Thuja occidentalis cascade style

This past summer I went camping at Ausable Chasm in northern NY and saw this amazing cascade Thuja.

Last Saturday I performed the first styling of a Thuja occidentalis urban yamadori ground layer collected in october 2017. The trunk is only an inch or so thick but with some character, like the natural crack/shari on the top. As I was looking at the final design it occurred to me how similar it is to the tree above although while I was styling it the choices that led this this design seemed to be the best options and I didn’t at all think about the tree above. I even went to this atelier on Thuja with Brian Donnelly with the idea of making it into a cascade but was ready to be convinced otherwise if anyone else had a good idea.


Looking very good so far. But beware of that moutain lion that seems to be ready to attack :wink:


The mountain lion does prune some of my trees sometimes like the small Coprosma kirkii in the back.

Your tree has that sharp bend at the base making it a good candidate for the cascade style and you have done a very good job executing that decision. Because of the lack of branching in the lower half of the tree, I think your other option could be an informal upright literati. As there are fewer cascade opportunities than uprights, I think you have made the right decision. One issue is maintaining a balanced amount of foliage in relation to a narrow trunk. The foliage will grow faster and denser than trunk will thicken, so you will have to limit foliage density keeping than literati cascade feel. Better tie the pot to the bench before the cougar uses it for a perch.


Very good analysis David. It will definitely be a struggle to keep a delicate look with the thin trunk…