Entry: Chamaecyparis Obtuse ‘Rashahiba’ – False Cypress – Germany
When I read about the contest, I decided to enter. But which tree to take.. So off to the local garden centre it went. After digging through the dirt for almost 2 hours, I decided upon this specimen. Unfortunately, as often with raw stack in garden centres it is difficult to assess the roots. The main reason for taking this tree was the image of an old bush of trees that came to mind. Two main trunks came out of the ground. According to my fingertips these were connected below-ground. Also, with Chameacyparis it is often difficult to get foliage close to the main trunk. This plant had plenty of green around the trunk, giving a nice starting point. Although better stock for bonsai was available, most of the stock would require more time to become convincing. I prefer to keep trees in larger trays during development, as it allows for better growth. As such I will not be placing the plant in a bonsai pot during the time of the competition. As the tree is in a growers net, I will
need to move it to a pot, and probable damage the roots, to remove the nets.
Furthermore, I plan to thin out the foliage, and will try to give the trunks a little more outward bend. Move branches down, and create some distance between the two main trunks. Two smaller branches might make good secondary trunks on the plant, creating the overall feel of a clumped multi-stemmed tree in an open landscape. The first step is thinning the foliage, and getting it potted up. Then, in a month or so, the plant will be wired.
One Quarter Progression
This tree was very much in need of a pot. So first I cleaned out the rootbal, and gave the tree a good haircut. At this early stage I went through the foliage, and removed all dead branches, and any branch that was clearly unneeded.Quite soon it became clear there were at least 3 stems inside which could be used. After the initial trim and potting, the plant was placed in half-shade and left to rest for 2 weeks before more work was done.
Half Way Progression
With the tree having had some time to find a balance and close of the worst wounds, I proceeded to tease out the shape the tree was telling me to follow. A clump style was decided upon. In total 3 main trunks, and 2 side trunks were decided upon. An uneven number, as ideal for clumps with only a few trunks. All foliage was trimmed to a bare minimum, and primary branches were wired in place. The main trunks were quite strong, and 5mm wire was applied in order to give some movement to them. The tree was placed in a sunny spot, and kept moist. Special care was given to selection of the weakest branches; They were given te sunniest spot. Also when trimming the foliage more was trimmed of of the stronger top-branches than the lowest branches, so that these would not be rejected by the plant.
Three Quarter Progression
August 25th. The tree has shown some growth on all branches since I last worked on the plant in july. All branches have displayed some your shoots, decorating the plant with a ray of light all around. Ideal time to give the tree a final trim, and move some of the branches in a better position. Unfortunately the last month has shown tome mortality of 2 branches in the inner crown. As the clump has a very pointy top, some of the tips of the truncs were removed. This to give the tree a more rounded feel. With the removal of most growing points, the tree is stimulated to create new buds and hopefully somewhat fuller branches with foliage close to the main trunk.
The resulting tree is a multi-stemmed (5) tree as can be found in open landscapes. The tree is nog finalized, and will need a good 2 years more to settle into it’s current style. Some of the uppper branches are a bit too heavy in comparison with the lower branches. Also, unexpectedly a branch high in the tree died off, resducing the full top canopy I envisioned.
The last months have been spent keeping the plant healthy and growing. A number of guy wires have been placed to pull some branches a little bit further down. By using pulling wires, rather then wiring each branch in place completely one can use thinner wires in the canopy, which may be removed earlier. This reduces the potential for scarring of the bark.
The tree will remain in this training dish for at least another year. This will allow the foliage to fill out a little, and hopefully resulkt in a bit of backbudding on the branches. Also, a boost of good growth will help to set the main stems of the tree. After this years growing season ends, the main wiring will be removed from the vertical stems, which should have set in a slight undulating pattern. Furthermore, the 2 smaller trunks need to grow out a bit, as their foliage is very short and thin at the moment.
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Final Outcome: 7
Good result with very challenging, rather poor material, This will look good on a slab eventually, plant material needs informal design because otherwise it will always look untidy, lower branches could be removed totally and thus make this group look much older.
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Final Outcome: 6
Needs more time to develop.
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Final Outcome: 6