Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Deciduous Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Don Blackmond on June 14, 2010, 09:01 PM

Title: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 14, 2010, 09:01 PM
please forgive the backdrop/background
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 14, 2010, 09:02 PM
another
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 14, 2010, 09:02 PM
another
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 14, 2010, 09:04 PM
this is a FL tree, prior 3 are LA trees
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 14, 2010, 09:05 PM
this was collected over 20 years ago in LA
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: roelex14 on June 14, 2010, 09:26 PM
Absolutely astounding. only way i can put it.
flat tops are just an amazing style of tree when executed properly, and i think you're hittin it spot on...

great work!

_roelex
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: seth ellwood on June 14, 2010, 11:11 PM
Turely stunning and real talent congratulations.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Larry Gockley on June 15, 2010, 06:48 PM
Truly awesome flat tops. They are an inspiration. One question however, I've never seen BC grow in that style in Texas.  Is there a different sub species, or does growing in a swamp make them grow like that. Any ideas? 
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: rockm on June 16, 2010, 07:59 AM
These are nice, but a bit too extreme for me. "Flat top" style is a bit of a misleading term. "Flat top" BC in the wild grow in many different ways. I've not seen many that are completely flat on top...
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: bwaynef on June 16, 2010, 08:07 AM
Some unevenness, or a bit of irregularity in the top would definitely improve the image for me, but I haven't exactly grown up around this style so I'm still trying to figure it out.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 16, 2010, 11:01 AM
These are nice, but a bit too extreme for me. "Flat top" style is a bit of a misleading term. "Flat top" BC in the wild grow in many different ways. I've not seen many that are completely flat on top...

there are very few bonsai that look the way trees in nature actually grow.  most natural trees are ripe with flaws according to bonsai rules, and you would say "chop it" or "cut off all the branches and start over" or "don't waste your time on it". 

we don't grow bonsai to look like trees in nature (even though we say we do).  we grow them to look like we think trees in nature should look.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: mcpesq817 on June 16, 2010, 11:25 AM
Hi Don, thanks very much for posting your pictures.  Fantastic work.  Definitely gives me inspiration to work on the BC that I bought from you a couple of months ago.

Just out of curiosity, how much does that big immature variant weigh?  Looks like you need a forklift for that one :D
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: rockm on June 16, 2010, 11:26 AM
Fair enough. I said these were too extreme  for ME  ;D.

Vaughn Banting's flat top BC are perhaps the most "real" looking examples of this style, for me anyway. There is volume in the crowns of his BC flat top bonsai, which use the same angled leaders that in-ground BC use to make their tops.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 17, 2010, 10:10 PM
estimated to be about 700 years old
originally from mary Madison, then a casino guy, then Guy Guidry, the Tim O'Neil, then me
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Hotaction on June 17, 2010, 10:20 PM
Don, if you are just going to bulldoze it anyhow, I'd be happy to relieve you of the burden ;)

Great old tree, thanks for sharing.

Dave
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Steven on June 17, 2010, 11:04 PM
Very awesome BC Don! Thank you for sharing. Too bad I can't hit the powerball. We'd both be millionaires  :P Look forward to seeing more of your trees.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: johng on June 18, 2010, 06:03 AM
Don,  These are excellent examples of BC that you have posted.  I can see that much work has gone into their training.  Would you care to describe how you developed and maintain the branch ramification.   With as many of these trees as you seem to have and given their level of development I think it would be very hard to find the time to wire train all of these trees. So, I suspect much of your training is done with just pruning. 

I personally have a real fetish for BC, especially flat-top, and over the last two years have started focusing on developing a few.  I hope that in a few years my trees can reach a similar level of refinement.

THanks for sharing!!!
John 


Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: MatsuBonsai on June 18, 2010, 08:32 AM
Glad to see this thread back open.  And what a monster tree!  Great ramification and structure too!  Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 18, 2010, 09:52 AM
Glad to see this thread back open.  And what a monster tree!  Great ramification and structure too!  Thanks for sharing.

I have several more to post.  I wanted to get them all in before the thread got too muddy with discussion, so I locked it.  I thought it would be better that way.  I could be wrong.  So, I will just post the others as time permits.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: MatsuBonsai on June 18, 2010, 09:56 AM
Excellent!  Looking forward to more updates!
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 18, 2010, 10:05 AM
very old FL tree, known as a cut-back flattop
Mark will appreciate this one more...maybe
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 18, 2010, 10:24 AM
bonzilla
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 18, 2010, 10:29 AM
1 LA and 1 FL
poor photo
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Steven on June 18, 2010, 11:45 AM
DANG!!  :o  Do I dare ask how you repot the one in the pool? Amazing Don.  :)
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 18, 2010, 12:14 PM
DANG!!  :o  Do I dare ask how you repot the one in the pool? Amazing Don.  :)

it was collected 3 years ago and has not been repotted yet.  it will be put in a sling and hoisted with my loader.  I have a 6 foot oval pot that it will go in eventually.  Its a brute.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Steven on June 18, 2010, 01:22 PM
Ah. Brute is an understatement  ;D None the less it is a spectacular specimen. Looking forward to see it in its new pot.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: seth ellwood on June 18, 2010, 11:16 PM
WOW :o
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: rockm on June 21, 2010, 09:07 AM
Pretty spectacular material. I'm  glad I don't have to repot any of these. ;D
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 21, 2010, 12:17 PM
old high twin flattop
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 21, 2010, 12:22 PM
volcano
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 21, 2010, 12:27 PM
LA natural twin trunk
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 21, 2010, 12:32 PM
LA tree dug about 24 years ago, pot grown since
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 21, 2010, 12:38 PM
old flattop with low taper, 25" base
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 21, 2010, 12:46 PM
bonzilla
wip w/2 possible fronts.  1 has more movement, 1 has trunk character
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: roelex14 on June 21, 2010, 06:31 PM
lets just say you were to start wiring bonzilla...
how long would it take you?
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 21, 2010, 10:42 PM
lets just say you were to start wiring bonzilla...
how long would it take you?
its still early in development, so not that long.  maybe 1/2 day
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: seth ellwood on June 21, 2010, 10:47 PM
You sir are a mad man and a bc master not necessarily in that order ;D I now have seen some of the best exampels I think I will ever see.Thank you for sharing.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on June 22, 2010, 08:49 AM
You sir are a mad man and a bc master not necessarily in that order ;D I now have seen some of the best exampels I think I will ever see.Thank you for sharing.

most of these bc came from the estate of a guy who spent 20-plus years focusing on bonsai
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: mcpesq817 on June 22, 2010, 09:46 AM
Hi Don - I think Seth said it best when he said "Wow!"  ;D

Absolutely fantastic collection of BC.  Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I imagine that you must have one of the nicest BC collections in the country.  Maybe this will inspire more use of the species.  Thanks very much for sharing.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on November 26, 2011, 04:32 PM
here is an update on this tree:
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on November 26, 2011, 04:36 PM
this one too, just defoliated.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on November 26, 2011, 04:39 PM
and this one after defoliation and a Fall trim
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on November 26, 2011, 04:43 PM
here is the twin after defoliating and trimming .
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Judy on November 26, 2011, 08:33 PM
Just amazing. You have such a hand with these... How is the cat scratching post faring?
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on November 26, 2011, 09:57 PM
Its doing fine.  Just needs some time for the bark color to even out.  The cats left it alone this season.  Hope all is well with you Judy.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Judy on November 27, 2011, 12:55 PM
Yes, thanks Don.  These trees are awe inspiring to say the least.

 I also wanted to thank you for your generosity with the ebay auction items, and of course the time you give of yourself to the cause of protecting animals.  I cannot bid on the tree, but it did prompt me to make a donation to my local society, something that all of us that are unable to bid should consider.  Breaks my heart to know the cruelty that is out there.

Anyway thanks for sharing these trees with us. Cheers!
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on November 30, 2011, 08:03 PM
This is a collected Louisiana bald cypress.  the apex has grown mostly unchecked for seasons and the apex chop has healed over as a result.  I decided to cut it back today.  I will let a bud close to the bottom of the old leader form a new apex lead, and it will be allowed to grow unchecked.  Once that process is underway I will carve taper to the old apex chop to create a more natural transition.  It will happen quickly since they grow rapidly when grown in tubs.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on November 30, 2011, 08:09 PM
Here is another formal upright in the making, going through the same process as the one in the last post.  It looks a bit tall.  It may be, but I prefer tall BC.  Once I get taper carved I'll know whether I have to shorten it and start the apex process over.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: coh on November 30, 2011, 09:40 PM
These are amazing trees...very beautiful and varied collection.  Thanks for updating.

Someone had posted the following earlier in the thread, and I wanted to re-post to see if you'd be willing to talk about the training a little.

Thanks,

Chris

Quote
Don,  These are excellent examples of BC that you have posted.  I can see that much work has gone into their training.  Would you care to describe how you developed and maintain the branch ramification.   With as many of these trees as you seem to have and given their level of development I think it would be very hard to find the time to wire train all of these trees. So, I suspect much of your training is done with just pruning. 

I personally have a real fetish for BC, especially flat-top, and over the last two years have started focusing on developing a few.  I hope that in a few years my trees can reach a similar level of refinement.

THanks for sharing!!!
John 
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on November 30, 2011, 11:44 PM
cypress grow quickly so you can develop branches in short order.  wire your branches to set them in place, then its a lot of clip and grow.  new shoots lengthen very quickly and suck up a ton of energy.  if you let them go unchecked they will grow long and fatten the energy line that leads to their tip.  That means the branch the shoot grows from will fatten fast.  If there is wire on it that can be a problem because it will dig in before you know its happening.  If there isn't wire on it that can be a problem too because it will cause the branch to lift and you'll have to rewire it to reset the branch position.  To avoid these issues, and to quickly develop ramification, don't let shoots grow more that 4"-6".  As soon as they reach that length cut them back to 3"- 4" long.  The cut shoot won't lengthen and new shoots will emanate from it.  Feed like crazy, it will grow like crazy, and you will be cutting like crazy.  During Fall or Winter remove any unwanted wire, trim branches back removing upward growing and crossing twigs, wire what you need to set.  Spring comes and tree grows, so you keep shoots in check by constantly cutting them back to 3"-4".  Depending length of season, for me its July, defoliate, remove wire and add wire as needed.  Let it grow and keep cutting new shoots.  By Fall you will have added a lot of structure in one season.  Do the process all over again, each year.

Keep in mind that cypress are apically dominant and will always send energy and new growth vertically.  The new growth will want to reach for the sun.  Its like a dammed up river with little leaks.  Those little leaks if left alone will grow and all the bottled up water/energy will flow through them exploding their size.  Branches on a bald cypress are the same.  The tree has lots of energy waiting, and you can let it run out a few branches that will explode in size, or let it spread out through many tiny branches keeping growth uniform and in check.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Owen Reich on December 01, 2011, 06:47 AM
Your flat-top cypress is really well done.  I have a bunch of bc I collected in the swamps of Tennessee.  The beavers make cuts like a concave cutter  ;).  Most flat-tops I see don't have the character of yours.  I will be posting photos after I style mine when I get back to America in a few weeks.  Thanks for posting the photos!
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Concorde on December 01, 2011, 03:28 PM
Don beautiful bald cypress.  I assume you purchased the trees from Guy Guidry.  Just curious.
Art
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: Don Blackmond on December 02, 2011, 06:32 PM
Don beautiful bald cypress.  I assume you purchased the trees from Guy Guidry.  Just curious.
Art

Nope.
Title: Re: Some Bald Cypress
Post by: John Kirby on December 02, 2011, 07:27 PM
There are many talented folks with BC who do not have the name of Guy. You have done well with these, John