A little Help here.....False Cypress (?)

BunjaeKorea

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Hello folks I am posting this in the new to bonsai section because I don't have experience with this particular species. So here's the story....
Built a new place with a nice big terrace on the 5th floor for bonsai. Anyways... due to building regulations I had to add garden beds to the terrace (weird eh? well its law here in R.O.K) Anyway they planted these trees but didn't make any drainage so they were basically sitting in water and I decided to pull them up and put them in pots before the whole thing becomes a block of ice. Now I have two unfamiliar trees that I have never worked on, they are going to need a trunk chop but still thinking of where. Foliage is identical but one seems to be a maroon cultivar.
I am guessing Thuja Occidentalis or Chamaecyparis Pisifera though Thuja seems more likely looking at the scale foliage shape.
Has anyone ever had any experience with these? I saw Neil Saunders very awesome Thuja video but it doesn't explain the best trunk chop for this species or how much foliage can safely be cut.

Before you start going off about how it isn't a good tree for bonsai let me remind you the difference between a good bonsai and a poor bonsai is usually 50 years (hehehe) I am young I have time....I think anyway...unless I get hit by a flying piano.....

Anywayssss, any advice would be appreciated with much appreciative appreciation!
 

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Cypress187

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I don't know much about conifers, but i think that muddy substance is not good for ur tree. I also think this tree must be placed outside and i think you cannot do big chops on conifers (so you most likely need to do it in stages). I hope he makes it, good luck.
 

lieuz

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Going to agree with @Cypress187 your trees are in mud. At least they're outside (based on your description of your growing environment) but this mud will further deteriorate the health of your trees. If I were you, I'm hoping that the mud is only a top layer, take that stuff off. Also based off your description, if the previous owners didn't have any drainage for these trees, it's also a very bad sign. Don't think about chopping or any sort of pruning until these trees are in better health.
 

Kev TK

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Agreed. I wouldn't do any pruning. These trees are definitely under stress. I think I would pull one of them out of the pot and check the roots. If they are alive I would put them in regular potting soil for now until they recover. If the roots are black and/or have a bad smell to them, it might be too late. Good luck.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Before you start going off about how it isn't a good tree for bonsai let me remind you the difference between a good bonsai and a poor bonsai is usually 50 years (hehehe)
This is a misconception about bonsai...and perhaps the value of your own time investment.
I've seen plenty of poor 50-year old bonsai, and some truly amazing trees that have only been in a pot for 5 years. It has a lot to do with starting with good material, and having the necessary skills to develop it. If you don't have the former, you really better have the latter. By your post, you have neither, so is this really how you want to spend 50 years?
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Generally, Thuja occidentalis, don't back bud on bare wood. In many ways very similar in growth habit to Hinoki, Chamaecyparis obtusa. Culture tips for Hinoki, on how to preserve interior growth apply pretty well to Thuja. Only the pot with the dark rim seems to have mid-level branches with foliage close to the trunk, it might be only only one of the 3 that could be made into bonsai. I have attempted to make bonsai from nursery Thuja, and my initial attempts were not successful, because I did not keep enough interior foliage. I would wire the one, bringing branches down so light can get to the interior, and then work out a plan for the tree.
 
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