Those who keep bonsai for any length of time usually have some sort of fungus or virus infect their trees.  This year I have been battling two on my azaleas, ovulinia petal blight and rhizoctonia web blight, and another on my maples, anthracose.  Unfortunately, it was very prolific this year due to the constant rain, high humidity, and hot weather.

This one really hurts.  I have had this tree for probably 10 years, it was started from a cutting and I spent a lot of time throughout the years working it to try to make a decent tree.  This spring I decided to give it a repot because it had been a while and the soil had stopped draining freely.  It was a normal repot, the roots were in good shape, and I used the same soil mix that I always use.  It grew well all summer and got several prunings, then BOOM!, two weeks ago the leaves started shriveling up.  Today, it is completely (well almost) leafless and I fear most certainly dead.

When I am out and about, I always have my eyes open for things that might be useful when I am working on the trees.  The other day, my daughter and I were at the local flea market (why do they call it that) and I happened across these shears.  Now mind you, they are not made by some fancy “bonsai” tool maker, but the look a lot like those that are.  At $6.50, I figured that I would at least give them a try.

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The aggressive growth of the bald cypress never ceases to amaze me, they are truly amazing trees.  This growth rate and their forgiveness for mistakes makes them and excellent tree for beginners.  Results are achieved quickly and it helps keep newcomers from getting frustrated and bored with bonsai.  Here are a couple of trees that I have that further illustrate this “uncanny” growth.

The following work was done in February of this year (2017).  I wanted to use this repot as an example of the root and tree growth that can be achieved by submerging your bald cypress trees in a tub of water Spring through fall.  If you would like to read more about submersion, read this article.