Bald Cypress Styling Decsions

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Bald Cypress Styling Decsions

Post  timahlen on Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:37 pm

Hi All,

Just picked up this bald cypress on a trip to Florida, and am wondering about future styling.  Decisions to be made include:


  • Single trunk or double
  • Chopping the top further to develop better taper
  • Back in the ground to thicken the trunk further
  • Keeping the thick first branch or removing it


I would appreciate any input you might have, including virtuals.


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Re: Bald Cypress Styling Decsions

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:34 pm


Single trunk or double
Chopping the top further to develop better taper
Back in the ground to thicken the trunk further
Keeping the thick first branch or removing it

Double. Much more eye catching.
No chop. Carving should do it.
Up to you.
KEEP.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Bald Cypress Styling Decsions

Post  DougB on Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:22 pm

i would agree with Jim. And please let it be a natural BC, not made into a Japanese Bonsai. (By the way where are you located? Best to add your location to your profile.)

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Re: Bald Cypress Styling Decisions

Post  timahlen on Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:37 pm

Jim,

Thanks for the concise  Very Happy responses. I didn't show the roots, but one of the things that made me buy the tree was that there are good surface roots evenly distributed around the whole tree. The only reason I can think of for putting it into the ground would be to let these roots grow and and improve the buttress of the trunk.

I think you are probably right on the double trunk. I was thinking maybe a single trunk because it would lend itself to a flat-top style, to which I am very partial. But removing the second trunk would leave a huge scar, and I don't really want to do that. The only problem with the double trunk is that it may be too high up the main trunk to really achieve a believable double trunk look.

Doug, thanks for the input. I live in Dallas, TX (Zone 8b).



Tim Ahlen
Dallas, TX Zone 8b

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Re: Bald Cypress Styling Decsions

Post  Marty Weiser on Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:26 am

I can see a flat top on the main trunk and the second trunk carved and trying to catch up. The story is that the tree was struck by lightening or suffered a similar calamity when it was about 1/3 of its current height and the main trunk reached it's ultimate height, but the branch that grew from the strike point just couldn't keep up and is still trying to reach it's ultimate height. This also helps explain the heavy branch from the main trunk - it also tried to become the new crown, but was left far behind due to it's orientation.


Last edited by Marty Weiser on Sun Jan 19, 2014 4:27 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added a sentence)

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Re: Bald Cypress Styling Decsions

Post  timahlen on Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:48 pm

Marty,

Love the story! I think I can make it work!

Tim Ahlen
Dallas, TX

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Bald Cypress Styling Decsions

Post  ironman on Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:41 pm

I like the double trunk idea but another direction is whack the second trunk off QUICK this spring, add cut paste to the cut line and put tree in a larger, shallow Anderson flat, or similar container and water and feed it to the max. The view I like the better is the second or third but all three can work well...
Leave all branching alone, especially the lower ones. You want them to thicken the trunk...and the tree to thrive. If it all works well, and it should, you will see 2 to 4 feet of new growth by the end of 2014...

The scar will heal in 1 to 2 years completely if the tree is truly thriving and you re-injure the cut next spring. I stick my B/C in a pan of water about 2" deep and keep them there all year long, watering every day. I suggest the same for your climate. Do not cut any roots which come out of the pot into the water pan.
Again, feed and water it like crazy-one a week feeding is normal in my back yard.

Just another view...

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Re: Bald Cypress Styling Decsions

Post  jgeanangel on Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:38 pm

ironman wrote:I like the double trunk idea but another direction is whack the second trunk off QUICK this spring, add cut paste to the cut line and put tree in a larger, shallow Anderson flat, or similar container and water and feed it to the max. The view I like the better is the second or third but all three can work well...
Leave all branching alone, especially the lower ones. You want them to thicken the trunk...and the tree to thrive. If it all works well, and it should, you will see 2 to 4 feet of new growth by the end of 2014...

The scar will heal in 1 to 2 years completely if the tree is truly thriving and you re-injure the cut next spring. I stick my B/C in a pan of water about 2" deep and keep them there all year long, watering every day. I suggest the same for your climate. Do not cut any roots which come out of the pot into the water pan.
Again, feed and water it like crazy-one a week feeding is normal in my back yard.

Just another view...

This would be my approach as well!  You already have reverse taper where the three trunks exit the main line and it is only going to get worse.  As I look at this tree, that intersection causes confusion for my eye...which line to follow?   As Ironman points out, the cut will heal if the tree is allowed to grow vigorously for a couple seasons.  I certainly have the unhealed scars to prove that you must let them grow unchecked to heal wounds...otherwise they can be very slow to heal.

In regards to growing them in water, in my experience the water needs to be in a situation where it evaporates significantly everyday...at least to below the bottom of the pot.  I have noticed in my garden that trees kept submerged all the time do not grow as well as trees that are well watered but continue to have good air exchange in the soil.  Just my experience your mileage may vary.

John

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Bald Cypress Styling Decsions

Post  ironman on Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:53 pm

Thanks, John.

It's tough for me here in Texas to keep enough water in the B/C system (tree/soil/tray) during the Summer.
I am lazy so water stands in my trays but your advice, as usual, is spot on.


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A Virtual Design I am Leaning Towards on My Bald Cypress

Post  timahlen on Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:41 am

I have been playing around with the basic construction of this tree.  The challenge is that the crotch in the trunk is really too high for a true double trunk and the branch that crosses over the main trunk is just unattractive.  What I am thinking of at this point is to take off the crossing branch, turn the shorter trunk into a jin, carve it down further into the trunk, and train the taller trunk into a flattop.  Kind of like this:



What do you think?

Tim Ahlen
Dallas, TX
Zone 8

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Re: Bald Cypress Styling Decsions

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Apr 17, 2014 5:00 pm

I would suggest studying more images of bald cypress in the wild. Use the search function in the forum for excellent pictures from John Geanangel and others (also a few from me).

Link to my images which includes John G's images and others too. But there are other threads with images from the wild so this is not the only one. http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t14307-bald-cypress-in-the-wild

One the wild trees, to help design, look at what angle branches exit the main trunks. Look at the profile of the canopy.

John and I respectfully disagree, perhaps its more terminology than not, but I don't feel flat top styles reflect what bald cypress do in the wild. At best they form low domes, but they are not to my eye routinely flat tops. I actually have a number of photos were youthful trees say between 300 and 500 years old, look more like American elm broom styles than they look like anything else. The majestic 1000+ year old specimens are definitely not broom styles. Many are multi-trunk.

Hope this helps.

However, I am in Illinois and not Florida. My photos are from the northern most known fully mature bald cypress swamp. Florida has different environment.

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Re: Bald Cypress Styling Decsions

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