Hinoki Cypress Styling

Thanks all for the great input! When I worked on this tree I did play around with bringing the branches down. There is definitely some good potential with doing that and I actually think in the short term it would look a little more refined. The apex was, however, a bit weak. There are two branches that are fairly heavy with steep upward angles. I considered building an upper and lower apex from those, but in the end settled on a more natural presentation of the tree.
But your feedback did get me thinking about the tree’s design and I realized I was actually trying to keep too much of what was there. I have taken out a few small leggy branches that were out of place and have my sights on a few others to remove as the design evolves. With those gone I tweaked my pad placement and worked on achieving better layerin of the pads. Additionally I did some thinning in the pads and cleaned up the bottoms a bit.
Then I stood back and took a look at the tree to find that now I really can’t decide which side makes a better front.


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I like the picture with the deadwood on the right. (2cents take or leave it) :slight_smile:

Check out what I found under the soil line on this hinoki.


I took the the high side of the soil in the tilted container down about 5” exposing another 3-4” of the trunk and really changing the character of the tree. At 45” from soil to apex we’re a bit tall.
What do you all think? I’d love to get some suggestions on where this tree is wanting to go.

Nice one @ryan.marin!
Hinoki often have a very feminine feel, but this bad boy is definitely moving towards the butch!

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Nice! Really beautiful treasure you found there.
If you don’t mind me to suggest giving a bit of movement to the main trunk of the tree… Seems to straight to me after that extra curved bit you digged out and exposed.

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I agree, the top 75% of the tree doesn’t fit the base. The main trunk is pretty thick, so short of cutting a wedge I don’t think it’s going to move much. I could probably get a long gentle bend out if it at best. here are some better angles

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You mentioned wedge cutting to bend the thick trunk. I’m not sure if the vascular system of the hinoki is set up that way, only seen it done on pines. Have you wedge cut a hinoki in the past, and what were the results?
Did some research and found one article by Terry Davis from Minnesota Bonsai Society https://minnesotabonsaisociety.org/2016/03/11/pushing-spring/
He writes about wedge cutting a Spruce and Hinoki, but there isn’t any follow up about the outcome of those trees.
Would love to know if its possible, it would open up a lot of opportunities for movement.
Hinoki is readily available and inexpensive in my area, time for some experiments :evergreen_tree::metal:t2::grinning:

MBB, thanks for the info. I am not actually considering a wedge cut for this tree, just saying that the trunk is past the point of putting any significant movement into it without such interventions.
If there is anyone out there who asks the question of whether to first repot or style nursery stock I think the answer is most likely repot. There was a super heavy branch at the soil line that I cut back and really wish I had not after finding such an awesome base. This would have been a totally different tree.
Additionally, I probably should have taken that low branch as an indication that the nebari was deeper down.
But I guess this is how the cookie crumbles when one is not patient.

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Project update:
This tree is finally in a bonsai container as of early this spring!
After my initial post and some encouragement to drop the branches down I decided to go that route.

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I also agree but would counsel to back off a few seasons before any further alterations. Hinoki are famously slow growers and this tree might just need a few years growth to surprise you with what it wants to be. IMHO

We recently published a new care guide for Hinoki cypress bonsai that may be of interest to anyone who’s been following this thread. We’ll be adding new species care guides to this list frequently, so check back for more to follow.

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