Creating Bonsai from A Tricky Hinoki Cypress

In this video I take a tricky Hinoki Cypress that I have had for a long time and create a bonsai tree.

I’ve just spotted another interesting tree which is hinoki cyprus hinoki is a very tricky tree to grow for one thing the ones which are normally produced in europe are grafted onto ordinary candy cipro’s uh the audience semicircus or lelandia it’s stopped look at that ugly root there but sometimes people carve it and make a feature of that so i’ve been struggling to make a bonsai from this for ages and ages and ages but i think it will eventually make an interesting bonsai what the hell let’s take it into the greenhouse and work on this one before i work on the hinoki cypress that we brought out from our growing field or the growing area i want to talk about hinoki’s in general we sell quite a lot of hinokis but certain clones don’t seem to do well this is a customer’s tree customers trees in this nursery are all tanked with a red tag and he’s been struggling with this tree through no fort of his own and it keeps dying it sends out new growth but you get this die back as well so i haven’t lost hope entirely for this tree because it’s still struggling to live but i’ll just point out for those of you who grow hinoki that hinoki is a very tricky subject and certain varieties of hinoki tend to get this disease i think it must be a viral disease uh it’s certainly not due to insect damage but you suddenly get lots of these branches dying so be warned a naughty cypress is difficult to go all right having said that let’s go and work on the other tree now this one is on its own roots that is not a grafted tree that’s not grafted and that could possibly buy [Music] before i got to work on that big tree let me show you the hinokis that we sell on the nursery so these are what we call our semi-trained trees which customers buy and they make bonsai out of it and these are the hinoki’s that are propagated by gra not grafting they’re just cuttings so they’re lovely little trees but very slow growing and we’ve got even bigger ones like this so this is what we call camisiprus obtusa nana gracialis so very popular tree but difficult to make into bonfire i should show you that what we do on these smaller ones so these are some of the small cuttings that we wired up so you get a bonsai like this and slightly bigger one this was done about four or five years ago and you can get a bonsai like this so that is hinoki and they’re all on their own roots they’re not grafted at all so that’s how we make the hinoki cypress from small trees now let’s work on this big one and see what we can make of it this is one very old tree if you can just see the root base on the root stock very often you come across these trees and people’s gardens and they have this very ugly bulbus graft this is the laylandia under stock and that’s where the tree is grafted on it looks ridiculous but if you are very clever you can carve that out and make it look like part of the thick trunk now this is an interesting tree that i’ve been attempting to size for a long time you can see some attention wire marks are here but the wire marks have grown out so when people say wow marks are bad look at it they were wired but it’s grown out so no big deal but the trunk has been very slow in thickening the base under stock has thickened but the actual stem of the tree has been very slow in uh thickening up so what do we do with this tree because with all these trees let’s look at the different options that there are so you can make it like that come down sweeping i’m just thinking aloud thinking aloud it’s very bare here so it’s got that literary type character to the tree i could even dispose of this side let me get a white bag and show you what effect i can get so let’s apply the pita chan bag kick so if i get rid of that i can get a tree with just that like a literary type tree using that bit but it seems a shame to waste all that you know i’ve taken all the trouble to grow this now why should i want to waste that bit seems a lot of a shame of course we don’t always have to have it growing at that particular angle let me find a pot to prop it up what if i pop it up a little bit more see that line is very nice always turn the tree around and get different views and also what if we did this would that help i don’t think so i somehow the best option is like so seemed a shame to waste all this if i just made a literary with that this is where you’ve got to think before you cut i know that i take quick decisions but even this one has got me a bit stumped i think it’s too wide the tree is too wide so let’s get rid of this one now that has improved it almost immediately by doing that let’s say we make it compact we can get quite a tight head to it i don’t like to make the trees too drastic if it’s too drastic you limit the market because i’m a commercial nursery i have to sell the trees and if all the trees look very stark it may be my taste but it may not be what the customer wants i always have to bear in mind what the customer wants now do i need that bit what can i do with that bit perhaps i could do that so let’s just do a bit of wiring it’s going to take a lot of time just by taking off that long bit from this side it’s made a difference so i’m going to reduce it much more i think what is also confusing is this bit here that’s confusing let’s take now now this is a thick branch but i’m trying to camouflage that branch so i bring the core tree like that tight like that make it really tight okay let’s do some funny things let’s do some gins with that these will all make beautiful cuttings wire this just a little bit of wiring and this all in real time i haven’t cheated or taken shortcuts you don’t often see hinoki cyprus as bonsai certainly in japan i have hardly ever seen hinoki cyprus as bonsai and if you do see it they’re very rare and very expensive to buy i’ve seen one or two very nice ones grown by british growers amateurs there’s one in particular that i saw at an exhibition and i really admired it very much i can’t remember that girl who grew it but it was certainly a very fine example so there are some people who managed to make some beautiful hinoki using just ordinary nursery or garden trees and in fact if i remember right that hinoki also had an ugly bulbous base like this one but he somehow managed to camouflage it so so let’s wire this up and uh i think i’ll change the wire but get back to the original i was using which is this i’m using by the way this is three and a half mil wire i’ve always said that there are about three or four wires which are very very commonly used two millimeter two and a half mil three and three and a half for most people if you have that stock of wire you should be able to tackle most projects and for those of you who are just starting in bonsai don’t be stingy with wire always spend money on wire because without wire you cannot make bonsai i’ve often told you about our early days of bonsai in the uk where we used to just use the insides of electric cable or use the coat hanger wire to do the bottom side because back in there even in the early 80s bonsai wire was very difficult to get none of the importers imported wire because they just imported a few bonsai trees accessories were seldom sold so why was a luxury absolute luxury wire is so useful that with why you can create magic so if you see magic being created it is nothing to do with one skill it is just the skill in bending the wires so i’m not bending this backward i’m just going to tighten everything to make it more compact because this is a bit of a leggy tree i’m just going to make it more compact so i’ve now brought all this back so it’s tightened everything up so so so so i’m going to take this all the way to the top now this is still three and a half millimeter wire i’m using i’m just going to use the brass splitter in case i need to bend this little more bronze splitter is a very useful tool for those of you who are getting more sophisticated or learning more and more adventurous then the broad splitter is certainly a must-have tool i’m going to use a double coil sometimes i find if you use a double of a slightly thinner gauge rather than use just one very thick gauge it can be more effective [Music] i ran a bit shorter why i’m usually very good at gauging how much wire to use i don’t like wrapping long coils of wire flapping around so i always cut to the amount i need but i went slightly wrong there [Music] again there are certain basic principles that you can be taught when doing wiring but at the end of the day your skill with wiring comes with practice as i’ve always said because i have some experience in swimming and these neuromuscular activities come with constant practice i know there’s a bit of artistic quality involved but much of it is really practice the more you do the better you get at it so okay okay i’m just going to tend some of these shoots to give me some ideas to what the tree will look like otherwise i may be wiring unnecessary like the juniper what you must never do is just share across the foliage supposing that’s a branch don’t just sheer across like that you got to go into the wood and cut it from the wood there when you poo so with hinoki’s and juniper that’s the way to prune it still got to deal with the top so i’m tightening it to give it a crown there you can see i’ve made a crown just by doing that i bent it double like a happen now let’s turn it right down it’s one of those strange trees that for some reason it looks right from either side i just looked at it now it’s funny how when you work on trees what you may have thought was the preferred front doesn’t turn out to be the preferred front so again as i say always keeping an open mind let’s see what happens here [Music] hmm he noticed cypress like the junipers they take to wiring very well and the branches set quite easily it’s usually deciduous trees that take longer to set i find hmm [Music] uh so so i think i’ve done enough i’m not going to repot this till the spring i think i’ve been misleading some people because sometimes i work in the summer and then keep it in this humid greenhouse but because this is quite a precious tree i’m going to be restrained and wait till the spring february february is the earliest i repot so i will probably do it then i’m just adding a few little bits of gin i’m not great lover of gins but just to show you what can be done just breaking the branch i’m going to leave that there for a while because it may add some character and depth to the tree this is still my preferred front because it’s leaning slightly towards me so i’ve made this into a fairly presentable bonsai from something which was very very difficult and this will probably go in a round drum pot pot it to about this level and as i said we’ve made something out of virtually nothing and with the angle of the tree set like this you don’t see the very bad graft very much so we can try and hide that graft so there you go [Music] you

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