bald cypress

King of American Bonsai


Bald cypress is the King of American Bonsai. Everyone should have at least one bald cypress bonsai in their collection. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, bald cypress has all the features you could want in a species for bonsai training.

Few tree species grow with the vigor of bald cypress. They produce an excess of trunk buds, which makes selecting branches very easy. From collected trunk to a specimen worthy of being shown is usually only a 3-5 year project. With a little guidance – we’re always here for you – your bald cypress bonsai will impress in no time.

We’re pleased to offer wonderful collected bald cypress specimens. These trees are selected for some specific characteristics, which are:

  • Flaring, buttressed base
  • Trunk movement
  • Trunk character
  • Taper from the base to the trunk chop, typically 20-26″ from the soil surface when potted; the tree should have a trunk diameter at the chop of one-half or less the basal diameter in order to produce the correct visual aspect


When you start off with these characteristics, it’s a sure bet that a fine bald cypress bonsai will result. Remember my guiding principle, “better material means better bonsai.” If I can start you off with a great piece of material, I figure you’ll be hard pressed to go wrong.

But don’t worry if you don’t yet have the confidence of an old hand. I’m always available for advice, and if you find yourself needing closer guidance then by all means schedule a one-on-one bald cypress bonsai training session. If you have your own cypress and need some over-the-phone input, we can schedule a time to talk.

So, what do you think of this Bald cypress?

You can tell it hasn’t been in training long, but would you believe only three months when the photo was taken?

I collected this specimen in February of 2014. It was just a trunk. The base measures 3″ above the root crown, and the trunk diameter is 1.5″ at the chop, which is 22″ from the soil surface. The trunk has nice movement and character, and the base is flared with a good nebari. I think that just about checks all the boxes for a nice bald cypress bonsai.

The style is, of course, the famous flat-top typical of the mature cypress in nature. It was “invented” by the late, great Vaughn Banting and has become very popular.

Please tell me what you think.

Leave a comment or question below, or just email me. I always respond right away.

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