Would love to have a western red cedar bonzai

yeah that makes sense. What are the species you've had the most success with here?

Ponderosa pine, Rocky Mountain juniper, Colorado blue spruce, piñon pine, limber pine, bristlecone pine, Douglas fir, white fir. All of these conifers are super tough and cold hardy! They also don’t put out growth until late in the spring so the late freezes are not a problem. 👍🏼

For deciduous, I’ve got aspen, Rocky Mountain maple, and mountain alder.

I also have a couple Japanese species that are winter hardy here - itoigawa juniper and a Japanese lilac.
 
Ponderosa pine, Rocky Mountain juniper, Colorado blue spruce, piñon pine, limber pine, bristlecone pine, Douglas fir, white fir. All of these conifers are super tough and cold hardy! They also don’t put out growth until late in the spring so the late freezes are not a problem. 👍🏼

For deciduous, I’ve got aspen, Rocky Mountain maple, and mountain alder.

I also have a couple Japanese species that are winter hardy here - itoigawa juniper and a Japanese lilac.
Thanks so much for sharing! Gonna see what appearances I like the most from these
 
I appreciate the info! Where I live is definitely more harsh than Denver as well.. I'm 3 hours from you. I was doing further reading and it seemed like the winter was less problematic for people than spring re-freezes, after it started producing foliage? Do you remember If that was the case with yours or if it died mid winter?

We had snow here on monday
If you're still getting snow a week and a half away from June, Bald Cypress is probably not going to do very well for you in your area.
 
I am brand new to Bonzai and have a Brazilian Raintree on the way, as I heard that's a good beginner tree. I'd also love to get a bald cypress and a western red cedar, the latter of which Is hard to find online.

Zone 6a, Colorado, high-alpine desert. Can put plants outside until winter.

Would something like this be easy to turn into more of a "tree" instead of a "bush" with a couple years of pruning and care?View attachment 548239

Thanks guys! I'm excited to be here
The Western Red Cedar is not often used for Bonsai. I would not consider it a reasonable choice for a beginner. The natural growth habit would suit formal upright, however a fair degree of skill and training will be required to work with and reduce the foliage. Some artists in the PNW have been working with a variety of Cedar and exploring techniques to develop and refine the species. But only a few! You will find some direction and suggestions in an article published in the ABS magazine. Volume 53 Number 2 pages 6-25.( 2019)
This article summarizes the approaches taken by a number of very experienced and established Bonsai Artists. Also included in the article is the Alaskan yellow Cedar ( not considered a true cedar) because the methods used are similar to the EWC and the WRC. The frond like foliage and the easily scarred bark are too of the challenges to overcome with Cedar. Pruning techniques are similar ro Hindi cypress and Tskumo Cypress. Aluminum is favoured by some artists for wiring.
One advantage of the Western Red Cedar is the natural formation of feeder roots, If you are in a lower altitude and wetter location in Colorado than they may do well. They do like milder winters than typical in your neck of the woods. Just some information to help in your consideration.
Here is a picture of my collected Alaskan Yellow Cedar, similar development techniques to Western Red Cedar. Definitely not a formal upright form. Foliage is in winter color with bronze tinge. Seven years in development.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1631.JPG
    IMG_1631.JPG
    185.1 KB · Views: 19
I have a Thuja plicata (western red cedar) in development as a root-over stump.

They are strong growers in the right conditions and will back bud. Root growth is very strong.
The only juvenile foliage I’ve seen is on seedlings. It does not seem to be an issue for older trees.
 
Last edited:
Never worked with WRC, but my younger son is developing a "yamadori" ERC. And that's not a great species for bonsai.
 
Never worked with WRC, but my younger son is developing a "yamadori" ERC. And that's not a great species for bonsai.
EAstern and Western Red Cedars are related. Eastern red cedar is a juniper. Western Red Cedar is a thuja--similar to arborvitae (white cedar). Two different trees, even though they share similar common names.
 
Eastern arborvitae. Is the closer relative to western cedar . As noted above ERC is a juniper . Eastern white cedar . Arborvitae is heavily grown as bonsai . Mainly collected specimens. It has course fond Like foliage . And is a moisture loving tree . You have received great info here from . Experts in the western region . I would heed there advice heavily . Although I do not consider a arborvitae at a high level of difficulty as a bonsai . They do have there quarks. Like the eastern version . If I was you I would only really be considering , a wild collected tree . Where you can offset the course foliage . With a larger specimen and take advantage of the woods . Rot resistance. For deadwood . And a more rugged appearance. There is amply info available here and elsewhere on arborvitae . Weather it’s a good subject for you . At your level in the hobby . Is really up to you and your interests . As stated . I would not be growing one from a young nursery stock type situation . But would not turn down the right wild tree find .
 
EAstern and Western Red Cedars are related. Eastern red cedar is a juniper. Western Red Cedar is a thuja--similar to arborvitae (white cedar). Two different trees, even though they share similar common names.
The above should read Eastern and Western Red Cedars are NOT related...Typing on the phone sux :rolleyes: 😁
 
I am brand new to Bonzai and have a Brazilian Raintree on the way, as I heard that's a good beginner tree. I'd also love to get a bald cypress and a western red cedar, the latter of which Is hard to find online.

Zone 6a, Colorado, high-alpine desert. Can put plants outside until winter.

Would something like this be easy to turn into more of a "tree" instead of a "bush" with a couple years of pruning and care?View attachment 548239

Thanks guys! I'm excited to be here
Welcome Nutboi! Welcome to the site. I grew up in Aurora. I have a number of Bald Cypress and four Brazilian Raintrees. Don't have a WRC. My BC's I have are outdoors all year long here in Southern California. I let them soak in pans of water. My Brazilian Raintrees grow nicely out here. But if the temp gets below 45' I bring them in my shed. Even out here in zone 10, you gotta be careful. Mine will lose their leaves in Dec and in Jan. You gotta be careful with them, as the cold will kill them fast. Being from Colorado, I have been growing an Aspen tree for two years now. We always want to grow what we can't. But so far, so good on the Aspen. I hope you do well as I have been doing it since the early 80's.
 
Welcome Nutboi! Welcome to the site. I grew up in Aurora. I have a number of Bald Cypress and four Brazilian Raintrees. Don't have a WRC. My BC's I have are outdoors all year long here in Southern California. I let them soak in pans of water. My Brazilian Raintrees grow nicely out here. But if the temp gets below 45' I bring them in my shed. Even out here in zone 10, you gotta be careful. Mine will lose their leaves in Dec and in Jan. You gotta be careful with them, as the cold will kill them fast. Being from Colorado, I have been growing an Aspen tree for two years now. We always want to grow what we can't. But so far, so good on the Aspen. I hope you do well as I have been doing it since the early 80's.
Thanks so much! Wow you must have some awesome specimens if you are already 40+ years into this! I actually want to grow a little aspen forest.
 
Thanks so much! Wow you must have some awesome specimens if you are already 40+ years into this! I actually want to grow a little aspen forest.
I guess I do . I have a 40 plus year old Schefflera I bought at a King Soopers in a 4 inch pot. Its about 5 inches around and maybe 18 inches high. I almost lost it to frost one year.
 
Back
Top Bottom