Another Cryptomeria - Imitating a Sequoia or Redwood

grouper52

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A fun and simple and rewarding project. A nursery near here is run by a woman who grows her own trees at her home, which is off site. When they get trunks about 3-4" she brings them in to sell. She sells Cryptomeriae and Chamys and several other types of conifers like this, and she isn't so anal that she brushes off the back budding that often occurs down low, giving me a number of traesures I've found here in the past three years.

Two years ago I found this 8' tall monster, selling pretty cheap. (First photo) On several other ones like this I had partially sawed and then ripped down the trunk at about 2-3', creating a nicely jinned top, and I did that to this guy as well. The past two years have been devoted to refinement of the image, and here's where it's at now. I think there is still a bit too much foliage near the top, so that may be thinned out more, and it will go into a round pot this next season.

Enjoy
 

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Attila Soos

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Great job on this tree, and it looks like a wonderful material. You are lucky to have found this.

The secret to create the image of a towering giant, is to form foliage pads of various sizes, mostly horizontal. The pads should be so close to the trunk that they should actually touch it. They should pretty much cover the branch itself, so that one can only see the green clouds. Some of these clouds should hover partially in front of the trunk.

And this is exactly what you've done, you nailed it.

The only head-scratcher in this case is the thick branch. You need this branch to add some more interest and variety to the main trunk, so do not remove it. But it needs to be covered with small foliage pads left, right, and center, with some wood peeking out behind the green. Right now the central portion is too sparse, and slightly too conspicuous. If you can't grow new branches in the middle, you can just extend an upper branch and bring it down.
 
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Attila Soos

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At a second thought, the only other thing you could do here to make this even more exciting, is to add two more smaller trees, and create a little group. The other two could be much smaller, so they would make the large one look even bigger. And they would also add some more depth and interest to the whole picture.
 
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grouper52

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At a second thought, the only other thing you could do here to make this even more exciting, is to add two more smaller trees, and create a little group. The other two could be much smaller, so they would make the large one look even bigger. And they would also add some more depth and interest to the whole picture.

Both posts offer very good suggestions. I am, in fact, going out hunting with Vic and Eric this weekend, taking them to this nursery and at least one other similar one, so I'll look for some nice material of the same variety.

I agree about that branch - without it much would be lost, but it needs more work.

I'm glad you appreciate the close-to-the-trunk foliage on this guy - it's certainly not an accident, and I had even toyed with the idea of sub-titling the post, "Keep Your Foliage in Tight". These cryptomerias are the perfect species for this style, IMO, their foliage behaving just perfectly. This is the third such tree I've produced, the other two given away as gifts.
 

TheSteve

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I'm working on one now as well Will. You don't happen to buy these in Woodland WA do you? Just curious is all. Right now the foliage on mine is too far from the trunk But I"m working it in now. Shouldn't be long...
These keep me inspired
 

Mortalis

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I more into tropicals myself. So It should mean something when I say I absolutely love it.
 

grouper52

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Thanks everyone for the kind words.

TheSteve, I don't even know where Woodland is. :) But maybe I ought to go check it out! This area up here is chock full of little roadside nurseries, and old mom and pop nurseries, and little decrepit nurseries hidden away down dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. It's a real paradise for bonsai material. The particular nursery where I've gotten these nice Cryptos and Chamies is just some little road side nursery near Bremerton that people never seem to stop in. Like most such establishments, it doesn't look real appealing from the road, which means it looks heavenly to me! Do you have these sorts of little nurseries down there in Woodland?
 

Si Nguyen

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Thanks everyone for the kind words.

TheSteve, I don't even know where Woodland is. :) But maybe I ought to go check it out! This area up here is chock full of little roadside nurseries, and old mom and pop nurseries, and little decrepit nurseries hidden away down dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. It's a real paradise for bonsai material. The particular nursery where I've gotten these nice Cryptos and Chamies is just some little road side nursery near Bremerton that people never seem to stop in. Like most such establishments, it doesn't look real appealing from the road, which means it looks heavenly to me! Do you have these sorts of little nurseries down there in Woodland?

That sounds like pre-bonsai heaven! I love to spend weekends wandering the little old nurseries like that.
Your Cryptomeria here is fantastic. We can never find cryptomeria down here in Southern California.
Si
 

TheSteve

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Thanks everyone for the kind words.

TheSteve, I don't even know where Woodland is. :) But maybe I ought to go check it out! This area up here is chock full of little roadside nurseries, and old mom and pop nurseries, and little decrepit nurseries hidden away down dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. It's a real paradise for bonsai material. The particular nursery where I've gotten these nice Cryptos and Chamies is just some little road side nursery near Bremerton that people never seem to stop in. Like most such establishments, it doesn't look real appealing from the road, which means it looks heavenly to me! Do you have these sorts of little nurseries down there in Woodland?

If you've come down I-5 to Portland, youve driven right through it. It's the second town south of Longview. I'm in the first. They've got some big @ss cryptomeria there and when I bought my last one, they mentioned a guy from up by Seattle who comes down and buys a few every year to style and sell on. After seeing the fine work you've done on these I just put two and two together (and got 5 I guess). If you decide to come down this way let me know and we'll hook up. I'm on the way to the nursery so....
 

grouper52

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If you've come down I-5 to Portland, youve driven right through it. It's the second town south of Longview. I'm in the first. They've got some big @ss cryptomeria there and when I bought my last one, they mentioned a guy from up by Seattle who comes down and buys a few every year to style and sell on. After seeing the fine work you've done on these I just put two and two together (and got 5 I guess). If you decide to come down this way let me know and we'll hook up. I'm on the way to the nursery so....

I may take you up on that! Thanks. And let me know if you're ever up our way.

Will
 

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Hello grouper52..I'll keep my reply kind of short..lol......... The base and lower trunk of the this tree are probably the closest to looking like that of a full size tree in nature that I have ever seen. The taper, the bark itself and the hint of nebari flaring out at the base make this an absolutely incredibly bonsai. It truly mimics actual nature to the point where it is would be impossible to differentiate it between bonsai and a full size tree in nature.. Providing you didn't see the pot. Your work on this tree shows that you are truly on the same page as what the tree should become..lol

Rob
 

mcpesq817

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I like this tree a lot. Thanks very much for sharing.

Do they bud back reliably on old wood? Wasn't sure if they had issues with that like chamaecyparis.
 

TheSteve

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Very reliably. I find them veryprone to die back but they seem to replace foliage as fast as they lose it. I'm in the process of trying to get my branches shorter and I've seen it throw new growth 3-4 inches behind any existing growth.
 

mcpesq817

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Very reliably. I find them veryprone to die back but they seem to replace foliage as fast as they lose it. I'm in the process of trying to get my branches shorter and I've seen it throw new growth 3-4 inches behind any existing growth.

Thanks - I'll have to take a look at this species :D
 

grouper52

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Thanks - I'll have to take a look at this species :D

It's a great species if they will grow in your area. I posted two others a few weeks ago, one with a similar and one with a much different style.
 

mcpesq817

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It's a great species if they will grow in your area. I posted two others a few weeks ago, one with a similar and one with a much different style.

Yes, I remember seeing those. The shohin is really cool.
 

grouper52

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An update.

I happened upon a very nice antique Tokoname pot for a song the other day, and I can't resist those things! It also fit the bill for a fantasy I'd had about using this tree to create a natural scene of some sort.

The foliage along the right side looks a bit too uniform, and will need trimming and thinning this season, but I'll get to that some other day.

Some may like it this way, some may not. I know that. But I like it for now, so, at least for this season, it will be settling in amongst these Chinese "Tiger rocks."
 

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Smoke

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Really sweet tree. I really like the older picture of the tree being more sparse. Also like seeing more jin at the top. Still awesome though.

Al
 

Bill S

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Nice scene Grouper, very natural look to it. I do like Als sentiment re. jin, and less foliage for the finish.

Yikes, Al not sure I want to ask:eek:

Not being familiar w/ cryptos what kind of habitat is good for them, is hot and dry too much for So. Cal. ??
 

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