I’m sure you all remember this Bald Cypress, Taxodium Distichum, which I defoliated on July 14th. You were kind enough to help me pick the new front of the tree. It’s surprising to many folks that established BC can be defoliated in summer, but the fact is it not only does no harm to the tree, it actually produces multiple benefits. For one, you get another round of styling work done. After defoliation, you have the opportunity to “see inside” the tree and make some styling decisions. Second, you avoid the inevitable “tired” foliage that BC bonsai tend to get in the August-September timeframe. They grow so vigorously that it’s common for some of the interior foliage to suffer and turn brown, then black. This goes away with the defoliation and does not return. Finally, the trees are much more likely to produce a nice fall foliage color, the beautiful bronze you may have seen before, as a result of the defoliation.
Two weeks later, you can see the new foliage appearing. As a general rule, all of the thicker branches on a BC will rebud in various spots along the length of the branch. With the smaller ones, it’s an iffy proposition. Sometimes they die, sometimes now. But they’re easily replaced with fast-growing shoots, so it’s not a significant issue.
Here’s a shot from today (8/20/16). The foliage volume is coming along. I did a shearing of new shoots that were pointing straight up or were too long, and removed shoots that didn’t belong. All of this is in preparation for showing the tree at our local club fall show in November. I’m in hopes of having fall color to show.
I know a lot of you are looking for bald cypress stock, and we should have a lot more next spring. As always, I can’t recommend BC more highly. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a species better suited to bonsai.
I’d love to hear any comments you may have.