Bald Cypress Air Layer??

Gandalph

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I purchased the Bald Cypress last year with the intention of air-layering it. I'm thinking of 1/3 the the way from the roots for the layer and would appreciate and and all comments/suggestions.
The tree seems to be healthy with buds popping throughout the trunk and branches.

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[url=http://www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=12&u=14761211][img]http://i66.servimg.com/u/f66/14/76/12/11/dsc01412.jpg[/url][/IMG]
 

FrankP999

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That seems too high to me for a layer if you want the lower part below the layer to become your bonsai. The usual ratio of trunk diameter to height is 1:6. What's the diameter of your tree at the base?

Frank
 

mcpesq817

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What are you trying to accomplish with an air layer? Are you trying to make two trees, or are you not happy with the current base? From the pictures, the current base looks pretty good.
 
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i also agree with mcpesq that the base of this tree is also good now.
if it were mine i would trunk chop it now if your happy with the thickness or just grow it in the ground for awhile till your happy with the trunk diameter you want.
here's a pic of my baldy.
 

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rockm

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I'd say I'd have to agree on not airlayering. The air layer would take two or three months, delaying your work on the lower (much more worthwhile) trunk. The section you're talking about has very little interest and little taper to speak of. Additionally, any air layer would take at least three years in the ground to produce any sort of trunk buttressing (which is what makes BC worthwhile as bonsai).

The soil the tree is in looks pretty concrete-ish. I'd be more concerned about getting the tree into appropriate soil at this point.

If this were mine, in the next two weeks, In one afternoon, I'd chop the tree a little more than a third of the way up--allowing room for new buds to develop, remove the tree from the current soil, washing the roots out and then chopping the rootmass to fit a container that's about half as deep as the current one. Fill that container with basic bonsai mix with a little added organic--chopped sphagnum moss, composted mulch, or even a little bagged top soil...

You have substantial work to do on the main tree without worrying about an air layer...
 

Gandalph

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What are you trying to accomplish with an air layer? Are you trying to make two trees, or are you not happy with the current base? From the pictures, the current base looks pretty good.

Yeah, I was thinking about two trees. I would hate to lose the branching on the upper part of the tree. And yes, I am happy with the current base. It's about 5"
 

rockm

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"I would hate to lose the branching on the upper part of the tree."

Why? It's pretty non-descript--nothing exceptional in composition or quality...Most of it's pretty bad for bonsai purposes--bar branches that sweep in an upward arc are mostly useless. If you air layered the trunk, you'd have to start a completely a new branch system--removing most if not all of those awkward branches.

Branches are completely replaceable (almost immediately) with BC...
 

mcpesq817

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Yeah, I was thinking about two trees. I would hate to lose the branching on the upper part of the tree. And yes, I am happy with the current base. It's about 5"

Just to follow up on what Rockm said (who is a lot more experienced than I am, and is very familiar with BC), I wouldn't worry about the upper part at all. Those branches might also be too thick for the caliper of the trunk at the top. In taking another look at your pictures, it looks like your BC has branches low on the trunk already which is nice, though I understand that they backbud pretty well.

I'm still a bit new to bonsai myself, but one thing I've come to realize is that bonsai is a lot of grow, then cut back. You might feel like you are "wasting" valuable material that gets cut off, but generally that's not the case if you're growing something out to gain in trunk size, as that growth you cut off tends to be coarse with little movement.

Art - very nice BC! I have one a bit like it that I got last year, but perhaps a little smaller and with more juvenile branches. Having seen the BC at the National Arboretum and in a friend's collection, I'm very excited to work with the species.
 
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BUBBAFRGA

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i also agree with mcpesq that the base of this tree is also good now.
if it were mine i would trunk chop it now if your happy with the thickness or just grow it in the ground for awhile till your happy with the trunk diameter you want.
here's a pic of my baldy.

How tall was this when the chop was made?
 
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How tall was this when the chop was made?

bubba
my bald cypress was around 65 inches before i chopped it and it now measures around 54 inches from the soil line.
it has a 12 inch thick trunk and grows very hardy up here in the pacific northwest.
 

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