Large Swamp Cypress - Taxodium Distichum

shane martin

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Here is a large swamp cypress that I dug from my property last July. That's a 15 litre bucket for size comparison. The tree had barely any roots at all but has powered this spring putting out a ton of new shoots. Currently it's close to 5 foot tall with a 22 inch base.Early days yet but so far so good. The second pic is a comparison shot as of December 18th.

mega-swampy-1.jpg
mega swampy2.jpg
18:12:12 comparison.jpg
 

JudyB

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Shane, this is a very nice one. And probably the best first post tree ever!!!
Welcome to the forum, could you update your profile so we know where you are? Looks like you are in the south somewhere....

Super base, how will you style this one?
 

shane martin

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Shane, this is a very nice one. And probably the best first post tree ever!!!
Welcome to the forum, could you update your profile so we know where you are? Looks like you are in the south somewhere....

Super base, how will you style this one?
Thanks Judy,
Once the new leader grows another 3-4 feet to get some better apex taper I will do some carving to blend the transition. It was only dug 5 or 6 months ago, so I will let it keep putting on as much growth as possible removing what is obviously not needed and restyle it next winter when I can get a good look at the branch structure, reducing the number to the bare minimum needed and lower them to a pretty acute angle... along the lines of the Guy Guidry Bald Cypresses .
 

shane martin

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Shane
where did you acquire the pot for this future monster beauty ?
I'm lucky to have a great friend who has a bonsai nursery about 45mins drive north of me here in Australia. He stocks a pretty good range of these huge pots and prices are reasonable to...
This one was $220 which for its size was a bargain I think.
 

Si Nguyen

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Wow! That's a beauty! You are lucky to have all of those lower branches to work with. Most of the time, for this size of stump, there would be no low branches to start off. Super nice root spread too. This species is not native to Australia. Did you grow it on your land for a long time before digging it up?
 

Zach Smith

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Here is a large swamp cypress that I dug from my property last July. That's a 15 litre bucket for size comparison. The tree had barely any roots at all but has powered this spring putting out a ton of new shoots. Currently it's close to 5 foot tall with a 22 inch base.Early days yet but so far so good. The second pic is a comparison shot as of December 18th.
With the tree close to five feet tall you may want to consider another chop down lower, then a tapering cut once your new leader has grown sufficiently. Also, you should remove all of the lower branches and regrow them. They are too straight and will be hard to wire movement into. But you'll get budding where you cut them, so you won't lose any design potential.

Keep us posted, and good luck!

Zach
 

shane martin

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Wow! That's a beauty! You are lucky to have all of those lower branches to work with. Most of the time, for this size of stump, there would be no low branches to start off. Super nice root spread too. This species is not native to Australia. Did you grow it on your land for a long time before digging it up?
Yes Si, I have 5 acres of land and have been growing this tree and others in the ground for bonsai, over 15 years. This tree was originally part of a 3 tree group, standing only 24inches high, some 10 yrs ago, and due to heavy work commitments, had let my collection run down and only had a few left. the group was pulled apart and planted in the ground as part of our landscape.....last winter saw me on a digging frenzy, and I lifted this one and about 24 trident maples. Was a busy season :D
 

JudyB

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Now we are all wondering what those tridents must look like!;)
 

shane martin

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With the tree close to five feet tall you may want to consider another chop down lower, then a tapering cut once your new leader has grown sufficiently. Also, you should remove all of the lower branches and regrow them. They are too straight and will be hard to wire movement into. But you'll get budding where you cut them, so you won't lose any design potential.

Keep us posted, and good luck!

Zach
I hear what you are saying about the lower branches Zach, but there are years of growth to cash in on there.... it is back budding like mad all along these branches and they are being allowed to grow out very long....I will then cut back to a couple of inches from the trunk and continue doing it that way producing all the movement and taper i'll need. As for another trunk chop.... ordinarily yes.... that would be perfectly logical, however this was always intended to be about 6-7 ft as a finished size so I think i'll stay with my plan for this one. I have another one withe a base thats 6 inches wider again, thats been chopped at 30 inches.... I think that will be following your suggestions most definitely.....:)
 

Zach Smith

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I hear what you are saying about the lower branches Zach, but there are years of growth to cash in on there.... it is back budding like mad all along these branches and they are being allowed to grow out very long....I will then cut back to a couple of inches from the trunk and continue doing it that way producing all the movement and taper i'll need. As for another trunk chop.... ordinarily yes.... that would be perfectly logical, however this was always intended to be about 6-7 ft as a finished size so I think i'll stay with my plan for this one. I have another one withe a base thats 6 inches wider again, thats been chopped at 30 inches.... I think that will be following your suggestions most definitely.....:)
Yes, you should be able to use grow and clip on those bigger branches to get the movement you want. And since you want a really tall cypress, five feet is a good start!

Zach
 

Si Nguyen

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Yes Si, I have 5 acres of land and have been growing this tree and others in the ground for bonsai, over 15 years. This tree was originally part of a 3 tree group, standing only 24inches high, some 10 yrs ago, and due to heavy work commitments, had let my collection run down and only had a few left. the group was pulled apart and planted in the ground as part of our landscape.....last winter saw me on a digging frenzy, and I lifted this one and about 24 trident maples. Was a busy season :D
Thanks for the reply. I'd love to see some pics of your land and your collection. I am always imagining about what I would do with 5 acres of land. I would love to put some trees in the ground and let them grow for 15 years.
 
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edprocoat

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Shane thats a great looking tree. Do you know what type of cypress this is, the reason I ask in America swamp cypress is sort of a generic name which covers Bald Cypress, White Cypress, Pond Cypress, Red Cypress, Tidewater Red Cypress, etc. Either way its a damn nice tree, wish I had one like it in front of me.

ed
 

shane martin

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Shane thats a great looking tree. Do you know what type of cypress this is, the reason I ask in America swamp cypress is sort of a generic name which covers Bald Cypress, White Cypress, Pond Cypress, Red Cypress, Tidewater Red Cypress, etc. Either way its a damn nice tree, wish I had one like it in front of me.

ed
Hi Ed,
In the 30 years I've been doing Bonsai, I have only ever known this tree as Swamp Cypress/Taxodium Distichum. Thats what is on the labels from the commercial nurseries and anywhere else I've seen them for sale. The foliage is very similar to a Dawn Redwood, but much finer and lighter.... not as robust to touch as the redwood's. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
 

edprocoat

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Hi Ed,
In the 30 years I've been doing Bonsai, I have only ever known this tree as Swamp Cypress/Taxodium Distichum. Thats what is on the labels from the commercial nurseries and anywhere else I've seen them for sale. The foliage is very similar to a Dawn Redwood, but much finer and lighter.... not as robust to touch as the redwood's. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
No problem, I wonder if its a species native to Australia then ?

I just did a search as I was almost certain that Taxodium distichum is Bald Cypress. Thats what it is a common Bald Cypress. I have two of these and they are great trees, grow like a weed and beautiful to boot.


ed
 
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shane martin

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No problem, I wonder if its a species native to Australia then ?

I just did a search as I was almost certain that Taxodium distichum is Bald Cypress. Thats what it is a common Bald Cypress. I have two of these and they are great trees, grow like a weed and beautiful to boot.


ed
Leave it with me Ed, I'll ask a friend who also grows this one. He's pretty clever at solving these little problems.
 

MACH5

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Awesome tree Shane! It looks like it will be a real beauty! Other than Japanese maples this have to be among my top favorite species for bonsai even though I still don't have a single one with me yet.
 
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shane martin

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Awesome tree Shane! It looks like it will be a real beauty! Other than Japanese maples this have to be among my top favorite species for bonsai even though I still don't have a single one with me yet.
Thanks Mach5.... The branches will all eventually be angled down quite acutely which will add drama and age to the tree. this will be a gradual process, but as you can see in the last photo, the comparison shot of the angle of the bottom 2 branches when freshly dug, to the recent pic on the left, where I have ropes and turnbuckles in action. Swamp Cypress branches are quite flexible so it will happen. All new branches are being wired down as they grow. Just have their tips facing upward to keep early vigour in them.
This pic is of a Swampy grown by a fellow Australian and I have loved this tree from the minute I first saw it, and I am basing the style of my monster on this fine specimen.
grant bowie swampy.jpg
 

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