Foliage management for Alaskan Yellow Cedar aka cypress etc.

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Location
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
USDA Zone
8b
#1
I am interested in hearing from someone who has experience with foliage management techniques specific to this species. I am aware that there is debate over the classification and how to handle the foliage. I am working with a collected specimen that is ready for refining the foliage.
 
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Location
Seattle, WA
USDA Zone
8b
#2
It is practically identical to the foliage management of white cedar and western red cedar (but more droopy and snow-adapted), and in mentality similar to the hinoki cypress fronds. I refer you to two posts I published earlier this year on white cedar discussions, in which I actually pruned Alaska yellow cedars.

Comment 1 I made with 3 Alaska yellow cedars I helped prune or did entirely myself in the latter two cases.
https://bonsainut.com/threads/i-wonder-why-thuja-gets-a-bad-rap.29222/#post-485344

Comment 2 I made with general observations about this sort of foliage management. I think late spring is the best time to do it, but they respond well anytime in summer, with a more vigorous response the earlier it is pruned.
https://bonsainut.com/threads/i-wonder-why-thuja-gets-a-bad-rap.29222/page-3#post-494017

I can provide more clear insight later if requrested.
 
Messages
793
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1,413
Location
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
USDA Zone
8b
#3
It is practically identical to the foliage management of white cedar and western red cedar (but more droopy and snow-adapted), and in mentality similar to the hinoki cypress fronds. I refer you to two posts I published earlier this year on white cedar discussions, in which I actually pruned Alaska yellow cedars.

Comment 1 I made with 3 Alaska yellow cedars I helped prune or did entirely myself in the latter two cases.
https://bonsainut.com/threads/i-wonder-why-thuja-gets-a-bad-rap.29222/#post-485344

Comment 2 I made with general observations about this sort of foliage management. I think late spring is the best time to do it, but they respond well anytime in summer, with a more vigorous response the earlier it is pruned.
https://bonsainut.com/threads/i-wonder-why-thuja-gets-a-bad-rap.29222/page-3#post-494017

I can provide more clear insight later if requrested.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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Berwyn, Il
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6.2
#5
I am a River nut.
Big on riverside.
Gotta kid middle named River.

Pictures Please!

Of everything!

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 
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71
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69
Location
Seattle, WA
USDA Zone
8b
#8
Wow, nice bendy trunk! To elaborate on my previous comment, if you want a branch to become woody earlier, take the center of a frond out at a bifurcation point. The two smaller side branches will activate into new fronds, or buds from scales below your cut. If you want a frond to become a new branch, let it grow. The center will continue to elongate and the sides will typically fall off after a few years or become new branches themselves.
 
Last edited:
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Location
Campbell River BC Canada
USDA Zone
7b
#13
Nice tree Frank. I’d like to add one to my bench and try to use the foliage in its more natural formation, that is the drooping/weeping style where the fronds are all below the branches.
Glad to see you sharing your collection.
Cheers
Graham
 
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793
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Location
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
USDA Zone
8b
#14
I love the natural look as well. This tree is natural formed in a compressed manner, not very tall. Approximately 16 inches in the twisted trunk formation. Difficult to envision natural droopy fronds on its frame. So the challenge will be to develop more condensed and refined foliage. At this stage i have simply begun a progressive cutback of the natural foliage. Primary branches have been selected and positioned. When the cutback is further along, i will begin to develop secondary branching and then on to compact foliage and pad development. Probably 3-5 years.
The style envisioned should become more apparent in a couple of years if the foliage management techniques work. Of course at this stage the foliage looks ridiculous, and i expect all experienced Bonsai artists can recognize the transition stage. It is too risky to cut back excessive foliage at one time. I reduced the foliage by approximately 40% already. The final stage should have the foliage behind and throughout the deadwood/trunk and of course smaller. My colleagues are not in agreement over the techniques, but then the experts cannot even agree on which category the species fits into.
During the first two years after collection i have noted the growth patterns and response. I am encouraged with the ability to create new smaller growth in the interior and the Root recovery. I deliberately let it become a bit overgrown to ensure the health and vigor for the process envisioned.
PS: don't tell the naturalists what i am planning:eek:
 
Messages
71
Likes
69
Location
Seattle, WA
USDA Zone
8b
#15
I love the natural look as well. This tree is natural formed in a compressed manner, not very tall. Approximately 16 inches in the twisted trunk formation. Difficult to envision natural droopy fronds on its frame. So the challenge will be to develop more condensed and refined foliage. At this stage i have simply begun a progressive cutback of the natural foliage. Primary branches have been selected and positioned. When the cutback is further along, i will begin to develop secondary branching and then on to compact foliage and pad development. Probably 3-5 years.
The style envisioned should become more apparent in a couple of years if the foliage management techniques work. Of course at this stage the foliage looks ridiculous, and i expect all experienced Bonsai artists can recognize the transition stage. It is too risky to cut back excessive foliage at one time. I reduced the foliage by approximately 40% already. The final stage should have the foliage behind and throughout the deadwood/trunk and of course smaller. My colleagues are not in agreement over the techniques, but then the experts cannot even agree on which category the species fits into.
During the first two years after collection i have noted the growth patterns and response. I am encouraged with the ability to create new smaller growth in the interior and the Root recovery. I deliberately let it become a bit overgrown to ensure the health and vigor for the process envisioned.
PS: don't tell the naturalists what i am planning:eek:
Can't wait to see the product!
 
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793
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Location
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
USDA Zone
8b
#20
Love the second picture as the front.

PS Great dragon in the deadwood at the bottom
Thanks , thought for a while as to what to do with the broken sections at both ends of the deadwood. They were essentially straight, jutting out beyond and rather uniform. Came up with the idea of a dragon type head and forked tail! The movement in the wood seemed to suggest both but i did not want it to appear too man made. The disconnect between a forked tail and dragon head seems to work some how in this piece. I deliberately chose the less detail is more route for two reasons. i have little experience carving and i prefer leaving things to the imagination. I believe it is more powerful to create an impression or mood than to depict accurately! This has been a slow project to get to this stage and i believe it will be three or four years away from a more refined look.
The top middle portion of the carving is to suggest an undulating humped back or pre-strike pose!
The second front definitely highlights the deadwood more, the first front is a little more intriguing, less revealing.
Fortunately they are only a few degrees apart and will not hinder the foliage development or styling.