What sort of larch is suitable for a small plot?
Answers Andrey Lysikov:
Compact Trees of the traditional form are easiest to find among the varieties of European larch: for example, l. decidua ‘Compacta’ with wide conical flattened crown.
Weeping and umbrella varieties of larch with drooping down shoots are usually grafted on high pieces (1.5–2.5 m and more). We can safely recommend: the well-known variety l. decidua 'Pendula' with an umbrella crown, 'Puli' - with a lush mop of flowing down shoots, as well as varieties of Japanese larch: 'Stiff Weeping' - weeping, with thick bluish, soft needles and 'Blue Rabbit Weeping' with a similar crown but needles almost blue.
By the way, the name ‘Pendula’ is also the natural form of these species - these are large trees with hanging branches. Do not confuse!
Spherical dwarf Cultivars are usually offered either grafted onto stumps of various heights (resembling round lollipops) or grafted on the ground, and then these small fluffy balls can become a real decoration of a mixborder, gravel garden or alpine slide. Common varieties include l. decidua ‘Globus’, and similar, but more “fluffy” ‘Kornik’, as well as very original and recognizable compact varieties l. kaempferi ‘Gray Pearl’ with silver-gray needles, ‘Blue Ball’ and ‘Blue Dwarf’ with bluish-blue.
Creeping it is a little larch. An interesting example is the ‘Repens’ variety of European larch with branches spread on the ground.
Unusual forms of larch are primarily represented by a group of varieties with curled and twisted branches. For example, as in l. decidua ‘Hortsmann Recurved’ or l. kaempferi ‘Diana’.
Larch: a brief description
Larch (Lárix) is the most common tree representative of the Pine family. In the natural environment, these trees grow to a height of 50 m. They have a slender trunk with a thick brown bark covered with deep furrows. In mature specimens, it can grow in diameter up to 1 m.
Crohn's larch openwork. The branches initially form a cone-shaped shape, and as the tree ages grow, they turn into an oval with a flattened top. On windy areas possible baldness of the north side. The needles are not prickly, bright green, slightly flattened. The length of the needles is up to 4 cm. On long branches, they grow singly or spiral-shaped, and on short branches they are collected in bunches.
In the phase of fruiting culture enters the 10-15th year. Larch size and shape of cones depend on their sex. Male fruits with yellow scales, oval, up to 10 mm long, and female reddish, sometimes scarlet, smaller sizes. Seeds winged. A tree with bare branches winters, adapts well to any frost, and needles reappear in the spring.
Botanists distinguish about 14 species of larch. Almost all of them are cultivated in the Northern Hemisphere. In Ukraine, the arrays of this conifer can be seen in the western part of the Carpathians. The culture adapts well to salt marshes, prefers solar patches, is sensitive to strong winds.
Larch is often found in orchards, mainly European, Japanese, Siberian, less often Dahurian. Ornamental specimens need mulching pristvolnyh circles, loosening the soil and systematic spring fertilization with mineral complex fertilizers. In order to combat parasites and for the prevention of wood is treated with copper sulfate.
The best varieties of Siberian larchSiberian larch (Larix sibirica) is characterized by a smooth, powerful trunk, up to 45 m high, with thick light brown furrow bark, wide light green needles with smoky bloom and branches growing at right angles and large lumpy cones. On young trees, the fruit scales are painted in a rich burgundy color. The size and shape of the Siberian larch cones resemble elongated nuts. The tree is common in Siberia. Differs wind and drought tolerance.
Decorative forms are:
- pyramidal (with a pyramid crown),
- compact (with a dense crown and dense branches adjacent to each other),
- weeping (with loose branches),
- dull (the crown form of this larch is cylindrical, without a pointed tip).
European larch: what variety to choose for planting
European larch (Larix decidua) is common in the western and northern regions of Europe. Prone to intensive development. In its natural environment it reaches up to 50 m, and in our latitudes it reaches only half of that length, has a thick conical crown and a powerful trunk. The needles are bright green. Cones are reddish. Flowering begins in May. The tree adapts on any soil, including limestone and loam, but does not tolerate nearby groundwater. All species of larch prefer subacid substrates.
Many people confuse European and Siberian larch, not understanding what their main differences are. In fact, this breed is characterized by weeping shoots extending from skeletal branches. Young purple or scarlet fruit in the form of a small rose. In addition, the crown can be decorated for years with cones that have not developed seeds. And the Siberian larch before other species loses foliage and, accordingly, decorative. By these signs it is easy to recognize which species a particular larch tree belongs to.
- Kornik - the tree grows up to 1.5 m and in breadth to 1.2 m, has a spherical crown. Short branches are covered with numerous buds, needles are green, up to 3 cm long. Prefers moist fresh soils. Larch Kornik is also cultivated in the stem form.
- Repens is a fast growing tree with a trunk up to 1.5 m high and a crown diameter up to 80 cm. It is cultivated in the form of a stem. Creeping shoots, very flexible and branched. Recommended for small gardens, rock gardens and for container growing.
- Kellermannii is a dwarf bush-like form with thick flexible shoots and thick needles.
Japanese larch (Kempfer): description and photo of varieties for the garden
Japanese larch (Lárix kaémpferi) on the native island of Honshu grows to a height of 35 meters. The crown is wide, pyramidal. The branches are gray, thick, reddish bark. The needles are bluish-green, up to 5 cm long. The fruits are round, firmly supported on the sprouts, they can hang for about 3 years. Prefers sunny areas on loamy and clay soils. It is distinguished from other species by its resistance to shade and urban conditions, its rapid development and extreme decorative effect. In addition, the foliage of this breed falls off later than all other relatives.
- Blue Dwarf is a dwarf tree with a dense spherical crown up to 2 m high and up to 80 cm wide. It develops slowly. More often cultivated on a shtambe. The needles of a bluish tint grow very thick. The tree is well acclimatized on fertile moist soils.
- Diana - different spiral branches and delicate smoky needles. Feels comfortable on drained sandy soils, does not like droughts and stagnant water.
Use in landscape design
Even with minimal effort, a weeping coniferous beauty will change the appearance of the infield. Knowing simple rules, you can root it, both in the group with other plants, and one among the lawn grass. Beginning in April, young needles appear on the tree, and until late autumn the larch is pleased with the look of the garden owners. We offer you several options for an interesting placement of larch, which will make your site unique.
Use different plants to emphasize the beauty of larch.
If you make the pine beauty center of the composition, you can decorate it from all sides with other plants. And it is better if it will be perennial, but not coniferous species.
Around the lonely standing tree, use the lawn
In this place you can always place the lounge chairs or install comfortable wicker chairs.
Weeping larch will look good near a small pond
If there is none, you can create an artificial pond with or without a fountain.
Landscape Designers recommend placing conifers in the east or west of the site.
However, if you chose another place for the tree, it adapts well there as well.
Better in the flower arrangement to use two dominant colors
In the bright colors of plants, larch can get lost and will no longer attract attention. Especially if there are other green neighbors with more attractive foliage among them.
The plant can be used as a hedge
Note that in this case it will be necessary to regularly form the crown on the sides.
If desired, the tree will be an excellent addition to the plants on the alpine slide
Choose plants that make friends with larch, and start creating a rock garden. All species of this conifer, without exception, look interesting surrounded by stones. It is not necessary to place on the slide more than two representatives of this species.
On a trunk, larch looks especially attractive, hanging cascading from an ideal post. By trimming, trimming and systematic shots, the ideal correct shape is formed.
- Coniferous trees can be planted near the lanterns and along the paths.
- The area near the larch can be covered with small pebbles.
Just do not forget that larch does not tolerate abundant moisture. Therefore, it is better to use small pebbles in the sunlit areas.
It looks interesting flowerbed of conifers
It is better to use plants of different geometric shapes. For sprawling larch, an elongated thuja, a creeping juniper, a bush barberry and various types of coniferous trees, which can be given a different shape, are suitable.
Compatibility with other plants, interior items
1. European larch
2. Kotovnik Fassena
3. Spruce spruce
4. Thuja western
5. Blue spruce
6. Korean fir
7. Yew berry
8. Yew berry
9. Viola, Pansy Eyes
10. Weigela blooming
11. Korean weigela
Despite the fact that larch is a well-known individualist, gardeners and gardeners successfully root it among other plants. Here it is important to take into account not only the external combination of different types, but their particular care and requirements for conditions of detention.
Perennials that live in clay and chernozem soils get along well with larch. Among them are hosts, stonecrops, branched ferns. If the colorful, multicolor astilba is planted in the foreground, then the larch tree will look special.
It will be interesting to look green crown weeping coniferous beauty in combination with red foliage broom. Larch can also be surrounded by rhododendrons and azaleas to create a unique design.
In combination with thuja and juniper, this coniferous plant looks very impressive.
Subspecies and varieties of larch
Low-growing species of larch look very impressive on local areas. There are several types of this coniferous tree, which are especially popular in landscape design.
Dwarf species of larch with a spherical crown. Plant height is about 1.5 meters, crown width is up to 1.2 meters. On short shoots visible numerous buds. The color of the falling needles is bright green. Recommended for single planting, for rock garden and for the preparation of decorative compositions.
Creeping plant with shoots crawling on the ground. The branches of the plants do not grow vertically, so the shoots are long, branched. The height of an adult plant is 1-1.5 meters, crown width is 0.6-0.8 meters. Recommended for cultivation in containers and rock gardens.
Slow growing species of larch with a hemispherical crown. Plant height - 2 meters, crown width - up to 80 cm. It is grown in standard form to make the tree look like a compact tree. During leaf fall, abundant needles of blue color fall. Recommended for mixborders, rock gardens and rocky gardens.
There are other types of larch: European larch, Olga larch, Draur larch, Kampfera, Siberian larch, Diana, Pendula Japanese larch, but it is the above listed species that are used in modern landscape design. Some large species try to cross into dwarf ones in order to combine their characteristic features.
Care, reproduction and planting
Drought-resistant and unpretentious larch does not need special care. Water overflow should be avoided, therefore both young saplings and an adult plant are watered several times a week from mid-spring to autumn. It is recommended to dig a small circle around the trunk, which is useful for compost and mulch. After the needles fall off, the larch plunges into a state of rest, therefore it practically needs nothing. The only important point is that during a heavy snowfall, it is necessary to shake off the snow from the branches and tie them up in order to avoid breakages.
Larch is planted in loamy soil or black soil after leaf fall or with the onset of heat in spring. In the sandy soil is not enough nutrients that are necessary for plant development. Prisalivat larch at the age of 1-2 years. Sour soil is better to extinguish with lime, and planted on heavy soil should be drained.
Do not plant other trees nearby. The distance must be at least 2 meters. The depth of the roots up to a meter. Up to 20 years of age larch easily tolerates transplanting.
Among the dangerous diseases of larch - larch mining miner. Whitish affected shoots are removed, and the tree is immediately subject to treatment with insecticides, which are made on the basis of mineral oils. This tool is also suitable for eliminating the worms.
A big plus of the larches is that it does not need special care, it tolerates frost well and pleases with bright needles for a long time.
European larch: description
The tree in the bulk grows in mixed or coniferous forests of Central and Western Europe. In its natural environment, it is a high mountain inhabitant of the Carpathians and the Alps (1000-2500 meters above sea level), sometimes "descends" below. This explains the two main features of European larch - perfect intolerance to waterlogging and high demands on light. The tree lives for several hundred years (up to 500) and is considered to be a long-liver.
European larch grows in nature up to 50 m in height, while the trunk diameter is from 80 to 100 cm, less often - 150 cm. Thanks to such impressive size, it looks majestic. Crown is characterized by a conical, irregular shape. The bark has longitudinal cracks, the color is brown, sometimes with a grayish tint. The tree has a strong core-type root system, which goes to a considerable depth. This allows you to resist any winds and keep the soil from shedding, for example, on cliffs. The needles are collected in large bunches of 20-40 pieces, has a light green color, often with a light bluish bloom. Needles of larch to the touch are soft and elastic, from 10 to 40 mm long.
The cones of the tree are ovate, oblong or conical in shape, at a young age of purple, in a mature one becoming brown. They are relatively small in size: 2-2.4 cm in diameter, and up to 6 cm in length.
In the garden, European larch with its tender greenery looks good against the background of other conifers (spruce, pine, juniper, fir), as well as deciduous species - oaks, lindens, maples. A lot of unusual and bright decorative forms have been derived, we will focus on the most common ones.
Weeping Form (Pendula)
By analogy with willow, you can guess, in connection with which such a name. This larch shoots are thin, unevenly located on the trunk and hanging down. The tree itself grows to a height of 30 m. It was first discovered in 1836, and almost immediately European gardeners adopted it. It is propagated by grafting, winter-hardwood larch and light-loving.
This is a standard dwarf tree. In creeping European larch shoots are strongly drooping, reaching to the ground and creeping along it, and the trunk is most often twisted, reclining. The crown is thick and wide, which gives the tree a fabulous look. Unlike the previous form, it should be protected from frost, covering the trunk for the winter with a breathing heater.
This is another standard form, but with the correct crown shape. The lower branches are located in the horizontal plane, and in the upper part they are shorter, therefore a cone is formed. Этот культивар был выведен французскими селекционерами в 1868 году.
В этой форме лиственница европейская (фото см. above) is a dwarf tree with a narrow crown and hanging shoots, like a weeping European larch. The average height is up to 1.5-2 m. The shape of frost and winter-hardy. The needles are green with a gray tint. It is used both in single and group plantings, however it needs sufficient space for good development.
In addition, it should be noted such forms (varieties) of European larch as Compacta, Korley, Fastigata, Kellermani, Repens, Virgata, etc. In stopping the choice on one or another specimen, you need to think, first of all, about its size, and about whether there will be a place for him on the plot, and secondly, about the growth rate - dwarf varieties grow very slowly, so they will be appropriate even in a small garden. Third, think about whether you can provide the right conditions, and also consider the climatic factors.
The choice of location and soil
The tree is characterized by good winter hardiness and rapid growth. The last factor should be considered when choosing a place on the site. Therefore, the planting of European larch should be well planned, it is worth considering whether the planted tree will not create unnecessary shading in the future. It is believed that the plant is not particularly demanding to the soil, but does not tolerate waterlogging at all. It will be equally good to feel on the black soil, calcareous and slate rocks, but the best option is a loam with moderate moisture. The tree is resistant to air pollution, therefore it is often used in urban greening.
Planting European larch
Like all the other conifers, she is sensitive to transplants, and in the adult state she takes root in a new place badly. The most optimum age of a sapling is 1-2 years. Prefer those grown in a container and have a closed root system. The European larch is planted either in early spring (before the buds bloom), or in late autumn, when the leaves have already fallen.
The landing pit is prepared depending on the size of the seedling. If desired, you can completely remove the soil and prepare a new, the most balanced in composition. Experts recommend to mix sod land, peat and large river sand at a ratio of 3: 2: 1. Fill them with a landing hole in the fall, if spring planting is supposed, or let them stand for at least a couple of days. Drainage is required in exceptional cases, if the site is heavy clay soil. In this case, put a layer of broken brick 20 cm thick on the bottom.
European larch: care
The basic rules for growing this conifer are made in three aspects:
- Mulching is carried out immediately after planting sawdust or peat.
- Loosening is carried out only at a young age to a depth of no more than 20 cm.
- Remove weeds as needed, avoid sodding.
- Fertilization. It is recommended to add special preparations, for example, Kemira, to the soil in early spring from 2-3 years of growth.
- Watering. European larch is sensitive to drought. In such a summer, it needs regular watering (15-20 liters for an adult plant) twice a week.
- Shelter for the winter. The initial view does not require it, most forms are winter-hardy and frost-resistant, but dwarf stumps need to be wrapped with an air-permeable material.
Reproduction of European larch
Breeding is possible in three ways:
The first is practically not used, since the cuttings have a low survival rate. Inoculation is advisable for the reproduction of especially valuable and decorative forms. Therefore, the main is still the seed method.
To get the seeds yourself, collect dry cones of the current year in late autumn. Then they are stored in a dry place until full disclosure and release of seeds. Sowing is best done under the winter. To do this, prepare small boxes with light ground. Spread the seeds as thick as they are not very good germination. Close the boxes with film and wait for the first shoots. In the spring, seedlings should be put on the lightest window-sill and regularly watered. In 2-3 years, the seedlings will grow, and they can be planted in the open ground. European larch grows quickly, in 5-6 years you will get a fluffy meter tree with tender needles.
In the landscaping of parks, cities it is actively used European larch. Planting and caring for it do not cause difficulties, and the rapid growth and resistance to polluted air provide a significant advantage compared with other conifers. It looks great in the composition of large arrays, in single landings, mixed groups. Experts in the field of landscape design recommend choosing partners for European larch rhododendrons, lilacs, chubushnik, breeches, as well as such trees and shrubs, the foliage of which becomes red and purple in autumn, and thus ideally emphasizes yellowing needles.
Larch is grown in two ways - seeds or with the help of ready seedlings. When buying a seedling should pay attention to his age, it is best when he is no more than 2-4 years. It is recommended to buy in a container and at the same time inspect the tops of the needles - they should not be dry. The branches of a quality seedling are elastic - bend, but do not bend to the side. It is advisable to purchase not in a supermarket, but in a nursery or another specialized store. Often there are difficulties in finding a seedling, so often a tree is grown from seeds that can be independently extracted from cones in the middle of autumn or purchased. Seeds require stratification and should be stored in paper bags. Seeds are stored no more than three years.
When and where to plant larch?
Larch is planted in the autumn period or in early spring, when the soil has thawed and warmed slightly. Sowing is practiced in the middle of spring, when the soil is completely warmed and greens have broken out of it.
It is necessary to choose a site for a tree responsibly, since This will affect its further growth and development. Larch needs good lighting, so you can not plant in the shade or even partial shade. In the shade a tree grows poorly or does not grow at all. In addition, when there is poor lighting, few shoots are formed, the crown does not acquire a pyramidal shape and looks bare even in summer. A shaded place will not be a disaster only for Japanese larch. If your site is small, but you really want to plant a tree, you can grow it small by resorting to formative pruning.
Pruning has a good effect on the tree - it will transfer it normally and quickly recover. You can also initially buy dwarf plant forms. the tree is unpretentious to the soil, but it is not recommended to grow it on sour soil. If the acidity of the soil is increased, it is necessary to lime it before planting. Poorly the tree grows on poor sandy soil and on sites where ground waters deeply lie. To increase the survival rate of larch and accelerate this process, it is desirable to plant in the soil with good drainage and humus. It can grow in the city, so often larch is found in parks, courtyards, etc.
Larch planting technique
Larch is planted in a hole 50 × 50 cm. If it is a seedling from a container, the hole should be dug more. The material must be carefully removed from the container, leaving a lump of earth, and transferred to the pit, sprinkling it with peat and sod soil in a 1: 1 ratio. When planting it is very important not to damage the seedlings shoots, as even the slightest touch can spoil them, because of what the tree develops curves. At the same time it is necessary to ensure that the neck of the root is peeking, and not under the soil. In case of heavy soil, it is recommended to apply sand and drain the soil. Further, the landing should be well watered, spending 1-1.5 buckets of water. Also, when planting in the soil, you can add humus or compost. Young trees need protection from sunlight and cold.
It is much more difficult to plant larch seeds. To increase their germination, seeds are treated, but this procedure is not required. To do this, put the seeds in water at 22-25 приС for two days. After it is necessary to cultivate the seeds, leaving only those that fell to the bottom. After the seeds are mixed with wet sand and placed in a refrigerator at 0-5 ° C above zero for a month. It is necessary to sow in the middle of spring or as early as May, having deepened the seeds by 0.5-1 cm. At the same time, a distance of at least 10 cm should be left between them. Then sowing should be sprinkled with mixed sand and peat in a ratio of 3: 1 and mulched. When the seeds germinate, after half a month mulch can be removed. When sprouting for planting need to be watered, apply fungicides for prophylaxis, thin out and weed. At the age of two years, seedlings can be transplanted into the open ground. They get accustomed harder than seedlings, but after 20 years the annual increase will increase. At the age of five years, the tree will reach a height of 1.5 meters, and in five years it will bear the first fruits.
Larch needs regular watering, fertilizer and soil loosening. Preventive treatment for diseases and pests is compulsory, since larch is extremely unstable to them. The sanitary and formative pruning also has a good effect on the tree.
Larch needs good moisture. If the weather is not rainy, then you need to water extra. An adult tree can get along with rain, because it is drought tolerant. It is desirable that the soil is always slightly moist, but not wet. To keep moisture, it is recommended to mulch the soil with sawdust, pine bark, needles or peat soil. Stunted, creeping and cushion-like varieties of wood need the same abundant watering as the sapling. Standard larch is whimsical, over-wetting and drying up the soil have a bad effect on it.
Trees planted in a container need special care: a clod of earth should always be wet, because due to the dryness of the plant will die. When the plant is at rest in cold times, it is also necessary to ensure that the soil is always moist. It is impossible to overly water the tree and always be sure to drain the water in the pan, because she will destroy the plant. A grown tree in a bitter place, which is located in the open air under a layer of snow in winter, is not necessary to be watered. When growing larch as a bonsai, it is necessary to water frequently, but moderately, and also to loosen and shorten the shoots.
Larch, grown in open ground, should be fed in the spring at the beginning of the growing season. To do this, use minerals mixed with water, and fertilizers in granules with prolonged exposure, which are used for conifers. If the soil contains too much nitrogen, the tree will grow vertically, and the branches of the 2nd and 3rd order will not grow anymore. At the same time, they will look bare and lose their decorative effect. Grow trees in a container to feed in the spring or in June.
Soil mulching is very useful for larch, because It helps retain moisture. It is necessary to mulch immediately after planting 5-6 cm using straw, peat ground, needles or sawdust. Larch is resistant to low temperatures and severe frosts, so shelters for the winter are not required. But still it is necessary to harbor a sapling, especially the stem tree, since it has not yet been strengthened. Burlap is used as mulch. It is also necessary to tie up branches of some species, so that they do not break under the weight of snow.
There are about 20 species of plants and all of them are very valuable in gardening and landscape design. They are used for landscaping plots, planted next to evergreen trees or separately - in any case, the tree will attract attention and make hold on his eyes.
What a pity, but this tree is not suitable for curly hairstyle, although it easily tolerates pruning. The larch crown is formed in several ways. To do this, remove the big knots and branches in the spring or in September. You can also remove young shoots. The second variant of pruning is used in order to give krone bushiness and make it more dense.
Pruning is recommended every year, when the phase of active growth of shoots has already ended, but has not yet become stiff. Some believe that cutting a tree is necessary in order to give it an unusual shape: spherical, oval or in the form of umbrellas. In fact, pruning is needed in order to control the height of the tree. Pruning a large adult tree takes a lot of time, but it must be borne in mind that heavy pruning has a negative effect on crown thickness. Due to the fact that the young tree is very flexible, the designer can twist his twigs. This is often used in landscape design when pruning wood.