These two bald cypresses came out of the swamp together, having grown for some time as natural companions. I could see a two tree flat-top pairing right off the bat. Knowing I could create the entire crown of each tree in a bonsai pot, I went ahead and put the pair in this Byron Myrick oval. Then I waited.
It took a couple of months, but I finally got enough growth going to start wiring the new leaders. Not much to look at, are they? (Actually, they grew like crazy bushes; I took off over 90% of the growth before doing this wiring.)
A couple months later, we’ve got some good growth going. Time for a trim and more wiring.
They’re back to not looking like much, but if you strain you can see the crown taking shape on the larger specimen. I’d predict that by the end of next growing season, I’ll have a really nice flat-top structure in place. I’ll keep you posted.
Here’s a sweetgum bonsai that I just made today. It too doesn’t look like much, but that’s because I cut off all the large leaves in order to promote a new crop of smaller leaves. I’ll diligently pinch the growing tips, which is the secret to training sweetgums during the growing season. I should have a nice bit of foliage on the tree by next month.
This is a small specimen, with a trunk base of 3/4″ and a height of 14″. What I like about it is, it’s a good example of the natural growth habit of sweetgum, which is columnar. By keeping the branches short, I can emphasize this great feature of the species.
The pot is a beautiful oval by Chuck Iker. In case I get fall color this year, the pot color will complement it very nicely.
Finally, I wired up this Eastern hophornbeam, Ostrya virginiana, which I had direct-potted this past winter when I collected it. I cut off the leaves the other day, to promote a final flush of growth this season.
Hophornbeam is one of the relatively few species of trees that holds its leaves through winter – American beech and Southern sugar maple being two others in my neck of the woods. They also feature a nice rough bark, versus American hornbeam with its smooth bark. They’re difficult to collect, as they don’t like to have their roots disturbed.
This specimen has a 1″ trunk base and is 11.5″ tall. Another great Chuck Iker pot.