Detailing a Large Cypress

Posted by on Mar 9, 2016 | One Comment
Detailing a Large Cypress

With the BSSF annual show approaching I have only a little time to finish getting my show trees ready. This year the BIB show was small trees only, so the larger trees that I have that are ready to show were on the back burner. This Monterey Cypress is about 28″ tall so it was well beyond the cutoff. I grew this tree from seed and this will be its first show; back in August of 2014 I posted a few photos of the initial styling of the tree.

Before work.   The tree was cut back hard after being dug out of the ground.   The top half was removed and all the large branches were stubbed back to be short.   Cypress can easily grow a couple feet worth of branch extension in a year so it didn't tae long to get some good small branches to work with.

August 2014, before work.

My chosen front.    It provides a good balance between the movement of the main trunk and the angle of the large branch on the left.

August 2014, after the initial styling.

January 2015, after a second wiring.

January 2015, after a second wiring.

February 2015, repotted into a nice old pot.

February 2015, repotted into a nice old pot.

After the work in February of 2015 I seriously considered showing the tree. It’s impressive how quickly these trees develop. But, this tree, while showing a nearly-full silhouette, wasn’t showing mature character. Cypress have strips of bark, which to this day the tree has not developed. But, perhaps even more important, they have a fine needle foliage, very similar to a Kishu Shimpaku or even Itoigawa in color and size. This tree was still showing immature foliage, or somewhere in between the seedling fluffy needle and the mature foliage. I felt that waiting a year to show the tree was probably best, to allow the crown to develop more maturity and to get mature foliage.

A comparison of the foliage from February 2015 and March 2016.

A comparison of the foliage on the top left side of the crown from February 2015 and March 2016. Note the difference in texture, (you can enlarge the photo by clicking on it.)

The tree didn’t grow too quickly in the last year, especially not compared to the growth in 2014. I barely touched it for the entire year, which is unusual for a Monterey Cypress.

March 2016, before work.

March 2016, before work.

March 2016, ready for show.  Now I just need some nice moss for the surface of the soil.

March 2016, ready for show.

The detail wiring of the tree took about 6 hours of solid work. Mostly it was 18 and 20 gauge copper to spread out and neaten up the small tips, but in a few places I had to use some medium size wire to move larger branches. Now I just need some nice moss for the surface of the soil and the tree will be ready to exhibit. The BSSF show takes place March 16-20th inside the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show at the San Mateo Event Center. Come out to see this and about 50 other trees.

1 Comment

  1. Ray Norris
    March 10, 2016

    very nice Eric