Shohin Bald Cypress

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Location
Dallas, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
#1
A few weeks ago my club hosted Tyler Sherrod for a great demo on a One Seed Juniper. I then had the privlage of attending a bring-your-own-tree workshop with him following that.

I decided to bring this Shohin Bald Cypress to the workshop. Here is a last minute before foto I took at the workshop
20180922_141632.jpg

After pruning back some of the obviously long shoots, as well as the ones we knew I didn't need, we selected a front. Luckily the front that had the widest base also hid the big chop on the back. The chop was already there when I got the tree, any recommendations on what to do with it? I already removed all of the rotting wood from it, what's left is all hard deadwood. Tyler suggested getting some wood hardner on it but would it not be better to carve it and try to get it to close?

20181008_121309.jpg

Here is a couple of pictures from today taken from the new front. The pruned shoots are starting to bud out. I should still have time to get some good growth in before our first frost at the end of November.

20181008_133424.jpg

20181008_132923.jpg

I'll be letting the leader grow until it gets a little fatter then chop it back and start building the apex.
I'll also be repotting it to a bit smaller pot with the correct front since it seems like it hasn't been repotted in a while.

I'll be updating this thread as I work on it
 
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NE Ohio: zone 5b (USA)
USDA Zone
5b
#3
I have one ten inches...Kifu I believe the size. I had to do a heavy cut back because I left the leader over take it one season. Love these...yours gives the optical illusion of being much larger. It's always great to hear their classification or I sometimes don't grasp the trees size.
 
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Location
Dallas, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
#5
That could be a fun little one
I hope so! It's my first and only bald cypress but I've been wanting one for a while. They're all over the landscape here in Dallas.

I have one ten inches...Kifu I believe the size. I had to do a heavy cut back because I left the leader over take it one season. Love these...yours gives the optical illusion of being much larger. It's always great to hear their classification or I sometimes don't grasp the trees size.
I've been following your thread on yours for a while! I love the trunk on it. Thanks for the warning, I'll be sure to keep an eye on that leader.
Mine is about 8" from the lip of the pot to the top of the leader right before it splits in two so it'll be on the larger side of Shohin, or just past it, when it's chopped. I didn't realize I hadn't put something for scale until after I was done taking the pictures
 
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Location
Dallas, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
#6
Have you considered reducing the number of branches? The tree seems "crowded."
I thought about it but I wanted to wait until I could see the structure better after leaf fall before making decisions. Although the cypresses around here have lots of branches completely around the truck so we'll see. Good observation though
 
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Location
St. Francisville, LA
USDA Zone
8
#7
That's probably the best course. It's common to see BC in nature with tons of branches, and there are plenty of examples of bonsai made that way. I like to shoot for the "essence" of the tree, and I would think for a shohin that approach would almost be vital. To each his own, of course. At the end of the day, you have to be pleased with your tree. Nice work so far!

Regarding your chop and the carving you've done, I had a similar specimen a few years back that I went whole hog on the carving, making the carved area the front view and with the plan of taking the trunk hollow all the way down to the soil over time. I sent it on to a client, and he did a fabulous job of developing the tree. It's an option that sometimes can work really well.
 
Messages
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Location
Dallas, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
#8
I like to shoot for the "essence" of the tree, and I would think for a shohin that approach would almost be vital.
I like what you're saying and I'll definitely be looking at that during the winter - got plenty of time.

Regarding your chop and the carving you've done, I had a similar specimen a few years back that I went whole hog on the carving, making the carved area the front view and with the plan of taking the trunk hollow all the way down to the soil over time. I sent it on to a client, and he did a fabulous job of developing the tree. It's an option that sometimes can work really well.
That's what I was thinking originally: making the carving a feature but when I was looking at it with Tyler, the branch placement is better on this side as the front. There's a branch coming straight out of the back which would need to be cut off and as you can see from the pictures, there would be nothing on the new back if I were to turn it around. I'll take a picture of the back tomorrow and post it.

I appreciate the advice!
 
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St. Francisville, LA
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#9
Make perfect sense. In my case, I wasn't shooting for shohin size as the tree was destined to be a good bit taller. So all of the branches ended up above the carved base coming off the new leader.
 
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Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
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5b
#10
Bald Cypress back bud on old wood easily enough, In time you should have buds in the right places and be able to turn the tree around to change the front.

You could ''pump up'' the tree one season, with no serious pruning, heavy on the fertilizer. Then the following spring or early summer remove every single branch, and force the tree to make an entirely new set of branches. Usually works well, but best with a vigorous tree, not good when done to a weak tree. Just a thought. Your tree is young enough that it should be easy to change fronts.
 
Messages
248
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258
Location
Dallas, Texas
USDA Zone
8a
#11
Bald Cypress back bud on old wood easily enough, In time you should have buds in the right places and be able to turn the tree around to change the front.

You could ''pump up'' the tree one season, with no serious pruning, heavy on the fertilizer. Then the following spring or early summer remove every single branch, and force the tree to make an entirely new set of branches. Usually works well, but best with a vigorous tree, not good when done to a weak tree. Just a thought. Your tree is young enough that it should be easy to change fronts.
That sounds like an interesting idea and I'll be thinking about it too. Only problem I see with that is the nebari on the back side is pretty much nonexistent. That's the main reason that Tyler decided this as the front.

This is the back side where I would carve down the scar and you can see how the trunk just goes straight into the dirt.

20181011_173040.jpg
 

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3,808
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Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
#12
That sounds like an interesting idea and I'll be thinking about it too. Only problem I see with that is the nebari on the back side is pretty much nonexistent. That's the main reason that Tyler decided this as the front.

This is the back side where I would carve down the scar and you can see how the trunk just goes straight into the dirt.

View attachment 212994
I understand, the nebari is the most important factor in choosing a front, Tyler had a good reason for choosing the front he did. Don't change it.
 
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