Bald Cypress in the wild.

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Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:07 pm

How about a thread with nothing but Bald Cypress photos of trees in nature. Please add your own photos, but for this thread, try to limit to wild occurring trees, rather than trees deliberately planted. Here are mine from a canoe trip more than 10 years ago.

Here is a photo of the oldest bald cypress in the state of Illinois, estimated to be about 1300 years old. The knees from this tree start 0.5 km away from the trunk, about 1/4 mile or 2 city blocks away.  The location is along the Cache River, south of Vienna, IL, a little east of Cairo, IL.








other trees






more broken survivors of time


pond surrounded by younger bald cypress, oldest being less than 500 years old


For what it is worth, at least in the Cache River system, the cypress don't seem to form the strict 'flat top' look some areas get. Not sure how to describe what I see, but its not 'flat top'. Look at the last image around the pond to see the shape of canopies.

Leo Schordje
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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  Todd Ellis on Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:02 am

Incredible trees!

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  jgeanangel on Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:21 am

Nice trees Leo...  Here are a few I have collected over the years...I took most but several are not my photos....too many to post:)

This group is Flattops...
https://picasaweb.google.com/118170676469030450549/BCFlatops?authuser=0&feat=directlink


There are just natural trees...mainly bases
https://picasaweb.google.com/118170676469030450549/BCNaturalTrees?authuser=0&feat=directlink

John

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:20 pm

I'll never understand how people can look at pictures like these, if not the trees in person, and style bald cypress bonsai with pointy tops and hanging branches like a traditional Formal Upright....

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  Leo Schordje on Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:15 pm

Thanks John, I was hoping you would add your photos. I have never tried Google Plus, interesting way to use it.

Russell Coker wrote:I'll never understand how people can look at pictures like these, if not the trees in person, and style bald cypress bonsai with pointy tops and hanging branches like a traditional Formal Upright....
Agreed, and this set of photos also suggests that the 'African Savanna style flat top' is wrong too. I have seen the bald cypress domes, (a grove of BC sometime grow in this formation) and while I can see how one could describe them as 'flat top' I think it would be better to call it a low dome rather than flat. There is an arc to the shape, the shape is not linear. I have seen bald cypress do what could only be described as an informal broom, and these were often in the domed grove formations. In general, most seem to have a very irregular form, an central leader until nature interferes, and then an irregular shape from there. BC have a tendency for horizontal branches to either form vertical upright shoots, or rising branches that are usually angled above horizontal. There is a lot of variations, the great thing is, one can find a wide range of styles in the photos of wild trees.

*Edit: John, I just looked at your photos again, and darn if some of the trees you imaged didn't have tops that even I would describe as flat. Ok, I guess I have to back off a little on saying BC don't naturally do flat top. Some of your images showed trees so flat I did not see a low arc. But I will stick to my guns that it is more common to see a low arc rather than the 'flat' top. But some of your images really do show flat top trees. I think we both can agree it is not the same as that 'African Savanna style flat top'. There is a difference, one is height. BC are quite tall compared to savanna trees. ** end edit
   
I have seen many young BC nursery trees that were classic Christmas tree shape, which is likely what leads people to try them as material for traditional formal uprights. Some of these as bonsai were pretty good, not award winning at shows, but they did show well, so it is a legitimate style to impose on a BC, but it is not the nature of old wild trees.
   
I firmly believe it is 'acceptable' and correct to view the trees we use for bonsai as our "sculptor's clay", the putty we form to create our living sculptures. Take juniper for example, there is a naturalistic style for yamadori junipers, but in general they can be used to create trees in just about all styles that one could imagine. Younger trees especially are used this way. I find nothing "wrong" with that. It is 100% part of bonsai.

   Similarly, especially with young nursery grown BC, one could easily use them to create a traditional formal upright. This is fine. Nothing wrong with it. But if one wants to emulate the nature of the wild bald cypress, my photos, John Geanangel's photos, and I hope the additional photos that others will post, could serve as inspiration.

So if any others have pictures of bald cypress in the wild that they would like to share, please post them.

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  Andre Beaurain on Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:26 pm

Russell Coker wrote:I'll never understand how people can look at pictures like these, if not the trees in person, and style bald cypress bonsai with pointy tops and hanging branches like a traditional Formal Upright....
OUCH!
I have never seen pictures like these dear Russel, but I'm not going to re bent my branches in a ascending way... Me thinks. My tree use to be like this, as you can see in the thread, but to me it didn't look as good as now...don't you think? Of course I could be way wrong....as more often the case is hihihihihihi.

Leo thank you for this thread, the trees are absolutely awesome!! Please post more.

Love and light


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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  Leo Schordje on Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:46 pm

Andre,
I would stick to your plan for your tree. Save the 'naturalistic' style for the next Bald Cypress you get. I assumed you never saw a bald cypress in the wild, and the trees we grow are the clay or stone of our sculptures, I like the progress your tree has made.

By the way. I have occasionally gotten cuttings of bald cypress to root. Not a very high success rate, but it is not impossible. Semi-hardened off new growth would be what I used. I got one out of 10 to root. When you prune your tree, you can start the next generation. They also will air layer.

You should be able to buy seed from one of the USA seed companies. I don't know your government's import laws for seed. My favorite tree seed company is Schumacker Seed. http://www.treeshrubseeds.com/ they carry bald cypress seed and a number of pines, including one or two that would be sub-tropical, for example Pinus radiata.

Bald cypress do grow rapidly from seed, 5 years in the ground, or growing bed, and you can have 3 inch diameter trunks, maybe 10 years for 5 inch trunks. Suitable for medium size and shohin size bonsai. Or if you have enough seedlings, you could try a 'trunk fusion' bonsai as done first with trident maples. Getting a trunk like John Geanangel's larger trees does require collected material or decades of time.

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  jgeanangel on Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:33 pm

Honestly, I have seen BC growing in every imaginable form(except for maybe cascade) in nature...from the perfect conical pyramid (with a pointy top and down sloping branches) to ancient trees with very flat-tops. Many trees that I consider to be flat-tops often have a slight dome or even an angle to the flat plane. I think most often flat-tops develop in the presence of neighbor trees...growing above and spreading for the light. Also damage from weather can result in a flattop trees. Nature is a wonderful thing that can provide us with limitless inspiration.

Its just a matter of taste and purpose.

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  Twisted Trees on Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:30 pm

Russell Coker wrote:I'll never understand how people can look at pictures like these, if not the trees in person, and style bald cypress bonsai with pointy tops and hanging branches like a traditional Formal Upright....
Perhaps for the same reason that azaleas are not styled as bushes.

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:18 am

Except that since azaleas aren't trees in their own right they take on the style and shape of another.

And please understand that my comment was not aimed at or meant to offend anyone. Scenes like those in these pictures are actually very common here in the southeast, yet we still see the rigid Japanese rules forced on to them.

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  DougB on Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:57 pm

Interesting discussion. It would be very interesting to compare BC in the wild from their natural geographical dispersion as well as the type of landscape (marsh/water/dry land/occasional flood, etc.) I am in the sand hills of NC and there is a difference in how our trees grow just in the eastern half of the state. They are indeed often neglected.

As info I have purchases field grown BC from SunBright Bonsai and have been pleased. They also have field grown Crape Myrtle. Also the NC Forestry Service has a nursery that raises a variety of native trees including BC. They sell these to NC Residents at very reasonable prices. And they will sell/ship to non-residents when they have enough.. This is an excellent program for NC. Here is the link NC Forestry

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  Twisted Trees on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:54 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Except that since azaleas aren't trees in their own right they take on the style and shape of another.

And please understand that my comment was not aimed at or meant to offend anyone. Scenes like those in these pictures are actually very common here in the southeast, yet we still see the rigid Japanese rules forced on to them.
I seem to recall that a Bald Cypress won one of the awards at the 3rd Nation US Exhibition last year styled precisely as a naturalistic flat top design.

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:20 pm

Twisted Trees wrote:
Russell Coker wrote:Except that since azaleas aren't trees in their own right they take on the style and shape of another.

And please understand that my comment was not aimed at or meant to offend anyone. Scenes like those in these pictures are actually very common here in the southeast, yet we still see the rigid Japanese rules forced on to them.
I seem to recall that a Bald Cypress won one of the awards at the 3rd Nation US Exhibition last year styled precisely as a naturalistic flat top design.
Wonderful! Seems like I remember that too, but not the tree.

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  coh on Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:04 am

A photo of the bald cypress being discussed can be found at 3rd National Exhibition Results (scroll down to 5th image)

Well, let's see if I can link directly to the image:


Finest Bonsai & Companion Combination, Michael Feduccia, Plant City, FL

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:56 am



Thanks Chris. That's the one I thought. It looks like a tree down the street from my parents' house. I'll try to get a good picture while I'm home this weekend.

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  Andre Beaurain on Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:53 pm

I have two large Swamp cypresses in the nursery in front of the stables, and after this posting I went to look at them and realized that in fact the branches does look very ascending, but it was winter

Then I had an epiphany.... of course they appear very much ascending in winter, that is because all the weight of the leaves are gone! Hello! Go and photograph the exact same trees in mid summer and you will see that the branches definately hang down a lot more.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

I realized this, because in summer I have to duck my head to walk under them, and in winter they seem much taller....

So we all missed this very very important factor. And I just removed all my wires from my tree...damn! Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes 

...and you are welcome..

Love and light

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu May 01, 2014 5:59 pm

damm... thanks ALOT leo...

now i want a bald cypress !

"we have more trees than we need
but never as many as we want"

too true

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Re: Bald Cypress in the wild.

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