We had another good Bald cypress collecting trip today. Here’s the take, waiting for cleanup.

Here’s a nice buttressed specimen that’s not too big. I specifically searched today for nice material in the mid-size range. The trunk on this one is 4″ across about 4″ from the soil, and it’s chopped at 25″. If you’re looking for a formal upright Cypress, this is going to fill the bill.

One of the more unusual specimens I found today. This tree has a 3.5″ trunk about 4″ above the soil. It’s chopped at 24″. But what’s out of the ordinary about it is that it’s got trunk fluting all the way around and most of the way up. Rarely do I find a specimen with this size trunk that’s fluted this way. Should I call it “Mr. Flutey”? Oh, nice roots too!

Now this was a real surprise. Someone chopped this tree about three years ago (it wasn’t me, as far as I know), and for some reason left it where it was. I suspect another enthusiast was on the hunt, chopped the tree, and then for some reason wasn’t able to complete the job. Luckily, the tree had a new leader that was just about perfect. There was plenty of other growth near the chop, which I removed when I cleaned it up. And so, with the exception of some carving I’ll need to do to overcome the strong callus rolling, I have an almost perfect trunk line for development. This means I can get this tree designed in pretty short order.

Which is the better front? I guess I’ll figure that out as I work on the tree.

The trunk on this specimen is 4″ about 4″ from the soil, and it’s chopped at 24″. Lovely buttressing, great roots.

I also put some effort into finding specimens I can train in the flat-top style. I love the slender trunk and gradual taper on this tree. Very graceful. The trunk is 2.5″ and it’s chopped at 24″. Flat-tops can be trained faster than formal and informal uprights, since most of the growth is in the apex of the tree and that’s also where most of the strength is. So you can get to a mature-looking specimen a lot faster.

Here’s the star of the show for today. This is a big guy. The trunk is 5.5″ about 6″ above the soil, and it’s chopped at 26″. What’s really impressive about it, beside the fine buttressing and subtle trunk movement, is the taper. The trunk is only 2.5″ in diameter at the chop. This makes developing the crown of the tree much easier. All too often you’ll see collected or ground/container grown BC that just don’t have much taper. This presents a real challenge when you try to make believable bonsai from them. It can be done, but if done right it takes a very long time and some real carving skill. For my money, I’d rather just start with material like this.

Let me know what you think of today’s haul. Leave a comment below.