Bald Cypress Clump

markyscott

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#3
Repotted and wired out in January 2015
image.jpeg

And later that spring starting to leaf out.
image.jpeg

I'm not a fan of the top Jin on the tree in the center. That's gone in the next picture.
 

markyscott

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#5
Fall cut back. #1 and #2 trees in the clump curve toward one another. Minor correction with a chopstick.

image.jpeg image.jpeg

One thing that bothers me is that I didn't get the wire on quickly enough in spring and a couple of the new leaders are growing out at an uncomfortable angle.
 

markyscott

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#6
Really strong growth this spring - time to do something about those leaders.

Sometimes you're lucky.
image.jpeg image.jpeg

Sometimes you ain't.
image.jpeg

Time for some grafting. Let's use one of those strong shoots from below as our new apex.
 

markyscott

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#7
A little V cut with a chisel:
image.jpeg
image.jpeg
Looks like there is still living tissue there. Don't know why it didn't sprout this spring. I don't like the position of the leader anyway, maybe I can salvage it and get it positioned better with a graft. I'm going to give it a go before I cut it to a lower leader.

Expose the cambium on the sides (probably completely useless on a green spring shoot), but I did it anyway.
image.jpeg

And remove the cambium on the side of the shoot facing the tree. This is important - you don't want growth on that side as it tends to force the graft out of the V cut. So suppress it on that side by removing more of the growing tissue. On lignified wood it's easy to tell when you get through the cambium. On a green spring shoot? No clue, but I tried removing more of the tissue on that side of the shoot.
image.jpeg
 
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markyscott

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#8
Next, nail it in place with some grafting tacks. Speaking from experience, be careful not to accidentally hit the shoot when you nail in the grafting tacks. image.jpeg
image.jpeg
image.jpeg

Next cover the works with cut paste - I use the clay-like stuff for this.
image.jpeg

Never attempted a graft on a Bald Cypress before, let's see how it works.
 
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#10
Nice Scott! I love the large clumps that grow in the wild around here. Always thought the easiest way to create one would be to start by cutting down a single trunk and lettng multiple trunk grow in its place.

I've never tried to graft with BC....never needed to
 

markyscott

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#11
Nice Scott! I love the large clumps that grow in the wild around here. Always thought the easiest way to create one would be to start by cutting down a single trunk and lettng multiple trunk grow in its place.

I've never tried to graft with BC....never needed to
Thanks John. I do see bald cypress growing like this all of the time, but I haven't seen too many as bonsai. I think Mr. Mullet might have one.

In terms of grafting, I've never had to do it either. But this one budded out and grew strongly below last year's apex a I got no growth at all from where I cut back to in the fall. Really weird. But the apical cambium was still green and I didn't like the position of the old apex anyway, so I figured - what the hey - I'll give it a go.
 
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#13
Done with work for now. Still a little early to wire it out, but it's growing fast. Maybe next weekend.
View attachment 101898
Nice work on the tree. Thanks for taking the time to photograph stages and tell the story and reasoning behind steps.
Grafting is fascinating....especially on interesting trees like this group. Keep posting as it grows along.
 
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#14
Really nice clump. Should make for a great composition. Waiting for the "even-number critics" to come out :)
 

markyscott

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#15
Really nice clump. Should make for a great composition. Waiting for the "even-number critics" to come out :)
Thanks. I was curious to see what people would say about that. Somehow the even number of trunks doesn't bother me on this one. I've seen others in which it did. Perhaps there is enough difference in height, thickness and spacing to break up the symmetry.
 

markyscott

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#17
Cool; I'll look forward to a follow up on the graft. Where did you find your grafting tacks/nails?
Hi Colin. They are a Japanese brand that Boon uses. I bought them from him. I haven't found a US equivalent so far, but I'd love to. They are basically a finishing nail with a soft, plastic washer. You push the nail through the bark and then slide the washer over the shoot you're trying to graft. The soft plastic helps protect the shoot from damage when you hammer the nail in and holds it in place while the graft union is callousing over.
 
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#18
Hi Colin. They are a Japanese brand that Boon uses. I bought them from him. I haven't found a US equivalent so far, but I'd love to. They are basically a finishing nail with a soft, plastic washer. You push the nail through the bark and then slide the washer over the shoot you're trying to graft. The soft plastic helps protect the shoot from damage when you hammer the nail in and holds it in place while the graft union is callousing over.
That's what I thought. I never see them for sale here either :(
 

Evan

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#19
Nice clump BC. Love the progression of pictures. Says a lot and also shows how healthy the tree is. Keep the updates coming. What fertilizer are you putting in the PVC bits? It must be working!
 

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