Author Topic: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?  (Read 6558 times)

somegeek

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Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« on: October 03, 2009, 03:44 PM »
I picked up this Hinoki Cypress on special at a local big box store for $25.  It was potted in mulch with a small rootball enclosed in very dense clay.  I washed out the roots and got it into a potting soil/pine bark/oil-dry/perlite mix.

I've been staring at this wondering if we'll put it into our yard or if I should air-layer off the top, chop it and maybe jin that end of the lower end of the plant and move towards a bonsai approach with the bottom?

The main tapered section is roughly two feet from the soil line at nearly 2" to ~3/4" at 2' of height.  Total tree height is roughly 4.5' from the soil line to apex.

Appreciate any input.

somegeek
« Last Edit: October 03, 2009, 03:47 PM by somegeek »
 

Attila Soos

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 06:28 PM »
You definitely want to remove the top half, in order to encourage the development of the low branches. That's how you create taper.  You don't really need to create a jin on top, unless you want to. Otherwise, the chop will heal over and you have a new leader.

Hinoki is very slow to gain in thickness and taper, so you are in for the long haul. Unlike many other species, there is no significant difference between growing them in the ground, or in a large nursery can.  With many species, the ratio of ground vs. pot growing speed may be 3:1 or higher, but with Hinoki is not even 1.5:1.  But you need a large can, with lots of room for a large rootball, to develop good nebari (the current nursery can that you have is perfect). Growing in the ground has the advantage that you don't worry about watering too much.

The important thing with Hinoki is to keep the branches that will be part of the design, short and bushy. If you let them "run away" from the design (getting too long, with no green close to the trunk), they don't backbud from old wood.

What people usually do with Hinoki, is to create "hanging branches" = branches that are bent downward, almost vertically, and then the end of the brach is wired horizontally. This way you create foliage close to the trunk, and convey the impression of age.   You can also grow some sacrifice branches in the lowest area, close to the nebari, to create taper. These ones can grow unpruned, to several feet, and later removed and jinned.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 06:34 PM by Attila Soos »
 

somegeek

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 07:30 PM »
You definitely want to remove the top half, in order to encourage the development of the low branches. That's how you create taper.  You don't really need to create a jin on top, unless you want to. Otherwise, the chop will heal over and you have a new leader.

Hinoki is very slow to gain in thickness and taper, so you are in for the long haul. Unlike many other species, there is no significant difference between growing them in the ground, or in a large nursery can.  With many species, the ratio of ground vs. pot growing speed may be 3:1 or higher, but with Hinoki is not even 1.5:1.  But you need a large can, with lots of room for a large rootball, to develop good nebari (the current nursery can that you have is perfect). Growing in the ground has the advantage that you don't worry about watering too much.

The important thing with Hinoki is to keep the branches that will be part of the design, short and bushy. If you let them "run away" from the design (getting too long, with no green close to the trunk), they don't backbud from old wood.

What people usually do with Hinoki, is to create "hanging branches" = branches that are bent downward, almost vertically, and then the end of the brach is wired horizontally. This way you create foliage close to the trunk, and convey the impression of age.   You can also grow some sacrifice branches in the lowest area, close to the nebari, to create taper. These ones can grow unpruned, to several feet, and later removed and jinned.

Thanks for the reply on this and good info.

From what I've been told, now is too late to air layer this tree?  I should wait until spring?

I've done some pinching back on the foliage to get the round ends on the groups of foliage.

somegeek
 

Rick Moquin

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 11:57 AM »
This article may help.

You seem to have a "Kosteri on your hands, ehich has the coarsest foliage of all Hinoki's IMO, and are not as easily tamed. More info can be seen here
 

somegeek

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 07:54 PM »
Looks like this guy removed a lot of foliage as part of his work on this tree:

http://bonsaiwonders-dev.blogspot.com/search/label/Hinoki%20VI

I do want to pinch back to promote bushiness and to help keep the branch tips green until I get this thing air layered.  How much can I pinch back the foliage?  I think I've been very conservative so far with pinching back.

If some pics would help illustrate what I am asking, lemme know.

Appreciate any input.

somegeek
 

Rick Moquin

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 08:48 PM »
That guy would be me  :)

I only removed what needed to be removed. Out of all my Hinokis this one is the slowest growing and does not possess the normal fans of Chamaecyparis, it is more like a cedar.
 

somegeek

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 09:26 PM »
That guy would be me  :)

I only removed what needed to be removed. Out of all my Hinokis this one is the slowest growing and does not possess the normal fans of Chamaecyparis, it is more like a cedar.

I'm chatting with the right guy then!  Thanks for the replies.

I plan to air layer off the top half, however, I'd like to pinch back what I need to, where I need to on the lower branches to keep the brown portion of the bark from growing past where I'd need it down the road.  Any tips on how much to pinch back?
 

Rick Moquin

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2009, 10:27 PM »
Did you read the article?

It is a little late to do anything this year.

What is your design considerations?

You can remove all unnecessary branching if you want as that will not hinder the tree.

Kosteris do not back bud on old wood, read anything that is not green. I know you will find areas in your tree where there seem to be indications of a new branchlike etc... this is a hit and miss game. The odd one will pop up out of nowhere, but your mindset needs to be that they don't, when designing your trees.

Check out trees in development, several hinokis are depicted there with time spans.

PS: Bringing foliage close in is known as foreshortening, something that is necessary with hinokis.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 10:30 PM by Rick Moquin »
 

somegeek

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2009, 10:45 PM »
I read the article but nothing hit me regarding how much to remove.  I'll read it again.

Thanks for the info.  Will check out the trees in development.
 

Attila Soos

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2009, 03:45 PM »
Nice article, Rick! Thanks for the link.
 

somegeek

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2009, 11:12 PM »
Rick - took a few images tonight to help with my question.  Should I be pinching back to create a fan whose middle point of the radius is at the place on the branch where the green and brown meet?  ie - should I pinch back to the red arc line?

I am only pondering informal uprights at this point.  I'd like to do any maintenance pruning I need to now and then just let this sit until the spring when I'll air-layer the top half off.

somegeek
« Last Edit: October 09, 2009, 11:14 PM by somegeek »
 

Rick Moquin

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2009, 08:05 AM »
Nice article, Rick! Thanks for the link.
Thanks Attila. Hinokis are by far the trees I like to work with. They are also a great tree to teach the most important part in bonsai "patience" as they are unforgiving.
 

Rick Moquin

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2009, 09:04 AM »
Rick - took a few images tonight to help with my question.  Should I be pinching back to create a fan whose middle point of the radius is at the place on the branch where the green and brown meet?  ie - should I pinch back to the red arc line?

I am only pondering informal uprights at this point.  I'd like to do any maintenance pruning I need to now and then just let this sit until the spring when I'll air-layer the top half off.

somegeek

It is obvious with your question that you did not digest the article, as it is quite extensive and most answers can be found there. I will not re-iterate here what is written there. However for the sake of clarity I will provide excerpts.

"The tree is home
You have selected a suitable candidate and it is now in your yard. Most feel the urge to take this stock and turn into a Bonsai in the first session, don't."


"I do not purchase trees out of season. I try to acquire new material before the end of June, for my climate. If I acquire material past this time line, it remains in the pot until the following spring. No work is being conducted on the tree until then, with the exception of removing branches I know I will not need, to allow light to the inner foliage.

So the tree has recovered from its trip into your backyard. During this time frame you have hopefully studied the tree and have a vision of where you wish to take it. All unnecessary branches are removed and the tree left to recover until the following year."


Do you know which cultivar you have?

Pinching or pruning???

There is a difference between the two. This has been discussed in the past with junipers etc... Pinching although induces back budding, will also create the "poodle like" pads that you see on some bonsai. Pruning on the other hand will thin out the foliage while maintaining compactness and keep the foliage on a "flat" plane so to speak.

Hinokis do not back bud on old wood. You may attempt to, but you are wasting your time, and in doing so will create a greater mess.

Bonsaiing Chamaecyparis is a whole different ball game. Although most horticultural rules still apply, "patience" is what is going to get you there. Timing is another critical factor on when you do your work. That is also explained in the article.

I understand your enthusiasm, it seems like you have a decent piece of material there, so take your time. Folks are trying to apply the same techniques to everything. Whilst this approach works in 90% of the cases, there are a few species that require different approaches, Hinokis are one of them. Heck just take the maintenance schedule of a white vs black pine, similar but totally different.

Knowing which cultivar you have will also cause an impact on what needs to be done and when.

Developing in a formal upright is a choice everyone sees immediately. My advice for now, leave it be until you have decided where you want to go with it. Remove all the dead stuff from the inner trunk, this is your starting point. Then contemplate where you want to go and leave it alone until spring.

Air layering is an option although I have not attempted it. I have had success with ground layering in "my" climate. So if you wish to take that route, go for it, keeping in mind that next season your concentration is on the layer and nothing else.

I will be so bold as to say that what caught your eye was the foliage and, I can make 2 trees out of this piece of stock. We all try to maximize our buying power and there is nothing wrong with that. There is a cost associated with it however.

In the article I explained what I look for when hinoki shopping. You made a comment earlier that "the guy" removed alot of foliage. Yes he did, because the future of the tree starts with what is left not what it had. You need to grow your trees into a bonsai, not make a bonsai out of them. This is also what Walter Pall professes and many others. Hinoki V (trees under development) is a rare exception to that rule. The tree was purchase because of desirable characteristics, the present style was not what I had envisioned at the time of acquisition, but something that developed as I got rid of unnecessary branching etc... then the rest is a moot point. To many developing a conifer into a deciduous is like developing a deciduous tree into a conifer/pine, something you do not do. I just happen to like the shape of it, and it will look stunning in a couple of years.

The future of your tree lies with judicious pruning of your fans and branchlets. Although he main branches you have now support the foliage, the majority will not be part of the future tree. They will have been replaced by the branchlets, developed from the fan whorls. "Lazy" is a prime example of this.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2009, 09:30 AM by Rick Moquin »
 

Rick Moquin

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Re: Hinoki Cypress - chop / air-layer?
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2009, 01:24 PM »
Taming the Hinoki 201 (Addendum) is now published.

The aforementioned discussion convinced me to elaborate on my original article. I could have added to the original, but I like to keep the articles as short as possible without loosing detail. However, I did update the original as well with the pruning vs pinching section.

For some time know, I have chosen this method (blog) for articles of interest. I have found that lengthy replies are to time consuming and eventually get buried. amongst the clutter of a forum. This way I need only write it once but can refer to it often readily.