Cypress7-6-14-2Last year this Bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, suffered a bout of chlorosis.  This is a condition that isn’t predictable or readily explainable – the causes are well enough known, but you can have a single specimen on your benches suffer under the same growing conditions as others that do not exhibit any symptoms at all.

I removed the tree from its bonsai pot and placed it in a growing tub, and treated it with Ironite®.  I was able to see improvement within a month or so.  I left the tree alone, just watering and feeding as normal, through the remainder of the 2015 growing season.

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This year the tree grew like crazy, with no sign of chlorosis.  As you can see, however, we’ve reached that point in the year where lack of air circulation and heat can cause the foliage in the interior of your trees to die.  While this doesn’t affect the health of the cypress long-term, it’s unattractive and serves no useful purpose to the tree.

July is the perfect time to defoliate healthy bald cypresses.  Though this tree suffered with chlorosis last year, I judged by the look of the growth this spring that the problem was behind me and it was okay to go ahead and defoliate.  I also decided to push the envelope a bit, and put the tree back in its lovely Chuck Iker home.

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This shot makes it easy to see how much growth the tree has put on!  If you compare this photo with the first one, it’s clear how well it’s developing.  This is especially evident in the progress I’m getting in the crown.  The grow and chop process works beautifully, provided you take the time to fully execute it.

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Here’s a close-up of the apex.  You can see how far it’s come.  I’ve grown and chopped it three times before today, and now it’s time for round four.

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The tree is wired out now.  Notice how well the branch development is coming along – I’m getting ramification and the branches have thickened up nicely.  There’s more to do, of course, but the right techniques properly executed will complete the development of this bonsai.

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And finally, the tree back in its pot.  The trunk measures 5″ in diameter 4″ above the soil surface.  It’s currently 32″ to the tip of the leader.  The finished height will most likely be 30-32″.

I should have new growth in two weeks, assuming the tree doesn’t object too much to the treatment it got today.  The foliage will be fresh and green, which will allow me to show it in the fall.

I’d love any feedback you might want to share on this bonsai.