Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

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Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  Randy_Davis on Tue May 24, 2011 4:55 pm

Hi gang,

Don't you just love to spring clean your trees!!!!! It makes such a difference. This is the before and after on my Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum). Not a great tree like those seen in the Southern US but good enough for this old boy from Kentucky. Still a few more years work to get it right but the path to the finish line is fun to follow.

Randy

Before


After

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  Jesse on Tue May 24, 2011 5:01 pm

Cleans up nicely!

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Bald Cypress

Post  Mitch Thomas on Tue May 24, 2011 6:10 pm

Looks good Randy!
That is a very nice bald cypress. It will be bush out again in no time!
Just after I posted mine I went ahead and presure washed mine to clean up the exfoliating bark. Mine is about 80% leafed out now. These are some awsome trees to work on.
Mitch

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spring cleaning bald cypress

Post  moyogijohn on Tue May 24, 2011 6:22 pm

Looks great!! the only thing i see wrong is it is not on MY table...good job take care john

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  Randy_Davis on Tue May 24, 2011 8:37 pm

Thanks Jesse and John!!!

Mitch,

I just love the exfoliating bark on these trees it justs adds to the mystique of the trees to me. I even grow it in pure Kentucky Mud hoping I might get some natural knees to form someday. I'm going to have to have one of the potters here make me a pot with no drainage holes in it so It can sit in water all day. This tree was collected from the most northern natural habitate in southern IL so it feels right at home here in Kentucky.

ta ta for now,
Randy

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  sunip on Tue May 24, 2011 8:57 pm

Hi Randy,
I was planning to wire some roots up to get those knees on my Taxodium.
Do you think this will not give a natural look in the end?
You gave me an idea with that pot with no drainage holes though.
My tree was in a pond basket in the koi pond for a few years which is beautiful
but because of the koi i could not fertilize the taxodium so this year he is not in the water.
regards, Sunip Wink

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  Randy_Davis on Tue May 24, 2011 9:12 pm

sunip wrote:Hi Randy,
I was planning to wire some roots up to get those knees on my Taxodium.
Do you think this will not give a natural look in the end?
You gave me an idea with that pot with no drainage holes though.
My tree was in a pond basket in the koi pond for a few years which is beautiful
but because of the koi i could not fertilize the taxodium so this year he is not in the water.
regards, Sunip Wink

Sunip,

To me it wouldn't be quite a natural look. The knees when they develop are unique pointy things, spongy when you feel them and a diferent bark structure which you can never get with a bent up root. I'm not sure what the technique is to get them to form but I just keep trying. I'm grow it in mud, giving it a dry season in the fall by not watering quite so much and using a low wide container. I get knees on my tree in my pond so I'm just treating this tree the same as what happens in nature. I'm not sure it will work, even in my lifetime but what the heck, it's just time and another thing to play around with.

Good luck bud!
Randy

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Bald Cypress

Post  Mitch Thomas on Wed May 25, 2011 1:39 am

Hi Randy
Yea I hear ya the mature bark adds to the illusion. I am needing to push some additional budding slightly damaging the bark will do it.

The drainless pot will help in the summer but may hurt in your climate in the winter. One thing we do here is to lay a piece of visqueen directly on the bottom and curl it up the sides to seal it like a bowl , then we use 100% siffted miricle grow potting soil with great results.

The bent up roots always look contrived to me. I don't think a technique has been perfected yet. As far as I know it's near impossible to grow any and if you did I don't know if they would be to scale.

Mitch

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Sping cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  ironman on Wed May 25, 2011 4:31 pm

Might nice tree from Paducah!
Have you a shot of one of the lower limbs from above-or can you post one?
Pretty please... Very Happy

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  Randy_Davis on Wed May 25, 2011 5:13 pm

ironman wrote:Have you a shot of one of the lower limbs from above-or can you post one?

Ironman,

your wish is my command! lol Here are 2 shots from above, hope one of them gives you what your looking for.

Randy



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Sping cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  ironman on Wed May 25, 2011 5:23 pm

You are good AND quick, Randy.
Thanks very much.
I'm looking to see the structure and ramification of the limbs.

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  LordEOfBeckley on Wed May 25, 2011 6:02 pm

BC are such beautiful trees and I love them as bonsai! I've scouted out a few to collect, but the time of the year is not right. I have a few from nurseries (3 and 7 gallon) that I'm layering and going to start developing for a small forest next year. I may pick up a 15 gallon this weekend to start as a stand alone.

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Sping cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  ironman on Wed May 25, 2011 6:25 pm

LordEOfBeckley...
I heard many say that this is best time to collect BC.
Now, I've only collected 1 in May/June but it's doing ever so well and I plan a dig or two over the next month or so...
Lowes had them to 12' recently in San Antonio for a 20 dollar bill and change...
You should have seen the customers faces when I chopped them, then and there to get them into the bed of my truck!

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  Randy_Davis on Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:48 pm

ironman wrote:I'm looking to see the structure and ramification of the limbs.

Ironman,

This time of year is the best for viewing structure and ramification. I just finished rewiring before I put it away for the winter and thought this would be a good time to snap a pic for you.


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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  jersanct on Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:50 pm

Beautiful tree, Randy. Thanks for sharing it.

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Sping cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  ironman on Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:38 pm

Thanx, Randy.
I'm glad to see it looks natural w/o leaves.
Reminds me of the rivers in Texas during December to February which are lined with naked B/C.
You have done well...
You are ahead of me. I have only one tree I can strip leaves from.
The rest are holding on to their leaves...

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  Mitch Thomas on Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:29 am

Randy
Very nice bald cypress. I really like the winter images of these trees they look so different.
Our BC's down here are in late bronze stage and starting to drop. I will wait till then to do my winter work.

Mitch

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  LordEOfBeckley on Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:33 am

Thanks for posting the update. I like this tree a lot, even though it doesn't fit the naturalistic BC growth pattern. I plan on having a handful of BC, and all having different styles. Anyway, Thanks!

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Re spring cleaning-bald-cypress

Post  Neil Brough on Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:43 am

Hi Randy yes theres much to appreciate in the bald cypress trees, down here in the south pacific they are hard to source in large grades.But we bonsai fanatics dont give up easy do we i have managed to get my hands on two sturdy trees and located two more even larger ones that i am very pleased with. Great tree and nice styling.

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  Fore on Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:22 pm

Thanks for the winter shot. I was wondering if you tried to correct the upward angle of the primary branching that is normal for BCs. Looks natural to me not correcting it.

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  Randy_Davis on Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:59 pm

All,

Thanks for all the kind comments! I had the branches of this tree almost at 90 degrees and slightly upward for a while and I just didn't like the look of it. The inner parts of the branches were becomming bare of twiggy growth from lack of light. This wiring, I have angled the branches downward to get more light to the inner parts and the overall look is just far better to my eye, so I'm happy with it for the time being. As always trees change with age and the design will undoubtably change over the comming years but that's the beauty of things that are alive and growing, I just wish it would spout a couple of knees. I'll have to spend more time looking at some of the trees in swamps around here to get my eye trained on the "natural" look. I am at the northern edge of the Bald Cypress range here in Western Kentucky and they do grow differently here than in the far southern states like LA or FL.

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  mr treevolution on Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:46 pm

Lovely tree.
Wish there were more about , an under used and amazing tree!
Regards Nick

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  coh on Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:53 pm

Nice tree, thanks for the update! Just picked up a bald cypress this fall, looking forward to working with it.

I've got 2 questions if you don't mind -

1) Approximately how tall is the tree? Maybe you said but I don't remember seeing it.

2) What are you planning with the apex region? Right now looks like you've got a split with two tops forming...curious about what you're going to do there.

Chris

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  Randy_Davis on Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:22 pm

coh wrote:I've got 2 questions if you don't mind -

1) Approximately how tall is the tree? Maybe you said but I don't remember seeing it.

2) What are you planning with the apex region? Right now looks like you've got a split with two tops forming...curious about what you're going to do there.

Chris

Chris,

1. The tree is about 32 inches tall or so

2. The apex of the tree will pretty much remain as it is but get fatter and wider with time and probably merge with the lower tiered branches to form a more billowing canopy. It's quite normal for most trees to split and widen when they reach their terminal height and broaden out their canopy. As far as this tree goes, I'm not sure how it will change over time. It will depend on how it grows out naturally and the mood that I'm in at the time I decided that It needs some work done on it. Here in Kentucky and Southern IL the BC are more rounded at the apex, particularly when they are very old than what one sees in the far southern states and is rarely represented in minature. As such, I'm sure the KY and S IL examples will direct my future work on this tree. If I get some time, I'll snap some pictures of older local trees in the creeks around here which exhibit this different growth pattern and post them. I have found for me, that it's far more challenging and rewarding to effectively replicate the images that nature gives us than those "gum drop" designs that have become so pervasive in our craft.

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

Post  coh on Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:59 pm

Thanks for the explanation, Randy. I would like to see photos of some of the local trees if you get the chance. I haven't seen many examples of mature bald cypress (and none in person).



Chris

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Re: Spring cleaning - Bald Cypress

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