Incense cedar candelabra progression

parhamr

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Calocedrus decurrens is not a common bonsai subject but I'm giving it a go with two volunteer seedlings. It's a native tree, here, so that's part of my enthusiasm for the species.

With this particular tree I am attempting to replicate the candelabra form I have seen in photos and out in some of my forest adventures. I chopped the trunk and I'm growing out a canopy that will feature dead apices and require a process of multiple, successive leaders.

June 2015
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October 2015
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February 2016
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November 2016
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I've just completed its first wiring and foliage thinning. I'm trying to approach the branches with similar techniques as junipers: remove crotch growths, select for alternating branches, reduce to forks of two branches, and develop flat foliage pads.

This tree has many years of development to go before it's show ready. I'm enjoying the journey so far and deeply appreciate how low maintenance the species is.
 

Tycoss

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I have a collected spruce I discussed in another thread that is already taking on this shape. I find natural trunks with this form to be very impressive, and you seem to have the skill to pull off the image well.
 

parhamr

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My yard shows some cedar-apple rust spores, so I’ve treated with generic Cleary’s 3336 in a dilution of 1 teaspoon to 32 ounces of water.
 

parhamr

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This tree and my other calocedrus decurrens are both slightly afflicted with Seiridium Canker, which has recently expanded in the Pacific Northwest. I might be able to control it without too much branch loss.

I’ve seen trees all around the Portland Metro area with evidence of the disease, so management might be difficult. Fortunately, a strong tree with adequate water and prophylactic fungicide is the recommended mitigation strategy.
 

AlainK

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Pests and diseases are easier to keep at bay on potted trees than on street plantations.

Er...

A bit radical?

parhamr-b.jpeg
 

parhamr

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It’s progressing well! The bark is exfoliating and growth is vigorous. The tree clearly likes a coarse and airy soil.

I haven’t had a recurrence of Seiridium Canker this year. I think avoiding fall pruning was helpful.

More pics when I have good lighting.
A7757296-0327-40B6-A7CF-C5EB55F36CFD.jpeg
 

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Jim Irvine

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At what time of year do you chop the incense cedar? I have one I lifted from central CA mountains and I want to shorten it.
 
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