Bald Cypress

Redwood Ryan

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Hey everyone, as I am sure some of you are aware, I purchased a Bald Cypress from an online store and it arrived today. I think it is a great looking tree, but then again, I am no expert. I am posting pictures of it. It is a 10 year old tree, that has obviously been chopped. There is still some green foliage, which concerns me, as it is quite cold here. I think I am going to keep it in my garage though. Well, here are the pictures:

Front?:


Most likely back:


Back of the trunk:


And the front of the trunk:


That's all for now! Advice, Comments, Anything, is always appreciated. Thanks!

Ryan
 
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irene_b

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where was it shipped from?
 

radsnell

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Shorten it

Probably too tall for that trunk diameter, although there are great variations in nature. You see many tall, thin BCs with foliage at the top. In the water, you see shorter, flared cypress. As I am in south Louisiana, I have these growing like weeds. I would consider shortening the tree to at least the level of the 2 bare branches on the left side of the first photo. By spring, you should have buds all over the trunk. If you choose that height, you could cut off some of the top and paste it for now. No use having the tree waste energy on buds above the tree level. Any branch can be quickly trained into a new leader for the top. Down here, I can't leave a wire on longer than 2 months in spring and summer or it will severely cut in.

Boyd
 

Redwood Ryan

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Probably too tall for that trunk diameter, although there are great variations in nature. You see many tall, thin BCs with foliage at the top. In the water, you see shorter, flared cypress. As I am in south Louisiana, I have these growing like weeds. I would consider shortening the tree to at least the level of the 2 bare branches on the left side of the first photo. By spring, you should have buds all over the trunk. If you choose that height, you could cut off some of the top and paste it for now. No use having the tree waste energy on buds above the tree level. Any branch can be quickly trained into a new leader for the top. Down here, I can't leave a wire on longer than 2 months in spring and summer or it will severely cut in.

Boyd
Thanks! I thought about shortening it as well. I may have to go that way with it. Anyone have any other opinions?
 

rockm

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Definitely needs to be reduced by at least half. This tree doesn't have the traits needed for the "immature" conical variant:

http://www.bonsai4me.com/Gallery/GalNatArbJohnQuinnPageOne.htm.

It is more of a skeleton for a flat top. The immature variant requires substantial root buttressing, while the flat top style is more subtle at the root flare.

If you want more buttressing, you're going to have to eliminate the downward growing roots in favor of laterals and plant the tree in the ground for a few years--optimally four or five...
 

mcpesq817

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This is interesting from Yamadori's second link (Vaughn Banting's website):

"The unique proportions of their swollen trunks is a direct result of a special type of tissue that grows in trees in response to being submerged in water for long periods of time."
 

Bob

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It's wild how that BC survives in such a shallow pot!

I have two BC's (3 years old) planted out in front of my house. One is thickening at a much faster rate than the other. This year I'll get a few more seedlings and in five years I'll have the makings of a nice forest on a slab. The only downside to this is that I'll be five years older..........
 

rockm

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Bob,

That photo doesn't show all of the pot or the actual size of the tree--The pot is pretty deep and huge---I'd say it approaches 8 or 9 inches deep. Guy's tree is well over four feet tall. The trunk is close to 10 or 11 inches across.

That said, I've got my three foot tall BC in a three inch deep pot. Once you get the root mass under control--mostly pruning over time for lateral roots--they can fit into pretty shallow containers. The Arb also have a VERY large slab planting of BC--It's about 5 feet by 6 feet or so.
 

rockm

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This tree doesn't look to be dormant to me. If the garage gets much below 25 or so, you may have some freeze damage
 

Yamadori

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Bob

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Bob,

That photo doesn't show all of the pot or the actual size of the tree--The pot is pretty deep and huge---I'd say it approaches 8 or 9 inches deep. Guy's tree is well over four feet tall. The trunk is close to 10 or 11 inches across.
I see what you mean Mark. I had an optical delusion!

Thanks for the sites Yamadori.
 

rockm

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I've always found this article an inspiration:

http://www.bonsai-wbff.org/nabf/newsletter2/bcarticle.htm

Even though it's aimed at huge trunks, the technique can work with smaller diameters. It also shows a form of "flat top" that isn't the typical dome with branches. It's rougher and more natural looking to those who don't like the "flat top" style...

Whatever you do with this tree, you will need to regrow at least three inches of trunk extension that can be used effectively to mask the chop. That takes a few years of unhindered growth to accomplish--or you wind up with something that looks like a bowling pin balanced on a barrel that never looks right.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Thanks everyone for the information! I have decided I will chop it, but where I am unsure of. I have been told to chop it at the top of the can in the one picture, but I have also been told to chop it on the left side near those top 2 branches. Where would be the best place to chop it? I was also told not to grow it in moisture control soil by a member on another forum because these trees actually would not like that. Thanks everyone!
 

rockm

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Where you chop it depends on what you want from it. I definitely would not chop it at the top of the soda can, though. That would be a complete waste. BC don't like to be shohin trees.

You have to decide what style ultimately the tree will have-a traditional triangular Japanese form, or one that mirrors the way BC grow naturally. This is all personal preference. Some find the natural BC style a bit weird, while others who have the species in their everyday lives love it.

The proportions for BC variant types --there are several--are different. This trunk leans more toward the mature, flat top style, but there are variations of that style that blend
 

Redwood Ryan

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I have seen the flat top types, and I can't say I am a fan of them. I like the more traditional Japanese style sadly.
 

rockm

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You might look further than the strict "Vaughan Banting" flat top, which is the classic standard for the style, but can be offputting for those not familiar with the species in the wild. There are endless variants of that style that combines classic triangular Japanese styles, along with traits associated with flat tops. BC grow in many different ways in nature.

Since you have months before you can do much of anything with this tree, do some research on BC. Look at pictures. Go see Guy Guidry's (and Vaughn Banting's) BC at the National Arboretum (both are in winter quarters, but still accessible to the public. Take a close look at the branch structure on each. note that you can combine the two extremes in many different ways...

Also look at some of the images available online:

http://pages.prodigy.net/dalecochoy/bald.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xqPKPxjn0s
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7diAIZBY-ok&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91zGo2nPsvw&feature=channel
 

Yamadori

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Here are two pictures of famous ancient sequoia trees in Yosemite. They offer more style options.

You will need to decide what age of development your tree will represent. A younger tree will look more traditional. An older one will have the branching predominantly at the top. It all depends on the story your tree is going to tell.
 

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