Hinoki concerns...

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Hinoki concerns...

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:45 pm

I have been growing a few Hinoki cypress and am concerned whenever they shed a lot of foliage. I know all conifers shed their needles at various times throughout the year. One of my trees shed approx a third of its foliage this Fall, the other has shed almost fifty percent. I lost another due to it drying out and then overwatering it. It is a small tree approx ten inches tall. Actually it still has some green and I have it growing in the ground now to see if it will recover.

What I would like to know from other Hinoki growers is "how much foliage do you see being shed on your trees? I see pictures of gorgeous trees in books and know that the photos were taken at "one moment in time..." Do these lush trees shed a lot of old growth, only to have the grower let it grow again to fill in and then show it at its prime? Is this the nature of Hinokis?

I use an 80% turface mixture with pine bark and leaf mould for moisture. I think I keep them well watered and I fed consistantly this year with organics and inorganics.

Thank you for your help. Very Happy
Todd

The tree which lost 30%:


The tree which lost 50% (a golden tipped variety):


Some Falll color on my benches:

Todd Ellis
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Re: Hinoki concerns...

Post  sunip on Sat Nov 05, 2011 7:27 pm

Hello Tod,
Yes it is the time of the year hinokis and sawaras tell us how they feel.
Early autumn they will show some brown patches mostly in the inner part of the tree and the shaded parts
under the branches as you painfully will know.
I have the same question as you, what is normal and what is not?
What i know is that they need a good draining soil and a good feed with a lot of pinching.
Keep the light in each part of the tree.
Be careful with drying wind in times of freezing temperature.
They hate lime, and branch bending.
Bending and heavy wiring should be performed over time in a slow way,
specially the dwarf varieties.
Do not wash the roots wile repotting and be careful with the roots.
A while ago i opened a thread about Chamaecypharis backbudding,
they will do backbudding but not further back then the last green spot.
I must say it did not happened on my trees as far as i have been able to see.
Answering your question: i have a lower percentage brown foliage
but if it is what they naturally would shed on this time of year i can not tell.
Maybe wiring damage will easily lead to brown foliage.
I am not certain about your soil mixture.
Hope for some answers from others.
Regards, Sunip Wink



sunip
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Re: Hinoki concerns...

Post  drgonzo on Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:32 pm

I'm wondering, if your losing THAT much foliage, is there a root issue? 50% on that Gold tipped seems too high. I would also cut your Turface down to only 60% of the overall mixture, check for Red sider mites as well.
-Jay

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Re: Hinoki concerns...

Post  Todd Ellis on Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:42 pm

I was wondering if I should go with a wetter mix. We get some 100 F+ days during the summer and I am only able to water twice daily (AM & PM). I did minimal pinching on the tree in the drum pot and no wiring this year; last year it was 65% wired and seemed to get extra full. This year I let it grow because I repotted into a smaller bonjin pot and cut approx 25% of the roots; I didn't want to stress it out too much. I compendated with pruning foliage as well. It grew a lot then started to lose a lot of foliage in the interior this Fall. I suspect there was some root damage; getting too dry perhaps. The gold-tip is growing in the same kind of soil mix in a large nursery container; this is its first year out of the ground. I may have worked too much on it by wiring the major branches (not secondaries or tertiaries) and peeling a strip along the trunk to start a shari.

Thank you guys for your thoughts and suggestions.
Best,
Todd


Todd Ellis
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Re: Hinoki concerns...

Post  drgonzo on Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:32 pm

My concern was with the tendency for these trees to easily suffer root rot. What a tricky balance it is between allowing for constant moisture and yet not waterlogged. thats why I actually suggested scaling back on the Turface which holds 70 % of its volume as water. I actually contacted the makers of pro-field conditioner and asked them, its the Turface substrate I use. I must admit I am NO expert on Hinoki, but I have a Sawarha that I keep in 100% inorganic due to my fear of root rot.
-Jay

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Re: Hinoki concerns...

Post  Hans van Meer. on Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:29 am

Todd Ellis wrote:I was wondering if I should go with a wetter mix. We get some 100 F+ days during the summer and I am only able to water twice daily (AM & PM). I did minimal pinching on the tree in the drum pot and no wiring this year; last year it was 65% wired and seemed to get extra full. This year I let it grow because I repotted into a smaller bonjin pot and cut approx 25% of the roots; I didn't want to stress it out too much. I compendated with pruning foliage as well. It grew a lot then started to lose a lot of foliage in the interior this Fall. I suspect there was some root damage; getting too dry perhaps. The gold-tip is growing in the same kind of soil mix in a large nursery container; this is its first year out of the ground. I may have worked too much on it by wiring the major branches (not secondaries or tertiaries) and peeling a strip along the trunk to start a shari.

Thank you guys for your thoughts and suggestions.
Best,
Todd


Hi Todd,
I can only talk about my experience with Chamaecyparis obtusa and Chamaecyparis obtusa 'nana Gracillis'. But I hope it will help you anyway!
I find them verry suited for a live as a Bonsai and have used them almost as long as i have been doing bonsai. They are verry forgiving in my region (The Netherlands) and thats why I have used them often for demo's. But their lush foliage is a drama to wire and it will always take longer than expected, so I will only use them again if it is a all day demo! I think that their branches tolerate wiring pretty good as long as they are well protected! The smaller foliage breaks off easily so extra concentration is needed when it comes to that part of the wiring! Holland is famous for their Chamaecyparises and close to were I live, around the town of "Boskoop", many nursery's are or were specialized in their cultivation. 20 years ago I started to visit these huge fields full with Chama's, ranging from little cuttings up to the often old mother plants from were all those cuttings originated! Some times I was lucky, the owner of several fields full of these mother plants, allowed me to dig up and buy some of the oldest he had! He had planted the cuttings for this particular field together with his father, more than 50 years ago! He appreciated my enthusiasm for the quality of these urban yamadori and he liked the idea that they would live on as a bonsai in someone's garden! Way back in 1999 I took one of these old lady's all the way to the UK were I styled it during a two day demo at the EBA convention. This tree is still in my collection and is almost ready to show! Smile And every year it looses 5 to 10 percent off it's foliage. This dead foliage mostly comes from the darker places in side the tree, thats why branches should be styled in a way that light will reach in from all sides! That's why my larger Chama's are on turn tables and are turned regularly. In "Boskoop" Holland these two species that I named grow in clay ground and their roots will reach water level after no more than 20 cm/8 inch, so they are pretty resistant against root rot and they do resist warmed better than most people would think. What they do not like is full sun during a hot day with warm wind and not enough water to drink to make up for all that evaporation trough the foliage! This could cost the tree most of foliage and we all know that this will not grow back on a Chamaecyparis! When temperatures are as high as you mentioned it is better to place your tree in a spot that only receives morning and or afternoon sun. I place a shading net over the more venerable trees as soon as high temperatures are predicted! All my Chama's are verry happy in a inorganic soil mixture of Akadama, Kiryu and Bims that drains verry well so I can water every day with out having to worry about root rot. As soon as the weather allows it I will start to feed them every week with in water soluble liquid fertilizer and later in the season bio gold or other fertilizer pallets are placed on to the soil surface. Fish emulsion is used twice a week as foliage feeding. I repot in late spring, but have also successfully don it in early summer. They tolerate the removal off thick roots as long as there are smaller feeder roots left! Bellow: This is one of the old Mother Plants that I found in that nursery that was specialized in growing all kinds of Chamaecyparis. I dont pinch my Chama's much, I like them to look fluffy and use wire to open up the foliage pads so that light can reach the inner growth.

My student and friend Ed van der Reek has mastered the technique of pinching back his Chamaecyparis until it's foliage looks as goods as a Chinese Juniper, so it can be don successfully!
Below: The big Chama of mine, from the demo that I mentioned above, stays out in all weather and has been snow covered and frozen solid for weeks, she those not seams to mind up to know! Smile

So they are a pretty resistant species and I do think that your loss off that much foliage lies in the exposure to to much heat and direct sunlight!
I hope that this helps to answer some of your questions?!
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

Hans van Meer.
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Re: Hinoki concerns...

Post  Todd Ellis on Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:26 am

Thank you all.
Hans thank you for your case study.

Todd Ellis
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Re: Hinoki concerns...

Post  marcus watts on Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:28 pm

hi,
my big one has not dropped more than an egg cup full of foliage this year. It is potted in 80% akadama, 15% kiryu and 5% live sphagnum moss in a shallow (3") oval 24" x 16". it was root pruned heavilly this year to reduce the pot size from a 30" x 20" x 4" pot that it had been in for the last 10 years. The high akadama content and live moss has held plenty of moisture ( i water as soon as the akadama looks the slightest bit dry) and the new oval is solid with new roots already so i'll do a gentle repot again next spring, just removing 2" from the perimeter on the root ball and 1" off the bottom.

feed has been heavy and constant throughout the growing season - homemade rape seed cakes all season, one scattering of frit trace elements, one scattering of blood/fish/bone mid summer, a really heavy feed of naruko in early september - the entire pot surface was covered and left for 6 weeks, then the remnants were scrapped off.

now all the moss is removed, the soil surface raked a little to loosen it and the pot tilted on a brick to speed up drainage when it rains all week .

it was wired in copper 2 years ago, removed this summer and rewired again and the entire tree had a hard all over pinch this year with many branches shortened with scissors back to inner side growth, which was then wired outwards to replace the branch tips with the inner growth. i think this makes the inner growth the prime foliage so it doesnt drop off. I think if you allow too much new extension growth in a year a proportionate amount will fall off from inside, especially if its over shaddowed with dense branches above.

back budding doesnt happen much, but it does happen - i'll take a picture tomorrow of another big one that had 99% of its branches chopped off before i rescued it from the ex wifes garden !! - it has a new bud that came out of the trunk, has grown about 5" this summer and will form the bulk of the new tree design - this one is a beast - about 9" wide at the base, only 3ft high but will be styled with foliage from the single bud that appeared 2 ft up the trunk.

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Re: Hinoki concerns...

Post  marcus watts on Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:36 pm

the gold one looks far more damaged from being worked too hard too soon after lifting from the ground - i think it could have done with at least 18-24 months to recover from that shock and to put on a dense new pad of fine roots near to the trunk before wiring and bark removal. once the roots were established better the trree could have compensated for the loss of the sap line leading from the shari. I think a whole area of branches could die off that were being fed from this sap line, and the areas above the better roots will be ok.

branches that appear 50/50 often recover if you get the wire off

good luck, Marcus

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Re: Hinoki concerns...

Post  Todd Ellis on Mon Nov 07, 2011 12:21 pm

Thank you Marcus.

Re: "i think this makes the inner growth the prime foliage so it doesnt drop off. I think if you allow too much new extension growth in a year a proportionate amount will fall off from inside, especially if its over shaddowed with dense branches above"

This covers my scenario on one of the trees. I also believe I rushed with wiring the other. Patience.....

Best,
Todd

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