Great Bald Cypress Material – Collecting Trip 2

So, four days ago we had a couple of inches of snow here, and temperatures around 15°F for a couple of nights.  Today it was 60°.  That could only mean one thing: go collect more Bald cypress!

Here’s today’s haul.  I focused on larger specimens today, which means I looked for good buttressing.  It’s the classic BC look, after all.








This may be the show-stopper for the day, another of my famous “natural companion” Bald cypress bonsai-to-be.  The larger of these specimens has a 7″ trunk (7″ above the soil level) and is 33″ tall.  The smaller one has a 4″ trunk.  While they are not connected at the base, their roots are intertwined and they didn’t separate as I cleaned them up, so the only conclusion I can draw is that they’re meant for each other.












Here’s another cool specimen.  The trunk is 4″ 4″ above the soil level, and it’s chopped at 24″.  Aren’t the roots terrific?  A little different than usual.
















I’m really excited about this one.  The trunk is 5″ 5″ above the soil, and it’s 29.5″ to the chop.  It’s deeply fluted and the trunk has beautiful movement.  I’m planning to hang onto this one for a few seasons and train it as a flat-top.  It’s going to make a great impression when it’s done.














My heart skipped a beat when I saw this tree.  It’s got a knee coming off one of the radial roots, and a really nice one at that.  What’s fascinating about this is the fact that the trunk of this tree is only 3.5″ above the root crown.  It’s also got subtle fluting, and lots of radial roots that can be exposed when it gets to a bonsai pot.

This is just a killer Bald cypress (maybe it’s the show-stopper of the day).  The trunk is chopped at 26″, and I think a flat-top will accentuate the knee better than a more traditional upright style.

Let me know what you think of today’s catch.  I’m really excited about them.

19 Replies to “Great Bald Cypress Material – Collecting Trip 2”

  1. Walter Delaney

    Lovely collection, but could you put a beer bottle or some other well known item in the photographs for a more realistic appreciation of size?

  2. Robert Gardner

    inorder to get knees on bald cypress can you bend the top roots above the water level. if so do they need to be bound together in order to fuse.

      • robert gardner

        thanks for the quick reply. I have read in some Bonsai magazine that knees could be made using this method.
        Are they really hard to find and how old would the trees be
        for knees to form. In nature how are they made.

        • Zach Smith Post author

          It’s rare to find BC growing in the wild that are not huge and that come with knees. I’ve only come across a few over the years. Most BC that form knees are quite large and old, which makes it a rarity in a smaller specimen.

      • Robert Barnes

        I was wondering if because of such a tramatic event that it would force the stumps to bud quicker than normal.

        • Zach Smith Post author

          I have never noticed this to be the case, Robert. What I have noticed is that these trees tend to have “memory” of where they came from. So a tree that I collected a couple of hours south of me that comes out in February will tend to want to keep doing that, with a little help from the weather.


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