Okay, while I admit to enjoying everything associated with bonsai, the fact is it’s not necessarily all hysterical fun. Sometimes it can actually get to be a bit of a drag. Don’t get me wrong, the wiring, pruning, pinching, unwiring, rewiring, and so on aren’t bad at all, but I’ll admit that I find repotting seldom puts a smile on my face. So every now and then, you’ve got to do something different and have some real oddball fun with bonsai. This past winter I collected my first crop of bald cypress cones from my own trees. I sold some and planted some for future projects. And then I saw a post on a forum where someone had simply potted up a handful of seeds and grew a forest directly from them. Why not do the same thing with bald cypress? So I had this small Chuck Iker pot sitting empty and wondered what I could make of the idea.
Here’s how I got started on April 11th of this year. Bald cypress seeds have a very high germination rate, so I figured from this cone I should at least get a good dozen or two trees to come up. My first half-dozen are waking up in this shot.
By April 25th, the forest was getting pretty crowded. Almost everything is still at bare seedling stage, with just the cotyledons showing.
And here we are today. Now that’s what I call bonsai fun! I haven’t done anything to this new bald cypress forest except remove the stressed summer foliage from the interior. My plan is to do nothing else until next spring, and at that time I’ll shear the forest into a nice triangular silhouette. I expect the crowded space will keep the trees from getting individually too strong. And that’s the really easy way to a presentable little forest.
By the way, the pot is 6.5″ in diameter.
What do you think of this instant forest? Leave me a note below.