Atlanica cedar

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Atlanica cedar

Postby Dralis » August 6th, 2018, 8:00 pm

Hi
Im very new to bonsai i just bought a blue atlas cedar at a nursery and would like to learn how to develop it into a bonsai.
Im finding it hard to find any info on this tree on the net so be great if anyone with experience can help.
I want to know how to creat branch and ramification for this species

Cheers
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby Raging Bull » August 6th, 2018, 10:17 pm

Hi Dralis and welcome to the forum. :gday: If you type Atlantic Cedar into the search box at the top you will find threads on that tree. Just click on the heading of any of those threads and it will go to the whole thread. The collective knowledge and experience of the members of this forum and their willingness to help and share is awsome.
Cheers, Frank.
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby shibui » August 6th, 2018, 10:35 pm

Developing ramification is pretty much like all other species - pinch and prune to get more new buds. One difference is that cedar are VERY slow so development will take many years of patient work.
I was taught to pinch elongating cedar shoots while they are still soft and elongating to get better budding on the new shoots but I'm not really sure that it is any better than allowing the shoots to open fully before trimming?
Cedar do not produce buds on bare wood so you cannot allow them to grow really big before cutting back.

Not much else to add. Look after the watering and fertilise regularly to get best growth (still slow)
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby treeman » August 7th, 2018, 4:28 pm

Most people - including me until a few years ago - make the big mistake of treating the cedar as a pine tree. This is completely against it's nature and it will fight you all the way. I strongly suggest you closely study pics of mature wild cedars to gain some understanding of the way they actually want to grow. In short, they usually have the majority of the mass of foliage ABOVE the midway point of the tree NOT below it. Especially in a forest situation. They have FLAT tops not rounded ones. Massive spread is their very essence. The reason for this is obvious if you study the growth habit. They do not extend growth from each shoot like a pine tree. Only the tips grow. This results in the huge lateral spread and flat table like growth patterns. This is what you should seek to reproduce in your bonsai. The variation in shapes are almost endless but the main points above are constant. You will find it a lot easier if you keep this in mind. You can often get very strong vertical growth on the trunk or even many side branches, but sooner or later they stop extending and spread. If you are developing a young tree try to start with a very branchy one and use the thicker branches to gain thickness in the trunk but keep the vital skinny ones because these are the ones you will eventually use, the thicker ones being slowly removed. When shortening a branch, cut to a shoot extension further back so you are sure that the branch will continue to extend. If you can, try to acquire the dwarf forms. They are easier to handle when making small to medium sized trees. They do not like having many roots cut off at once - they will sulk for a long time after that. There roots are not like pine tree they are more worm-like without much ramification so it takes a long time to develop a nice full compact root ball. Take your time with this. Repot every three years at most. Use a small put with just a little room for the new roots to grow.

A few pictures....there are many more on the internet

cedar1.PNG


cedar1.JPG


cedarinmoroc.JPG


cedarab.JPG


cedarac.JPG



This picture below is especially useful. It shows the top of an old tree looking from above and you can clearly see the branch formation in the crown of this old tree.

cedrus bev2.GIF


cedrus brev.GIF
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Last edited by treeman on August 7th, 2018, 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby Dralis » August 7th, 2018, 6:41 pm

Thanks for the reply guy's.
I read about how difficult it can be to develop a atlas cedar not sure why i chose this tree as a starter lol but when i was at the nursery it just got my attention when i saw some of the most stunning blue cedar bonsai.

I have tried to search the forum but little detail has been shown or discussed in length on this specie.
I will try and take a pic of the tree so you guy's can see and mybe anyone with experience can help me as i really would love to develop this tree. I also have in mind what i want it to develop into which i will try and find a image as well.

So basically they dont bud back?

I thought maybe this spring i will chop a bit of a branch and see how it will grow or bud back at that point as a study of its growth pattern.
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby shibui » August 7th, 2018, 7:00 pm

Cedar do not bud on bare wood. Treeman has said it here
When shortening a branch, cut to a shoot extension further back so you are sure that the branch will continue to extend
and I said it here
Cedar do not produce buds on bare wood so you cannot allow them to grow really big before cutting back.
Always leave some shoots/foliage when you prune or the branch will die back to the nearest shoot/branch with active foliage.

Some good points from Treeman about natural cedar shapes. I have also noticed that distinctive habit on some of the older trees growing in this area.
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby Dralis » August 7th, 2018, 7:10 pm

images.jpg


This is the kind of style i would like to develop my cedar probably longer and a little less foliage as im gojng for a more quite look
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby rodm » August 7th, 2018, 7:14 pm

Excellent description Treeman. All should take notice, particularly about trees in nature and work with what you see :yes: :worship:
Cheers RodM
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby Dralis » August 7th, 2018, 7:17 pm

images-1.jpg


I wonder how long it will take to develop the foliage like this?
It's so beautiful.

Right now my tree looks ugly as there is just foliage spike all along the branch as im asume the tree is just very young
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby shibui » August 7th, 2018, 7:30 pm

Count how many forks on that branch. That's probably how many years to develop it. Probably need to be a bit conservative and add a couple of years for a few mistakes and problems along the way.

You should select a few spots where you want to develop your branches and start to pinch the shoots there as they open in spring. That should keep nodes shorter and force more shoots. You can leave some sacrifice branches like Treeman mentioned but keep watch because lower branches and inner branches that are being pruned are prone to stop growing and even die when there are strong branches growing higher up the tree and further out on branches. prune sacrifice branches if desired branching does not grow well, even if the trunk/branches are still not thick enough. After the desirable branches have regained some strength you may be able to let some new sacrifice branches get away to add more bulk.

I assume that you know the tree you posted earlier is not cedar? Looks like cryptomeria to me AKA Japanese cedar but not related to the cedrus species. Your cedar will never have really compact branches like that one but the basic shape is worth aiming at and conforms with Treeman's wide spreading, flat top natural cedar shape.
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby Dralis » August 7th, 2018, 8:04 pm

Thanks for the info shibui
Yes the tree i posted first is just an image of the styl9 i would like to achieve
When you say pinching you mean the whole cluster of foliage?

I will post a pic of my tree so you can get a better idea of what it looks like and how i should develop the branch and ratification for the future
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby Dralis » August 8th, 2018, 8:42 pm

https://imgur.com/a/x3jj8dC

Here's a link to my atlas cedar could post here as file was to big didn't know how to ruduce the size sorry
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby shibui » August 8th, 2018, 9:40 pm

I define pinching as the sort of pruning that can be done with just fingertips when the shoots are very young and soft. Pruning is when you need tools to cut the shoot.
In spring and summer the tips of each shoot on cedar start to elongate and new needles grow on those shoots. I was taught to pinch the new tips as soon as they are long enough to get hold of between finger and thumb - the earlier the better because it stops the shoot elongating and forces new buds closer to the base of the new growth, (unless you want the branch to grow longer). Just hold the new needles and shoot and pull/twist until it breaks. I find I need to do my deodar every few days right through to mid summer because all the shoots grow at different rates and at different times. I'll try to take some photos at the appropriate time.
I'd be interested to hear whether anyone has any alternative growth control techniques for these.
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby Dralis » August 8th, 2018, 9:57 pm

Hi shibui
Pls post pics of yr pinching as to see what your refering to as im still trying to figure which part ro pinch when the times comes.
So you dont recommend cutting? And pinching back starts the ratification?
Should i also get rid of all the buds on the main trunk ?
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Re: Atlanica cedar

Postby shibui » August 8th, 2018, 10:58 pm

Pruning and pinching are both used but achieve different results. You ill need to prune with tools to remove excess shoots and branching at some stage - there's no real 'right time' to remove extra material. As mentioned earlier, long branches can help the tree to grow and thicken but they may also prevent the areas you want to keep from developing so keep extra branches to help the tree grow but remove any that you think are suppressing the desirable branches. Also remove any branches that could be contributing to problems - branches too close together may cause trunk to thicken excessively nearby causing inverse taper so get rid of them as soon as possible; branches at the 'front' of the trunk will leave visible scars when cut so best to remove those when small
It is likely that a young tree will have very little taper. You should probably consider pruning the trunk back to a thinner side branch to get some better taper, either now or in a few years when it has grown a bit.

Pinch new shoots of the branches you want to make more compact and keep for the desired tree design.
[quote][/Should i also get rid of all the buds on the main trunk ?quote] You have not showed us the tree yet so hard to give specific advice :lost:
In general see above. If you think any buds might be useful in the design then keep them. If you think any buds might be useful in developing the trunk (maybe sacrifice branches or replacement apex) then keep them. If they might cause problems get rid of them.
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