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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.

Tree number one started out as a double trunk but the smaller trunk died. I think it is because I did not keep them balanced and the tress sacrificed the smaller trunk in favor of the larger one. This is what it looked like in February of this year:

February 2017

February 2017

As you can see, I trimmed the leader as I did not want this tree to be a tall one. I hind-sight, I wish I would have let it grow a little thicker. I also cleaned up the dead trunk and applied lime sulfur. This is not the finished product as far as the jin goes, it will be carved and most likely shortened when it gets closer to finished.

Fast forward to June and you can see it is bursting with growth. I selected a new leader and sloped the cut into it, then wired every branch.

June 2017

June 2017, New Leader Chosen

June 2016, Wired (Again)

Now, this month, October, just four months later, the tree grew like it was on steroids.  The new leader grew to 6 or seven feet and as big around as my thumb.  I ended up chopping it again to keep it from getting too thick.  You just don’t see this kind of growth in any other species.

New Leader Growth

New Leader Scar Healed

Main Chop Scar Almost Healed

New Leader Chopped, Again

Tree number two is a single trunk, this is the second or third time that I chopped it to a stump.  I did not stay ahead of the growth like I should have as I wanted to keep in on the smaller side for a baldy.  I early March of this year I Chopped it.

March 2017, Chopped

March 2017, After Chop

By June, it, too, had exploded with growth.  Like tree number one, I picked a new leader, sloped the chop, and wired the branches.  Some of the branches will be eventually removed for the final design but I wanted to add some movement and position them in case any one of them was a keeper.

June 2017

New Leader Selected, Cut Sloped

A Little Cut Paste

Wired For Some More Growth

This month, again, you can see it also exploded during the summer months.  The scar from the chop is half way healed.

October 2017

October 2017

October 2017

The reason for this amount of growth, in my opinion, is that I submerge the pots in water during the growing season. Bald cypress love water, in fact, in nature that is where you will find them. If you would like to know more about submersions effects on bald cypress, check out this article. Also get yourself a bald cypress, or better yet start some from seeds.