This is a run of the mill Bald cypress seedling (about 3 years old in 2017) that I decided to play around with in July of that year. How about a windswept cypress, I thought? So I wired it from bottom to top and stuck it in a Byron Myrick oval I had on hand. The base of this tree is about 3/4″ at the soil, and it’s about 22″ tall.

A couple months later I decided to turn the tree around. Now this does not make for an awe-inspring bonsai, no matter which way you turn it.

The thing to keep in mind, however, is that time does every bit as much to make a nice bonsai as we do. This doesn’t mean we don’t have to employ sound design principles. What it does mean, however, is that while you’re employing sound principles (and maybe an unsound principle here and there), the tree gets older. Unless you do something to harm the health of your specimen, it is going to get older just as surely as you are. More age is never a bad thing in bonsai.

So here, in 2018, I’ve performed the master stroke of eliminating extra branches. Only kidding. There’s no mastery in that stroke. It’s what’s called trying to figure out what this tree ought to be. The tree, I hasten to add, remains silent the whole while.

Okay, here we are in May of 2019 and I’ve discarded that whole windswept idea. Does that mean you can’t have a windswept Bald cypress bonsai? Not at all! I just think that this quality material is not suited to it. As a flat-top starts to take shape, this tree looks a lot better.

Here’s an important detail. Notice in the photo above that one of the crown leaders is crossing your field of vision and sweeping back toward the right. This is simply a vestige of that original windswept concept. In this photo, I’ve moved it back into a harmonious position.

But … there’s still something not quite right with this specimen (though it’s gotten a lot better).

And this is it. The trunk was configured in what is called the “C” shape, which is a very difficult trunk shape to work with (sort of like the “S” curve Chinese elms I despise). So I had to correct this problem. Now the tree actually looks like something with a future, even though it’s been made from quite ordinary material. At five years’ age, and the trunk base now at 1″, only time and some proper technique are required to make this a very nice bonsai.

Let me know what you think.

This tree is available for someone who’d like to continue its development going forward. The price is $175 delivered, and it goes to the first one to email me about it.