Bald cypress advice

gottrees

Sapling
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Location
Maryland
USDA Zone
5a
I bought this bald cypress from home depot for $45 about a month ago. It's actually the first time that I had ever seen them carry a bald cypress before. I was quite shocked when I saw it.
The tree was approximately 8' tall when I bought it. This was the first time in my short bonsai career that I attempted such "drastic" design work. I brought it home and cut it down to 2', right below the lowest branch :eek:. It did have many little buds along the trunk. I also bare rooted and repotted it in 100% turface (I water twice a day :D). Since I cut about 99% of the foliage, I cut about 80% of the roots. I was ecstatic to see the nice nebari as I was repotting. It was not visible initially as they were about 2.5 inches below the soil. I also love the subtle movement in the trunk. The first picture is 10 days after repotting. The second picture was taken today. It is in rest, fertilize like hell, and grow stage.
I want to develop this tree with a flat top. Any advice on how to one starts a flat top. I dont know if I should 1) develop a leader and work the flat top off that or 2) allow the top branches to develop more then trim down the dead apex so it can be healed over and start the flat top from there. I lean toward #2 but I don't have experience developing this type of apex. I'm in no rush, I just want to plan ahead. Any advice or thoughts?
Thanks

Ted




P1010113-1-1.jpg
P1010101-1-1.jpg
 

the3rdon

Mame
Messages
162
Reaction score
1
Location
Wheeling, WV
USDA Zone
6A
For starters, angle ur cut with a good leader.. Get rid if that flat cut, because water will sit on top and rot it out.. Feed it and let it grow out for a couple of years

Don H
 

johng

Omono
Messages
1,674
Reaction score
2,650
Hello Ted... Your tree appears to have some potential to become a nice flat-top. I would guess there are as many ways to develop flat-tops as there are people growing them. Here is a video I put together last summer that demonstrates how I started one of mine...

http://www.youtube.com/jgeanangel#p/u/30/DT3aqGxHInA

Here is another video that talks generally about the Flat-top style and show several examples of naturally occurring trees as well as a few bonsai.

http://www.youtube.com/jgeanangel#p/u/25/7xqPKPxjn0s

Good Luck with your tree!
John
 

rockm

Spuds Moyogi
Messages
10,085
Reaction score
13,399
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Decent looking BC. IMO, you still need to cut the top third off. It's still a bit tall-even for a flattop.

Working a stock BC into a flattop can take a bit of time if you're doing it only in a container. I spent the better part of ten years here in No. Va. making a flattop out of a collected BC in containers. I don't have any room to grow trees in ground. If you have place to plant this tree out, do it. Do all the leader grow out IN THE GROUND if you have a spot that's protected from the winter cold--out of the wind.It will shorten your time by about half.

Basically, you do the original reduction cut, grow out one central leader until it's almost as thick at the base. Chop that back to an inch or so of the main trunk, repeat two or three more times, stacking the thickened leader growth like an extending telescope. You won't use much of what you grow, perhaps an inch or so of each, but it's necessary to build in taper with telephone pole trunks like this.

After you've got some tapered growth at the apex, you begin making the angular branches in the canopy. This can be the hard part, if you're unfamiliar with BC in the wild. It takes some study of real flattops to see how they grow. Mostly the tops are made of angular branches that grow out from two or three main leaders...Study photos, see real BC

There is a stunning grove of old growth BC out in Calvert County at Battle Creek that's worth going to see. It's the Northernmost stand of BC in the US:
http://calvert-county.com/cypress.htm

Nice find. Good luck.
 

gottrees

Sapling
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Location
Maryland
USDA Zone
5a
Hello Ted... Your tree appears to have some potential to become a nice flat-top. I would guess there are as many ways to develop flat-tops as there are people growing them. Here is a video I put together last summer that demonstrates how I started one of mine...

http://www.youtube.com/jgeanangel#p/u/30/DT3aqGxHInA

Here is another video that talks generally about the Flat-top style and show several examples of naturally occurring trees as well as a few bonsai.

http://www.youtube.com/jgeanangel#p/u/25/7xqPKPxjn0s

Good Luck with your tree!
John

Thanks. I have been looking for more pictures. I live visit the DC arboretum somewhat frequently so have been studying on of Vaughn's flat top bald cypress.

I have a couple of these growing and used the links below as a guide.


http://www.dallasbonsai.com/bonsai_tree_care_TomM_BaldCyprus1.html
http://www.dallasbonsai.com/bonsai_tree_care_TomM_BaldCyprus2.html

They can be finished as something other than a flat top.

Enjoy

Thanks for the link. I've seen them with the traditional apex. I have another BC that I will do that with but I seem to gravitate toward the flat top style.

Ted
 

gottrees

Sapling
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Location
Maryland
USDA Zone
5a
Decent looking BC. IMO, you still need to cut the top third off. It's still a bit tall-even for a flattop.

Working a stock BC into a flattop can take a bit of time if you're doing it only in a container. I spent the better part of ten years here in No. Va. making a flattop out of a collected BC in containers. I don't have any room to grow trees in ground. If you have place to plant this tree out, do it. Do all the leader grow out IN THE GROUND if you have a spot that's protected from the winter cold--out of the wind.It will shorten your time by about half.

Basically, you do the original reduction cut, grow out one central leader until it's almost as thick at the base. Chop that back to an inch or so of the main trunk, repeat two or three more times, stacking the thickened leader growth like an extending telescope. You won't use much of what you grow, perhaps an inch or so of each, but it's necessary to build in taper with telephone pole trunks like this.

After you've got some tapered growth at the apex, you begin making the angular branches in the canopy. This can be the hard part, if you're unfamiliar with BC in the wild. It takes some study of real flattops to see how they grow. Mostly the tops are made of angular branches that grow out from two or three main leaders...Study photos, see real BC

There is a stunning grove of old growth BC out in Calvert County at Battle Creek that's worth going to see. It's the Northernmost stand of BC in the US:
http://calvert-county.com/cypress.htm

Nice find. Good luck.

Again, thanks a lot for your advice. Glad I got to meet you this weekend. Its nice to put a face to a name. Hope your are enjoying your trees from the auction!!!

Ted
 

rockm

Spuds Moyogi
Messages
10,085
Reaction score
13,399
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Ted,

Nice meeting you at the auction too. I spent Sunday doing an emergency repot on the tree I got. I guess "enjoyment" is a ways off with it.:D

I had a look around my local HD on Sunday. Didn't see any TREES for sale, much less a BC...Flowering annuals must bring in more cash this time of year. That's all they had. :rolleyes:

Enjoy your find. Some folks have all the luck :D
 

gottrees

Sapling
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Location
Maryland
USDA Zone
5a
Emergency repot! What was going on with it?
I definitely feel lucky with the BC from HD. Who would have thought they would carry it. I just happen to enter HD through the garden department out of habit and look what I found :). I cant say that I will take this same risk next year though...
On the topic of luck!! After the auction, a friend gave me three trunk Barberry clump. The largest trunk is probably 30+yo with very mature bark. Each of the trunks are different sizes and arranged well. I will try to post it later.

Ted
 

rockm

Spuds Moyogi
Messages
10,085
Reaction score
13,399
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
"a friend gave me three trunk Barberry clump."

See what I mean?:rolleyes::D
 

mcpesq817

Omono
Messages
1,810
Reaction score
482
Location
VA
USDA Zone
7
On the topic of luck!! After the auction, a friend gave me three trunk Barberry clump. The largest trunk is probably 30+yo with very mature bark. Each of the trunks are different sizes and arranged well. I will try to post it later.

Ted

Hmm, I might need to find some new friends :rolleyes:
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom