A few weeks ago I posted a blog about a Bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, that I collected in 2015 and that failed to bud all the way up the trunk. I have a couple of others hanging around that I had been planning to make something of. Today it was time to work on one of them.
This specimen was collected this past January. It’s a relatively small cypress by most standards, with a 2″ trunk, but the taper and movement of the trunk are superb. Originally I felt it could make a nice addition to a forest, if not a specimen bonsai on its own, but unfortunately it decided not to bud all the way up the trunk.
The good news is, it did bud all the way around the lower part of the trunk, meaning the roots were alive all the way around. So today I decided to take advantage of the trunk and the largest of the shoots.
I peeled away the bark down to the living tissue, then wired what will be the new trunk of this tree. It’s not at all uncommon to see old cypresses whose main trunk has died, to be replaced with younger growth. As always, the cypress does its best to get tall. My plan is to develop the living leader into a complete tree. I should make a lot of headway next year.
You can get an idea of my vision here. I potted the tree at a slight slant, which brings the new leader more upright. This suggests that something may have happened to the tree in the course of its life, perhaps a storm that pushed it off its upright position and caused it to die back. But the will to live remains.
I’m looking forward to working on this tree in 2017. But if you’d like to take on that challenge, you can reserve it at our Bald Cypress Bonsai page and it’ll head your way next April.