Hesperocyparis Macrocarpa - Thoughts On New Wired Leader

Firstflush

Chumono
Messages
795
Reaction score
940
Location
coastal sage scrub and chaparral
USDA Zone
10B
This is about 3 years old from a wild lifted sapling. Very healthy pre-bonsai.
I had the former main leader plus 2 emanating from one location at the apex. I selected a new primary leader and through a piece of wire to put some 3 dimensional movement in it.

Question for you folks….do you think it is making the tree look unnatural? I’m not going for extreme trunk bends with this tree. As the tree thickens up I realize the curves will reduce.
 

Attachments

  • E2E1F1B5-E9FA-49F9-8F28-6DD074341B4D.jpeg
    E2E1F1B5-E9FA-49F9-8F28-6DD074341B4D.jpeg
    310.1 KB · Views: 74
  • C4C63CD8-20C8-4E01-A5A4-ACD7F5FC131A.jpeg
    C4C63CD8-20C8-4E01-A5A4-ACD7F5FC131A.jpeg
    391.3 KB · Views: 65
  • 5EF6B222-AA5B-447F-B1BC-600568BB156C.jpeg
    5EF6B222-AA5B-447F-B1BC-600568BB156C.jpeg
    325.5 KB · Views: 59
  • 8C87A159-E44D-4C24-9A37-E9FCE3976095.jpeg
    8C87A159-E44D-4C24-9A37-E9FCE3976095.jpeg
    320.7 KB · Views: 61
  • FA671DDC-6BF1-4466-85C2-B2537351F8FA.jpeg
    FA671DDC-6BF1-4466-85C2-B2537351F8FA.jpeg
    316.8 KB · Views: 72

Esolin

Mame
Messages
248
Reaction score
368
Location
So Cal
USDA Zone
10b
I think it's fine. It's just hard to tell what it will ultimately look like since there are so many long side branches right now obscuring the trunk view. Are you going to get rid of them all? If not, wire the ones you plan to keep so they also have similar movement. Otherwise yes, half the tree curvy and half straight could look unnatural.
 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
Messages
13,976
Reaction score
16,723
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5-6
If you are looking to develop this tree, or any tree, into a bonsai you have to decide to reduce down all the excess growth that is not bonsai. When you put wire on a tree like this it will and apparently, respond by giving you the metaphorical finger and start growing somewhere else where it does not have to fight around your wiring job. The tree has too many options and you have to control the tree.
 

Firstflush

Chumono
Messages
795
Reaction score
940
Location
coastal sage scrub and chaparral
USDA Zone
10B
Of course friends.…yes it is uncontrolled growth right now to beef it up and plan which branches I’m keeping.
All the trunk movement right now is from topping a few times which has added slight fore/aft, left/right movement.
 

Attachments

  • 9BCA718A-3BC5-45C8-888C-2AF0DA59000D.jpeg
    9BCA718A-3BC5-45C8-888C-2AF0DA59000D.jpeg
    213.1 KB · Views: 52
  • E8411FEC-8E28-47F7-8EFC-3D3B4A20AE67.jpeg
    E8411FEC-8E28-47F7-8EFC-3D3B4A20AE67.jpeg
    261.8 KB · Views: 48
  • A9B2FD99-A76C-4B6B-8F2A-E022C06A9B28.jpeg
    A9B2FD99-A76C-4B6B-8F2A-E022C06A9B28.jpeg
    287.2 KB · Views: 53

Esolin

Mame
Messages
248
Reaction score
368
Location
So Cal
USDA Zone
10b
Definitely take off one of those two bar branches coming off the same spot on the trunk. It looks very close to developing some inverse tape there, and you don't want that to happen while you're beefing it up.

Otherwise, it looks like the lower trunk has some nice gentle movement. Yes, I would continue to cultivate similer gentle movement in the rest of the tree. It's young still but off to a good start.
 

Vance Wood

Lord Mugo
Messages
13,976
Reaction score
16,723
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
5-6
Why do you choose to ignore advise from experienced people, one of whom has been growing bonsai for 65 years?
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
31,836
Reaction score
43,731
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
No opinions?

This seems a very difficult mission according to how this plants seems to want to grow.

It seems beefing it up is in too great of opposition to styling it, like, the beef is too far away from the bun.

The easiest trees require one step forward and 2 steps back.
This seems to require 3 or more steps back to continue to move forward.

"Upper Conundrums".
Here is one for me.
Capture+_2021-09-30-04-15-40.png

The position of 1 says 2 should be removed, but 3 is too large so I'd end up cutting it lower.

Sorce
 

Firstflush

Chumono
Messages
795
Reaction score
940
Location
coastal sage scrub and chaparral
USDA Zone
10B
Thanks for the input. If you look at some of the nicer trees of this species on the web…branching is “generally“ much sparser than what I have going on, which I realize. I took out some of the potential bar branches and where two were coming from too close a location on the main trunk.
 

Bonsai Nut

Nuttier than your average Nut
Messages
10,884
Reaction score
22,329
Location
Charlotte area, North Carolina
USDA Zone
8a
Of course friends.…yes it is uncontrolled growth right now to beef it up and plan which branches I’m keeping.

Let me try to repeat the advice already given in this thread, but state it in a slightly different way.

With bonsai, you never want uncontrolled growth. Even if you are growing a sacrifice branch, you should always have a plan. Even trees that are planted in the ground to gain girth quickly will have a plan. They will have a trunk line that is being developed, secondary branches that are temporary, sacrifice growth that is going to be removed, etc. Growing a mop of a tree and "topping it" is not a plan... it is the lack of a plan. I don't want to come off sounding too critical - but it is not going to get you where you want to go.

When planning your tree, start with an end vision in mind... and then guide the growth of the tree to fit that vision. Since your tree is in early development, once you establish a vision and use wire to shape the lines of the trunk, everything else is secondary. Short of killing your tree, you should remove EVERYTHING that isn't part of your final plan. In some cases you will leave A SINGLE branch as sacrifice growth, or you will have to leave keep some bits of foliage so the tree doesn't die, but those are temporary and not part of the final tree. Anyone versed in bonsai should be able to look at your tree, even in early development, and say "oh I see where you're going with this".

Right now you are uncertain, and so you are holding off from diving in and aggressively pruning the tree. Rather than keeping options open, you are actually just delaying the inevitable, and lengthening the time that will be required for wounds to heal, for the tree to adjust its strength to the new plan, etc. Because wiring and bending a tree stresses it, you may find the tree simply grows AWAY from your design - and your selected trunk dies while all the growth you left undisturbed gets stronger. You will be left with the negative image of the tree you were hoping to create.

FWIW with a tree this size, you should assume that you won't be keeping ANY branches - because they are all too thick relative to the trunk. If you looked at your tree and asked yourself - stripped just to a single trunk line what would it look like? That is your tree. Eliminate everything else while letting the single trunk be the only part of the tree that isn't cut back and let it grow strong. A tree this young will sprout new buds all up and down the trunk, and those will become your second generation of branches that you can better work on to balance with the strength of the rest of your tree. But the tree will already know "oh I know where my trunk is now" so you won't struggle as much with undisciplined bush-like growth.
 

Firstflush

Chumono
Messages
795
Reaction score
940
Location
coastal sage scrub and chaparral
USDA Zone
10B
Thanks for your explanation. First and foremost I wasn’t ignoring. Apologies if it appeared that way. Maybe not getting the point. It is at the point right now where 95% of the vet experienced folks (so I thought) on here would likely say put it in the ground for several years unchecked. I have seen that said many times on your site. Is this wrong now if I want trunk girth?

You know what I mean…. where someone gets a new young whip, hacks it hard but want a thick trunk. Thats where I was coming from. I‘m sure I was misunderstanding some at the same time.
 

Eric Schrader

Chumono
Messages
566
Reaction score
992
Location
San Francisco, CA
USDA Zone
10
I would suggest ground growth - but they actually bulk up pretty quickly even in pots if left to grow vigorously.
The advice you have been receiving is bonsai advice - aimed at making it a bonsai tree with the assumption that the trunk will remain the same size, or that it will increase slowly and proportionally with the branching that is being noted as too large.

So, if you want growing advice, then I would propose the following:

1. Wire a lot more movement into the central trunk/leader. the tiny wiggle you have there isn't going to last past the trunk getting to be something like an inch in diameter.
2. Control side branching so that you have tight growth and interior buds once the trunk reaches your desired size.
3. Establish a leader/sacrifice branch - it can be low on the trunk or high. High is easier but makes the taper less dramatic. Low is harder to establish, but will improve taper.
4. Establish the finished size you want, and a cut point for the sacrifice branch about 1/2-2/3 of the way up the trunk to that height.

There are an infinite number of scenarios that you could follow but the above it the basic one that I use to grow these cypress in the ground or large containers.

One note of caution - there is a root aphid that is specific to this species, so if you see general weakness or branch dieback at any point in its life, soak the entire rootball in horticultural soap (label dilution) for about 5 minutes, and then repeat a second and third time at two week intervals.

Cheers,

Eric
 

Potawatomi13

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,100
Reaction score
3,534
Location
Eugene, OR
USDA Zone
8
1. Wire a lot more movement into the central trunk/leader. the tiny wiggle you have there isn't going to last past the trunk getting to be something like an inch in diameter.
Definite agreement to added movement. Make tree interesting🤨.
 
Top Bottom