Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

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Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Precarious on Sat Sep 27, 2014 1:25 am

I saw a small golden tuffet at a nursery when visiting Minnesota.  The foliage has fronds rather than pads, and they are an inch - 1.5 inches in length.  Would I pinch these fronds like with a juniper, and can I pinch them to any length?  Any other guidance specific to growing these in a pot?  Here is an example from google if they are new to you as well:

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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Leo Schordje on Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:46 pm

Interesting material, I will be curious to see it develop in the future. I have no experience with this one. Thuja is botanically related to Hinoki False Cypress, Chaemcyparis obtusa. Do not treat it like a juniper. Read up on how to prune Hinoki - Chaemycyparis, that is your best guide. DO NOT PINCH foliage, this won't work. You selectively prune with scissors. You do not want to remove all the growing tips on any branch you want to keep, the branch will die if you do. Bjorn Bjornholm, Peter Tea, Craetegus, and Bonsai Tonight all have blogs and videos that discuss training hinoki, this is where you should get a start. Nick Lenz in his book Collecting Bonsia from the Wild has a chapter on using Thuja specifically. There are other Thuja references on the web as well.

I am glad someone is trying interesting dwarf cultivars, I will be curious how this one develops. Nice find.

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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Precarious on Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:16 pm

Oh, I would have been way off base on my own. Thanks Leo, I will check out those sources. It is quite small now, but hopefully in a couple of years I will have pictures to post.

David

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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Leo Schordje on Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:15 pm

I looked "Golden Tuffet" up in a wholesaler's catalog. It is Thuja occidentalis 'Golden Tuffet', It is a genetic dwarf Thuja, that retains juvenile foliage throughout its life. So you won't see the fans of foliage the books will show when you look up Thuja or Hinoki. With Thuja, this needle like foliage normally is the first foliage put out by a seedling when it first sprouts. Usually by the second or third year a seedling will start forming adult foliage and you never see the juvenile needle foliage again. Under stress sometime Thuja and Hinoki will revert to juvenile foliage, and in the normal form, this is a sign you pruned too much. In 'Golden Tuffet' this will be the norm.

Also this is a genetic dwarf, they list grow rate as 2 to 4 inches per year, a 10 year old plant can be expected to be no more than 3 feet wide by 2 feet tall. It also tends to grow broader than wider.

So given the above, what ever plan you eventually make for this tree, I would keep the whole design under 12 inches tall, or you will have to wait quite a while for it to get bigger.

If it were my tree, I would probably turn it into a shohin, or miniature, with its current size being the maximum size of the design. I would not prune off too much foliage at once, because it will be slow to replace it. Plan on it not replacing much of anything you remove. You will be able to create more dense branching, but if you envision more than an inch of growth in any one area, you might have to really wait a long time for the tree to respond.

Have you taken a peek at the branch structure?

If this were mine, my first task would be to repot it, probably into a round pot, an inch or two larger in diameter than its current pot, and 1/3 to 1/2 the depth. Do this in spring. Remove soil from the top first until you find where the roots leave the trunk, then trim off from the bottom so it will fit the pot and have a little room to grow roots in all directions. Again, plan on the roots being unable to grow more than 2 to 4 inches per year. Don't prune more than a few branches at this time, and rather than pruning the ends of branches, I would take out a few branches, cutting off near the trunk, but leave a stub. Prune only a few that were clearly not usable in any bonsai design, but I would not take more than 10 to 20% of the total foliage off. This will allow light into the 'ball' of foliage, and let you see the main branch structure a little. Then I would let it recover for a year. During this time contemplate the branches you have. Remember than these do not back bud closer to the trunk than where foliage already is.

Then in 2016 I would begin styling, or if I had enough other projects going, start in 2017. In between I would read up on Thuja and Chamaecyparis care. That would be my plan. The cure for patience in bonsai is to get more bonsai, you need enough trees so that there is always something to do and you can let a project recover while doing other trees. I love giving people "permission" to buy more trees. Twisted Evil

Leo Schordje
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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Precarious on Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:44 am

What I had been able to dig up didn't mention slow growth, degree of backbudding, nor any helpful pruning advice, so I am grateful for what you've found. I have had this in a one quart pot since purchase in June, and did prune away a very few branches that might have turned unsightly down the road. It is quite rootbound and difficult to water thoroughly, so I have been looking forward to a repot in spring. Along those lines, I just noticed some browning at the top of the plant. Don't know if this is a normal response to cooling nights, or is related to the watering issue. I will post a couple of pics this evening.

David

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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Precarious on Mon Sep 29, 2014 3:48 am

Here are the pics I mentioned.  Mine looks significantly greener than when I bought it, and completely different from the color you see on google images.  Only the growing tips have any hint of that golden/orange color when purchased.  Not enough sun?  Five-ish hrs/day thru summer, now more like 3, then tree shade most of afternoon.  The brown on top is not brittle, it is flexible and when rubbed nothing falls away.  Is that underwatering, not enough direct sun, other?  No signs of infestation or infection to my eye.

Overall size:
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Trunk/branch structure:
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The top:
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Close-up of top, to show the browning and one new bud on lignified wood (almost dead center):
" />

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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Leo Schordje on Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:35 am

Hey, you have branches in there, and they are not all dead arrow straight, and they are not all the same diameter. You will be able to make a nice little bonsai out of this.

That is really root bound, but it should be ok until spring repotting season.

I am not a good diagnostician when it come to plant maladies. Most of the brown is on the oldest foliage, which could be just the natural process. However, if shaded, foliage will brown out and die. I would guess it could use a couple more hours of sun. They can take full sun, though they will tolerate part shade. I would try more sun to try and keep the oldest foliage. You've already opened up the interior a little so light can get in, try a few more hours of sun. Yellow forms often need more sun to develop color. It is the white variegates that tend to burn in the sun.

"golden" or "aurea" or yellow foliage conifers in general start out brightest yellow on spring growth, then slowly become more green. Though there is a second scenario, most conifers withdraw chlorophyll from the foliage during winter. Some do it early some late. A lot of junipers turn rather brown or purple for winter. My Pinus virginiana "Wate's Golden" goes from deep green at the end of summer to a bright yellow over the winter. Spring comes and it new growth is yellow too. Over the summer the whole plant slowly turns green. It doesn't look green until August. Kinda cool.

So time will tell what the color change sequence will be with your tree. I don't think you have anything pathogenic going on. Hopefully the brown won't spread much further. Maybe someone else can tell whether the browning is natural or due to a problem.

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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Precarious on Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:56 am

Hmm, arrow straight branches, all the same diameter... I think you refer to my juniper Tabletop. I'm going to make something out of him yet. Guess I like projects- my wife says I'm one. Rolling Eyes

I looked at Wate's Golden. Niiice.

Okay, more sun and close monitoring for Golden Tuffet. Thanks Leo!

David

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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Andre Beaurain on Mon Sep 29, 2014 12:36 pm

Cupressus and Thuya belongs to the same group.

Here is my Cupressus from California USA! - Cupressus macrocarpa Gold Crest Forest..  Had it now for 10 years I think.  



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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Precarious on Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:28 pm

Wow, I could easily spend an afternoon gazing at that work! Is it about 4' tall? Do you have it in full sun all day long?

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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:21 pm

WOW Andre, really nice. Looks a lot like a Monterrey Cypress one might find in California, USA (you know why I added the USA   Smile  ). It also looks like a forest of its cousin, the Japanese Cryptomeria. Cool. You should definitely show this at a bonsai show, great use of material. Hard to tell color from the photo, describe the color, does it cycle through the season, age of foliage or is it a fairly uniform color?

I bet as you prune, you use the cuttings as propagation stock for the commercial end of your nursery, if you don't you should try, I know they are not easy to root from cuttings but I do know some nurseries do propagate them that way.

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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:33 pm

yeah - that IS interesting material...
re: the coloration, i have a golden carpet juniperus horizontalis that was only green for the first 2 years, but this year it has assploded into its golden color and it really is striking, so maybe yours will just take a little more time to show it...

i took "summer portraits" a week or 2 ago and will post a pic when i get time...

(i should just fill a zip drive and bring it too work Wink )

andre - nice forest !!!

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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Andre Beaurain on Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:47 am

Precarious wrote:Wow, I could easily spend an afternoon gazing at that work!  Is it about 4' tall?  Do you have it in full sun all day long?

Thank you Mate

The cement slab it stands on is 160cm x 70 at the widest. The tallest tree is 130cm high. I cheq it up I planted it in 2006. All Nursery trees. I only pinch them back and every year I put compost on top. Have never trimmed the roots. I should hey?

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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Andre Beaurain on Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:54 am

Leo Schordje wrote:WOW Andre, really nice. Looks a lot like a Monterrey Cypress one might find in California, USA (you know why I added the USA   Smile  ). It also looks like a forest of its cousin, the Japanese Cryptomeria. Cool. You should definitely show this at a bonsai show, great use of material. Hard to tell color from the photo, describe the color, does it cycle through the season, age of foliage or is it a fairly uniform color?

I bet as you prune, you use the cuttings as propagation stock for the commercial end of your nursery, if you don't you should try, I know they are not easy to root from cuttings but I do know some nurseries do propagate them that way.

Thanks Leo! Really appreciate it.

Yes it is a Monterrey Cypress. From a small belt in California USA Wink ( yes I Know)

I havnt thought of dispaying it, I dont think it is dispaly ready. Do you? I have never exibited anything. Sad isnt it...

The color is very gold, light yellow bleached in the sun, The back side which faces east is almost white! I love this forest for the color and ascending branches. Very uniform in colour.

I do do cuttings. In spring they are easy. In fact this forest was grown form cuttings, to Nursery trees in 20 litre bags and then cut back.

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Re: Anyone worked with arborvitae golden tuffet?

Post  Andre Beaurain on Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:00 am

beer city snake wrote:yeah - that IS interesting material...
re: the coloration, i have a golden carpet juniperus horizontalis that was only green for the first 2 years, but this year it has assploded into its golden color and it really is striking, so maybe yours will just take a little more time to show it...

i took "summer portraits" a week or 2 ago and will post a pic when i get time...

(i should just fill a zip drive and bring it too work  Wink )

andre - nice forest !!!

Thanks Kevin

This is not a Juniperus my friend. The colour is permanent and doenst change seasonally. It also has lemon scented foliage.

Thanks again


Im sorry for doing this again and discuss my trees in somebodies thread. But maybe Fiona or JIm will move it out. I dont mind. (call it: Andres Gold crest Forest) and then we can discuss it further if you people would like.

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