It’s been a while since I updated the development of my big Bald cypress, Taxodium distichum. This is year two following collection in Winter 2015.
Here’s the tree after its first round of wiring and shaping for 2016, then defoliation and trimming this past July. I was thinking at the time that it might be best to turn the tree slightly.
Here’s the tree as of today, after growing out since the July defoliation. I haven’t done any pinching or pruning, rather I’ve just left the tree alone.
For all of you BC lovers out there who have requested my development guide, I’ve included this photo to show you how the callus is rolling over. Take special note of the “shelf” of wood I left at the top of the chop, where the angled cut was made early this year. The callus has to “climb” over this shelf, which slows its progress and prevents a nasty reverse taper at the point where the new leader emerges from the chop area. As early as next year I’ll carve down the shelf, and that will allow the callus to close over the chopped and carved area and eventually the wound will be completely healed.
Another thing worth noting for today is this vegetative shoot emerging from the new leader. I let it grow wild in order to thicken the base of the leader, which will ensure a smooth tapering transition.
Following removal. I’ll allow the wired leader to grow out in 2017, which will continue the process of thickening the base of the leader.
And finally, after a hard pruning. I really like the design that’s taking shape on this bald cypress. By the end of the 2017 growing season, it should be well on its way to becoming an outstanding specimen bonsai.
The trunk on this tree is 7″ across about 7″ above the soil surface. The root spread is about 16″, and it will finish at about 36″ tall.
Don’t you just love the deep fluting on this tree’s buttressing roots? When you think of the classic bald cypress form, this is what comes to mind.
I’d love to hear any comments you may have on this tree.