on the trees again.
In a forest planting, it is important to work with a range of ages and sizes, to avoid boring plantation-style forests of equal-sized trees. This forest consists of a bunch of young plants, and 2 mature larch, taken from a partially dies old forest planting. The younger plants were purchased from a local nursery, growing in bulk, selling them in bundles of 25 pieces each. These were grown for 3 or so years and standard nursery stock.
About bonsai group plantings
When putting a forest together, it is worth taking a step back and verifying you can see each of the trees. Rule of thumb is that the two biggest trees are next to each other. Smaller trees are placed in the back of the planting. This adds the feeling of depth. Distances between the trees should be variable, with some very close to each other, and others further apart. In order to position the trees close to each other, the roots were severely pruned back and using wires the individual trees were put in their position. As such, the trees were mostly left alone for the last 2 years allowing the roots to recover.
After 2 years of growing out and basic maintenance pruning, it is time for a more structural, rejuvenating prune, reducing the top growth and setting it up for further growing out in the years to come.