Bald Cypress Collecting Trip #3 For 2022

bald cypress collecting trip #3 for 2022

Sneak Peek

More specimens from this week’s trip.

Bald Cypress Collecting Trip #3 for 2022

It’s a given that I’ll have Bald cypresses budding out each year before just about everything else – Chinese elms usually being first. Because the BC’s I collect are mostly sourced south of where I am, they come with “memory” and bud at pretty much the same time their brothers still in the swamp do.

I mention this because most of the BC’s on my benches collected in years past are pushing buds. If we get a warm-up sometime in the next couple of weeks, which appears likely, these new specimens shouldn’t be far behind in signalling probable survival. It makes for an exciting time of year!

This is my favorite specimen from today’s haul. It’s not all that big – trunk 3.5″ measured 3.5″ above the soil, chopped at 20″ – but the buttress on it is “wicked.” This is going to make an outstanding BC bonsai.


Here’s the biggest one we brought home, with a trunk measuring 5″ and chopped at 26″. Very nice buttressing.

This is a 3″ specimen, measuring 24″ to the chop. I think it’s a legitimate formal upright to be. The fluting is very good, as you can see.

I always look for obvious flat-top material when I’m out hunting, and this specimen is just perfect for the style. The slender, graceful trunk has just the right amount of movement in it, and the base features radial surface roots that produce a stable and mature appearance.

One thing I really like about flat-top cypresses is that you can finish their development in just two seasons.

Let me know what you think of these specimens. I also run a “wish list,” so if you’re in the market for a nice BC (or other species) just shoot me an email.

Bald Cypress Collecting Trip #2 For 2022

bald cypress collecting trip #2 for 2022

Sneak Peek

More specimens from this week’s trip.

Bald Cypress Collecting Trip #2 for 2022

The weather has taken a cold turn recently. Though we do alternate with moderate days, it seems that every weekend it turns cold again. As far as collecting trees is concerned, cold weather (I don’t mean bitterly cold freezing weather with frozen solid ground) is actually good. Down here it’s not at all uncommon for us to see fairly warm weather in February. Based on what I see in the forecast, that won’t be happening this year. I’m okay with that, as long as we don’t get freaky cold weather in March or April (which has been known to happen).

Here’s a nice specimen we brought home today. The base is 3.5″, which makes for a nice “statement” tree. Height is one of the key natural features of Bald cypress, giving the species much of its character. When you have great taper and a nice flaring fluted base, you’re just a set of branches away from a great bonsai.


This one’s a bit larger than the one above, with a base of 4″ (these basal measurements, incidentally, are taken above the soil meaning in this case 4″ above the soil). So the root spread is bigger.

The character of this one is outstanding.

Here’s another 4″ specimen. The flaring base is a great feature and will give an instant look of age.

This one is the most unusual for the day. What I spotted about it from a distance was the subtle fluting. For a BC this small, in this case with a 2.25″ trunk base, you just don’t find the beginnings of fluting that often.

When I got up close and started clearing around the trunk, I noticed the neat root coming off the side. And on that root is a “knee-like” bump. Very unsual for a BC this small. So this one is very special.

Let me know what you think of these bonsai to be.

Bald Cypress Collecting Trip #1 For 2022

bald cypress collecting trip #1 for 2022

Sneak Peek

This BC collecting season got off to a late start due to weather, but things are starting to look up.

Bald Cypress Collecting Trip #1 for 2022

I love this time of year – but only for the opportunity to collect new material. The weather is cold, often wet and just nasty. I hate winter!

But the new BC’s do come home, with some work of course. Here’s one of the new specimens, a nice 4″ trunk and destined to be a formal upright.

I wouldn’t call this one exactly a formal upright but it’s close. A little smaller in diameter than the one above, I’m thinking it could very well end up as a flat-top.

Sometimes, when the taper is right, we end up with a shorter specimen. Even though the trunk measures 4″ on this one, it’s chopped at only 22″.

This one speaks for itself. The taper and trunk movement are just outstanding. Will it work as an informal upright or flat-top? Either way!

It’s also a toss-up as to which front is the front. I haven’t made up my mind yet. What do you think?

And I’d love to hear what you think of this group of BC’s.

Bald Cypress Collecting Trip #5 For 2021

bald cypress collecting trip #5 for 2021

Sneak Peek

Trees are starting to bud already south of us, so this is probably our last BC collecting trip for 2021.

Bald Cypress Collecting Trip #5 for 2021

The willows are coming out now, down south of us, and the swamp maples are blooming. When you add to that the fact that I have some BC’s on my benches that are showing green buds, I think it’s time to call the collecting season done for 2021.

Here’s the star of the show for today. Check out the knee behind the tree. It’s definitely connected to the trunk, so if it roots then I’ve got a special tree on the bench. I think this is the best front for the tree.

Another view. Easier to see the knee, but the trunk is not as impressive from this angle.

This one measures 3.5″ at a height of 3.5″ from the soil surface, and it’s chopped at 26″. It’s going to make a fine informal upright (very nice taper and movement, love the basal flare).

This one has a 3″ trunk, with nice radial roots and outstanding character. And you have to love the change of direction in the trunk. I see a flat-top here.

This one also has a 3″ trunk, but it’s made really special by the fluting near the base – somewhat hard to make out in this photo, but it’s quite prominent for a tree this size. I’m always looking for this quality of material.

Finally for today, this is an even smaller specimen sporting a 2″ base (chopped at 20″). While it’s also hard to make out in the photo, this one has subtle fluting in the trunk and that’s really unusual for a specimen this small. Nice flare and roots at the base as well.

I’d love to hear what you think of today’s catch.

Bald Cypress Collecting Trip #4 For 2021

bald cypress collecting trip #4 for 2021

Sneak Peek

Our goal this week was to collect some additional smaller cypresses. We had some good luck.

Bald Cypress Collecting Trip #4 for 2021

We went after some additional smaller specimens today, and we had great success. This one has a 3.5″ trunk and is chopped at 25″. Very nice start on an informal upright BC bonsai.

This one has a 2.5″ trunk and is chopped at 21.5″. We came home with three this exact same size.

Although this tree doesn’t fit the “smaller material” category – the base is 4.5″ – I couldn’t leave it behind. I chopped it at 22″, so it’s a chunkier speciment than most this size. Nice fluting.

Finally for today, this was my favorite. I sometimes find two trees growing together and they look like they want to be a bonsai together. I love the ratio of trunk sizes here. The larger one has a 3″ base and is chopped at 26″.

My plan, at least for now, is to hang onto this one to train. I think it’s going to make an outstanding bonsai in just a few years.

Let me know what you think. The BC we’ve collected this year could very well start budding in February, if we get a warm snap. Personally, I can’t wait for some warmer weather.

Bald Cypress Collecting Trip #3 For 2021

bald cypress collecting trip #3 for 2021

Sneak Peek

This week’s catch featured a couple of big ones, though they weren’t quite as large as last week’s big ones; plus we got some smaller material as well.

Bald Cypress Collecting Trip #3 for 2021

Here’s another one of those big guys, though fortunately not quite as large as last week’s big ones. Check out the flutes and the basal flare. Really outstanding material.

One possible front.

I like this front a lot better. The trunk has some movement and the flutes are still nicely highlighted.

A third possibility. Also good, but I still like number 2 best.

Getting the tree in the tub called for adjusting the planting angle to accommodate the flaring roots. But hey, I think this potential front may just have as much going for it as the one above.

The base of the tree is 6.5″ across, and it’s chopped at 31″. You can’t ask for better large BC raw material than this.

We were lucky enough to find some smaller trees this time as well. This one, which has flat-top written all over it, is 3.5″ across just above the soil and stands 29″ at the chop.

Here’s another one with a 3.5″ trunk. Love the flutes and basal flare. I’m thinking of hanging onto this one for training. It stands 26″ to the chop, and will make a fine formal upright specimen.

Let me know what you think.