Two Golden Chamys

grouper52

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I got these two Golden Chamys of different types two years ago at a roadside nursery where the owner lets things grow without messing with them. Chamys and Cryptomerias will often back bud easily down low if left alone, although they will almost never do so if one tries to induce back budding. As can be seen, these two had potential due to such low back budding, and the owner didn't "clean them up" like a regular commercial nursery would, which is why I don't mess with such commercial nurseries. They were each about 5-6' tall and cost about $60-70 each. Two years into training I think they are already starting to manifest the potential I first saw in them. Now about a foot tall.

I post them for your inspiration, education and enjoyment. Feedback, as always, is most welcome, if it comes from the two or three of you not on my ignore list, and as long as it fulfills my "glowing praise" criteria. :D

First is a beauty with the softest, most subtle foliage I've ever seen.

The second tree has been more challenging, and until just this past month I have still been toying with a chop and jin above the lower foliage pad. I thought instead, however, I'd give it a few years, and have liked the way the upper foliage and the overall design is progressing, so for now it will stay as it is.
 

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Rick Moquin

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Will,

What's the full botanical names of these Chamaes?

I can see why you are toyed with the chop. I would however resist the jin. Regardless I like the tree pot combo.

It will be interesting to see the first one progress over the years.
 

rockm

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chamaecyparis -false cypress.
 

grouper52

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Will,

What's the full botanical names of these Chamaes?

I can see why you are toyed with the chop. I would however resist the jin. Regardless I like the tree pot combo.

It will be interesting to see the first one progress over the years.

Hi Rick. As I recall, one was labeled Chamaecyparis aurea, and the other simply Golden Cypress. I don't recall which was which, but it doesn't matter, because for both I think there is more to it than that. Little mom & pop (or usually just mom) roadside nurseries like this are plentiful here, and things are often labeled haphazardly, and the owners often aren't real sophisticated about what they've got, many times just starting things from cuttings of things they saw once and liked, or growing things from seedlings bought cheap somewhere with name signs that either got lost or faded in the sun to unreadability. Things are often not labeled at all, or just with hand made signs with common names. Poor labeling, but often great material, and I'll take this situation over the more commercial and sophisticated nurseries any day!

The slant has much more classic Hinoki foliage. The upright's foliage is marvelous - definitely closer to Hinoki that to other species of Chamaecyparis, but the fans are quite small and often sort of crinkled in on themselves, though not too tightly. Actual fans, amenable for classic Hinoki pruning, are actually quite rare and very small, but occur often enough to make the ID. It's different enough from other Hinoki's however, that I find myself trimming it more like I would a pisifera or a juniper.

As a Hinoki man, you ought to look into the Alaska Yellow Cedar, Chamaecyparis nootkatensis - I believe it's the only Chamy native to North America, a huge, valuable timber tree that will also grow occasionally in stunted forms of great beauty in bogs up north of here. Stunning bark and contortions. I've been collecting them once with Dan Robinson up in BC, and they are marvelous trees. You might want to contact him at Elandan Gardens to see if he has any for sale at the moment. Their foliage is very much like that of a Thuja, but even those types of fronds respond well to modified Hinoki pruning.

Sorry I can't be of more help with the taxonomy of these two little Hinokis, Rick, but thanks for the interest.

Will
 

Rick Moquin

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Will,

I am glad you posted what you did, as now I can tell you which is which your second tree is the "Aurea" I believe. Just like an "Obtusa" green inner foliage golden tips and fan as they mature.

Pic 1: as purchased
Pic 2: after styling
Pic 3: foliage close up

The tree is a mess right now it will be tweaked in a couple of weeks.
 

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ericN

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Nice job on those false cypress Will. i know that they are not easy material but they are looking good.

eric
 

rockm

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"I knew that!

... the cultivar?"

No need to be testy:D. You're not the only person reading. Others might not be familiar with what a "chamy" is
 

grouper52

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Will,

I am glad you posted what you did, as now I can tell you which is which your second tree is the "Aurea" I believe. Just like an "Obtusa" green inner foliage golden tips and fan as they mature.

Pic 1: as purchased
Pic 2: after styling
Pic 3: foliage close up

The tree is a mess right now it will be tweaked in a couple of weeks.

You may be right: the second one is the closer of the two to the Aureas I have seen at nurseries, which look much like yours does, yet it also seems a bit different - softer, more floppy and lacy foliage than those. To my eye it looks like may be a subcultivar or another cultivar, but I'm no epxert and will defer to your recommendation.

Upon closer examination of tree #1's foliage, another word I would use to describe it is "congested". I'll try to get some close-ups of the foliage of these two. :)

Eric, thanks. They're really not all that hard to work with except that they grow very slowly, don't respond to back budding techniques, and one needs to learn the pruning technique and keep after them. Dan Robinson has said, "Every bonsai artist should have a Hinoki in their collection - but ONLY one!" But then he's got a half dozen! I've got seven Chamys of various sorts, and they can be a lot of work, but they are also some of the most rewarding and most attractive.

Will
 

grouper52

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Here's foliage macros from these two.
 

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Rick Moquin

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Yup Your right Will! It seems like there was some hanky panky going on in the family there.

Your first pic is definitely a Chamaecyparis Obtusa "Aurea" as I just went out to take a closer look at mine. Having said that, this cultivar does put out close to a "cedar like" foliage and the "Kosteri" even closer than all the other cultivars I have worked with.

Your second one could be a "Golden sprite". Here is a link of a nursery that has tons of cultivars, some with pics. While your at it, check out the pisifera section it seems the Chamaecyparis Pisifera "golden pin cushion" might have similar foliage as your second tree.

One thing that I didn't know and found out while researching this titbit for you, was that the "nana" is a smaller shrub than the "nana gracilis". I always thought the other way around. Of course "nana" meaning dwarf.

All that being said Will, a closer inspection reveals that although my latest acquisition was tagged a "nana gracilis" the foliage does not seem quite like my other "nanas" and "gracilis'". I guess we will have to wait and see, as I doubt they were mis-labelled.

I've own a "Templehoff" (owned), "nana", "nana gracilis", these all had the typical fan whorls that we are accustomed to. The latest is more along the lines of the "aurea" in comparison with the "nana" (at this point in time) and a far darker shade of green than my others. Maybe I have some hanky panky going here as well.

Speaking of "Nootkas" I have one in my front yard. I'm not sure how they take to being dwarfed? I suppose there might be a hybrid out there for which I come to understand that a "nana" is a dwarf of the parent.
 

grouper52

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Thanks, Rick - I think . . . now I'm really confused! I don't mean to sound obtusa, but that's an aweful lot of cultivars on that site you linked to! Lots of hanky-panky indeed! Seriously though, thanks for the link and the info. Fascinating stuff.

BTW, if you want a collected Alaska Yellow cedar, Dan may not be the best source because you'd have to deal with Customs - there's a guy named Antoine up near Campbell River who collects as a business who may have some. I can possibly get you connected with him if you like. Or it may be better to contact George Heffelfinger in Victoria, the big mover and shaker for all things bonsai up in that area, and see if he has some for sale or can connect you with someone who might. They are really some of the best yamadori I've ever seen, and as a North American native Chamy they would add greatly to your collection.

Thanks again for the taxonomy help.

Will
 

Dwight

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Will , reallylike the first , internal jury is still out on the second. Wish Chami would grow here.
 

Rick Moquin

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I appreciate the offer Will, but as I stated on my blog I am resigning myself to fewer trees and fewer species. In the beginning I wanted one cool everything, tooooooooo much work and things to remember. I'm even thinking of getting out of trops.

During this journey I have come to find out that Cotoneaster, Chamaes, boxwoods, and Acer palmatum like what I have to offer are readily available in my neck of the woods. The are probably the only variatals that will adorn my bench in the future. I have some pines developing and I will need to revisit that species in the future.
 

grouper52

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Will , reallylike the first , internal jury is still out on the second. Wish Chami would grow here.

Thanks Dwight. The first is by far an easier tree to work with, and I think once the lower left foliage is developed better by wiring the branches in even further/better and selective extension of certain pads, it will be very convincing. For two years from purchase, it has been very pleasing so far.

Number two has always been more problematic, but with time I think it may yet move beyond the little sumo slant that would be the obvious throw-in-the-towel option. We'll see.

Rick - probably a wise move to consolidate your efforts. I haven't developed that wisdom very much yet! :D
 

grouper52

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Here's an update on one of these two Chamys. Not a huge change, and I may still be inspired to do more, but the color and foliage look beautiful this year, so I thought I'd take a photo. Enjoy.
 

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monza

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Super nice. Have to load up and go hunting for some Chamys...
 

crhabq

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Grouper,

The lower left branch looks much improved and more convincing now. Good work.

Ray
 

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If you have a chance, could you post a photo of the others? The slanting one really caught my eye... And that pot!!!
 

grouper52

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Thanks, everyone.

Judy, the other one, as I predicted, is more difficult to work with, and would take a serious toll on my "reputation" (LOL - "Reputation? RepuTAtion? We don't need no stinking reputation!" :D) were I to post it at this stage in its evolution.

For now, it is much shorter, never having achieved anywhere near the attractiveness I thought it would at its previous height, and it's growing VERY slowly back into a, hopefully, better form. It's still in that lovely Erin pot at the moment, but it's obvious I'm going to have to put it in the ground for a number of years to accomplish the needed rehab within what's left of my lifetime. :)
 

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