Taxodium

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Thanks! I have added a few pics. I added the concave cutters for scale at the base. I have the trunk buried about 2-3 inches at the moment. The trunk at the future soil level is currently about 5" in diameter. It has a nice little flare down there. When I chopped the roots, they were sooo dense and circular, they pretty much filled that 25 gal pot. It is possible once I get the roots cleaned up next time that I may be able to lower the soil level even more and get a little more caliper at the base.THe rest of the trunk as you can see has a gradual taper. From the current soil level to the base of the new leader is 26". With a new little apex, the total height might be around 30" which would fit the 1:6 ratio I have read about. I am going for the "traditional" style. Do you think I should have chopped lower to make the tree look more "imposing"?
I did carefully carve away some wood behind the leader to start pushign it back, but I am afraid the whole thing may just snap...We have had some winds and the leader seems so exposed and fragile. It is about the thickness of a pen now. I have addded some wiring to help it out.
I also realize I may have to take off at least the top 2/3 of branches as they will thicken too much. Maybe I could keep #1-#3, or will they also be out of proportion once the apex is closer to being done?
THis is obviously my first BC.
 

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Behr

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Mr./Ms. thedavidzoo,

You have a nice piece of material here for a first time experience with the species...Augusta should be fine growing conditions for your tree...I do wish you were close enough for a bit of 'hands on' instruction, but I will attempt to explain my thoughts on this tree...Firstly, if you should decide to attempt my suggestions and the result is not satisfactory, only a growing season has been lost...The tree would probably be a better tree in the final result with a lower chop, so give this a try first...If I were working this tree as is, I would cut a "V" notch just behind the leader as indicated in red on the first and second photos...leave about a 1/4 inch of sapwood to help hold the moisture in the leader, and allow it to begin forming the needed callous...Bald cypress wood is extremely flexible and with the notch cut you can easily bend the leader more over the center of the trunk...I would even glue the notch together with 'Gorilla Glue' if it were my tree, but that is something you should decide...If you use the glue be aware that it swells as it cures and keep the excess cleaned away as much as possible...I would also suggest trimming away more of the area indicated in yellow on the second pic...

In the future and if you should decide to re chop the tree lower make your chop more like third pic, using the red line as the outer edge of the cut and the yellow as the 'hump'...

Allow all growth to continue for at least this season to start forming the callous...Normally to achieve a smooth transition with this method you will need to chop the trunk 3 or 4 times, however many choose to ignore this and live with the 'sudden taper chopped' look one usually sees on the bald cypress as bonsai...

I hope this information helps answer some of your questions, but even more I hope it raises other more important questions or at least gives food for thought...I will be glad to try to share from my own experience if possible...It is not an easy thing to do in this format, which is why I would highly recommend finding a good 'teacher' with experience on the species if possible...

Regards
Behr

:) :) :)
 

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Thanks, Behr for teh helpful advice. I have since taken off quite a bit more of the wood. I want the leader to harden a little bit (stop bending in the breeze so much where it leaves the trunk) before I take on the next step of getting it better in line. In the meantime, I'll tackle one of the boxwoods again...
 

edprocoat

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I like the tree, I am currently working on a small slender BC tree and hope to do a flat top with it. Most BC I see in nature are that way and look elegant. I think your tree is a great start and would love to see what it looks like now.

ed
 

eron jonson

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I have a very large Bald cypress about 12 or 15 feet tall, with about a 6 inch trunk that i was planning on turing into not exactly a classic bonsai type, but i would like to have it in a very shallow pot like yours, will it survive if i cut the large feeder roots off like you had with yours, last season i root pruned around the pot. It is growing in a very large smart pot buried in the ground. this next fall i will cut what tap roots have made it through the bottom of the pot into the ground. the following year i would hope to be able to bring it into a shallow bonsai type pot as well as cutting it to about 1 or two foot tall.

does that sound like it would work? any way to make it sooner into a small pot?
 

rockm

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Bald cypress can take severe root reduction. Your question depends on what you're trying to get it into. I wouldn't try to jam it into a bonsai container, but would aim for a container a two thirds --or a little less--as big as the one it's coming out of. The reason is you will have to develop the top over a few years. The shallower the container, the slower than development will be. The aim of a bonsai pot is to slow growth--to preserve the image you've worked to create in larger containers or in the ground.

The BC pictured in the pot below on the right was dug from a retaining wall at a landscape nursery late last spring. It was a 25-30 foot tree destined for landscape use. It had some roots (tap root is a relative term for BC, as they can be non-existant in some trees) root as large as my calf just under the initial trunk flare.

I chopped the root mass and the top at the same time, chucked into my truck, took it home and potted it into the 15 gallon plastic pot it's in now. The pot has room for the roots to develop a bit for a few years. I will let it grow roots for at least three years before any more work there. Roots fuel top growth...
 

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