Are weeping cultivars prefered for weeping style trees?

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Beginner question, but I still would like to know. If one wants to style a tree in a weeping style, is it it preferable to use a weeping cultivar or just to wire a regular tree as if it were weeping?
 

HorseloverFat

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Beginner question, but I still would like to know. If one wants to style a tree in a weeping style, is it it preferable to use a weeping cultivar or just to wire a regular tree as if it were weeping?
This is a question that will yield many preferential answers...

Species/varieties with weeping attributes are most EASILY (quick and nasty) trained “weeping” or cascade-style, because the tree already is partial to those movements...

SOME people find WORKING with these species/variations cumbersome.. and would rather work with NON-weepers.... easier to scale.

SOME enjoy training “weeping” styles as uprights..

It’s YOUR oyster.

Find what YOU like/don’t like about them
 
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I might be misunderstanding, but here's a pomegranate that is weeping - I think it looks fantastic, but I have no idea what the impact on wiring the tree this way would be long term.

I think instagram embeds might not be working but here it is with attributed source attached

Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 11.19.54 PM.png
 

Shibui

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I might be misunderstanding, but here's a pomegranate that is weeping - I think it looks fantastic, but I have no idea what the impact on wiring the tree this way would be long term.
The pomegranate is a naturally upright grower. In that pic someone has wired the upright tree to make a weeping bonsai. I agree it looks good.

The question was whether naturally weeping trees (like the Acer palmatum dissectums?)are better for weeping bonsai.
Many of the natural weeping cultivars have strong growth, long internodes and don't ramify very well so they can be difficult to use for bonsai. Most are also grafted to propagate. Unless you get a good graft those can be an eyesore. As always there are exceptions and I have seen some quite good weeping Acer palamatum bonsai.
Some weepers which are worth trying as bonsai are:
Weeping willow which looks good but takes a lot of management.
Acacia howittii (prostrate)
Juniper procumbens which can make good cascades or upright bonsai but maybe not what most of us think of as 'weeping'
 

Mikecheck123

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In my profile pic is a curly willow. You can hang weights to make it weep.

But it becomes unmanageable quickly. Every new shoot grows straight up. The weights need to be readjusted constantly. Who has the time?

I gave up and went with a broom style that can be more or less hedge pruned.
 

Forsoothe!

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A certain amount of stiffness is required or at least useful in styling a weeping form. That is often absent from cultivars named weeping which often have skinny branches contributing to weeping on their own, but which are difficult or impossible to make return, or turn up. A design that just falls straight down is very limited, and may only look good as a Weeping Willow tree silhouette. Most of the better designs are a combination of a counterbalancing upper reaching cluster that is a natural extension of the sweep of the bottom section. Think in terms of yin and yang, an "S" laying at some angle, maybe ~60° or whatever, but the upper and the lower are formed (in nature) by the same forces of wind, etc., and need to look like they belong on the same tree. They are harder to create and maintain than other forms, especially as the bottom has a tendency to be less vigorous probably due to apical dominance. You need long branches to start with, just as with a wind-swept, because short branches can't make long sweeps. Fat branches don't work well as starters either because a good sweep starts at the trunk, rising a little, then a short arc tumbling over followed by a long arc with a shorter, tighter arc rising at the end. If you have a square pot the cascade should go down on one side and round the corner. In a round pot it follows the arc closely. From that, a supporting cast of characters of similar arcs form logical steps or pads to give depth of field and reinforce the compound sweep(s) of the major branch. The top section has about the same sweeps, but is shorter and more compact and doesn't steal the show. No two are exactly alike, but they're all the same.;)
 

Adair M

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If you try to make a tree to look like a weeping style tree out of a cultivar that is not naturally weeping, you will be constantly having to wire each new bit of growth since it would naturally tend to grow up, and not hang down.

I have a weeping bald cypress in my front yard. The new growth naturally weeps. The way the tree was created, is a large normal bald cypress had the weeping cultivar grafted on at several points on the trunk. And the normal branches were pruned off. So, it has a normal, straight trunk, and weeping branches.
 

jason biggs

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find a species that has flexible branches....
2 that work for me are baobab and ficus natalensis...
you dont want something with rigid branches
 

Cadillactaste

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I have a few weeping...
Bald cypress...Forced into a weeping style. I find that it being a 10 inch tree. But needs one to wire branches for sure. But we wire bonsai...it's what we do. I wouldn't have changed it's direction... Just be prepared to wire.
BALD CYPRESS WAKING UP 2021 (2).jpg




Other than the initial setting of branches...I permit this to just do it's thing. Boston Ivy just naturally weep. I do selective branch thinning as noted in the two images.
Boston Ivy another angle 2020 dormant.jpg

Boston Ivy 2021.jpg

A weeping ryusen maple variety...this is what you get... if you think you will just let it do it's thing. I permitted this tree to regain strength after significant dieback in the landscape winter of 2013-14. It only had a stub about 10 inches of trunkline...no branching at all when I collected it. I planted it as a slant style.

FB_IMG_1556967922535.jpg

The year I chose to prune it and focus on bonsai techniques toward it.
IMG_20200327_113105106_3.jpg

This spring...
ryusen 2021 out of leaf.jpg

I think...for such a cultivar...you have to have a larger tree as a final image. This one...the bench is 50" span there it sits on. The flared base and nebari...is ten inches.

Ryusen in leaf 2021.jpg
 

Adair M

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I have a few weeping...
Bald cypress...Forced into a weeping style. I find that it being a 10 inch tree. But needs one to wire branches for sure. But we wire bonsai...it's what we do. I wouldn't have changed it's direction... Just be prepared to wire.
View attachment 377065
Here’s my weeping Bald Cypress:






Other than the initial setting of branches...I permit this to just do it's thing. Boston Ivy just naturally weep. I do selective branch thinning as noted in the two images.
View attachment 377066

View attachment 377062

A weeping ryusen maple variety...this is what you get... if you think you will just let it do it's thing. I permitted this tree to regain strength after significant dieback in the landscape winter of 2013-14. It only had a stub about 10 inches of trunkline...no branching at all when I collected it. I planted it as a slant style.

View attachment 377063

The year I chose to prune it and focus on bonsai techniques toward it.
View attachment 377067

This spring...
View attachment 377070

I think...for such a cultivar...you have to have a larger tree as a final image. This one...the bench is 50" span there it sits on. The flared base and nebari...is ten inches.

View attachment 377071
 

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I learned a lot so far. I guess the general answer is that normal varieties are prefered, but in certain cases a weeping variety can be used (if the internodes are small or the bonsai is to be large enough to look good). In the end, the weeping style seems to be better suited for slower growing trees so you're not constantly having to wire droves of new shoots.
 

PA_Penjing

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Have seen pictures of folks hanging a potted tree upside down so that the new growth grows "upward". When the tree is ready to be shown it is untied and put right side up so that it is temporarily weeping. It's a cool technique but you'll have to be watering suspended trees through a drain hole. Or taking it down and dunking it. I'll pass personally but everyone has different interests. That being said I wouldn't attempt even a cascading style with any species that wasn't already inclined to "creep" like a procumbens nana. Call me lazy, I guess I am in some ways. But I feel like fighting a trees nature constantly is a pain. Granted if the material is striking and old I'd make exceptions, a lot of our collected pines and RMJ are trained into cascades and it's hard to poopoo them
 

Cadillactaste

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Have seen pictures of folks hanging a potted tree upside down so that the new growth grows "upward". When the tree is ready to be shown it is untied and put right side up so that it is temporarily weeping. It's a cool technique but you'll have to be watering suspended trees through a drain hole. Or taking it down and dunking it. I'll pass personally but everyone has different interests. That being said I wouldn't attempt even a cascading style with any species that wasn't already inclined to "creep" like a procumbens nana. Call me lazy, I guess I am in some ways. But I feel like fighting a trees nature constantly is a pain. Granted if the material is striking and old I'd make exceptions, a lot of our collected pines and RMJ are trained into cascades and it's hard to poopoo them
@William N. Valavanis has an upside-down pot. But not for that purpose. Just cool.

They make pots especially for hanging things upside-down as well. I've contemplated them myself.
 

HorseloverFat

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I’ve seen Aeroponic MJ rooms in which the plants were “hung” upside-down..

This was when they were FIRST experimenting with it... so not sure of the results.. 🤓
 

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