Cedrus Deodara

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Cedrus Deodara

Postby Fred » June 24th, 2011, 11:37 am

Hi Folks

I have a C.Deodara which I want to start training as an Informal Upright. I would appreciate your suggestions on where to shorten to for the new apex and which branches to use. It has had a growth spurt three quarters the way up. The bottom left branch can be the first branch. The bottom right branch the first right branch. The tree is pretty skint on back branches. Do I bend the 2nd or third left branches as a back branch? The 2nd left branch is thinner but allows a gap to the first right branch, the third left branch is the right thickness but is very close to the height of the right branch.

Above the first right branch the branches are a lot thinner. Do I use these or get rid of them and use the branches higher up which are thicker? Amongst these thicker upper branches is one I could use as the new apex. However I could continue past this grouping of upper branches and form a new apex.

I have attached a photo which hopefully will make this all clearer.

I assume I could wire and trim now and pot in the Spring?

Image
Cedrus Deodara by kauri95, on Flickr
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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby craigw60 » June 24th, 2011, 12:33 pm

G'day Fred, good to see you back. Cedar are notoriously slow to thicken so I would suggest you get the root system sorted on your tree then put it into a larger container with a good open potting mix and feed it like crazy to get a bit of weight into the trunk before you even consider styling it.
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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby Gerard » June 24th, 2011, 1:18 pm

Good advice Craig,

The tree will thicken faster with more foliage but it will not hurt at all to put some thick wire on the trunk to get a few curves in this very straight trunk.

C. deodara is a species which is inclined to weep, this makes it more suitable for a cascade or semi-cascade style.
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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby shibui » June 24th, 2011, 2:11 pm

Fred, before trying to work out which branches to use you should think about what height and thickness you anticipate your final tree being. The lowest branch you are proposing as the first branch on your bonsai seems pretty close to the ground - this will probably be too low for a medium sized bonsai I'd say so it probably won't really be the first branch??

Unless you are aiming for a really skinny bonsai, don't worry too much about the branches at this stage. First, build up the trunk. Get some decent bends into it if you want an informal upright. Remember bends tend to straighten as a tree thickens so make initial bends a bit more than looks right at this stage. Also, bends can be made by pruning to a side branch.

I note that there's a group of branches towards the top of the tree. This will thicken that part of the trunk if left. Either remove most or plan to shorten the trunk below that point at some stage.
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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby plantmanky » June 24th, 2011, 4:39 pm

Fred,

I'm so glad to see someone else using this material for bonsai. If I were you, I would get the root system flattened and the tree planted into a rather large but low container to let it grow some. In addition, C. deodara buds back quite nicely but you have to do it with branches that have foliage. I would do some preliminary cutting back of those long lanky branches to begin the ramification process right away. At the size that your tree is now, bending that trunk will be quite easy and getting your initial shaping done will help solidify your design and give you direction for the future. I have a couple that I'm working on, a formal upright and another that will be a more natural Natural design. Here is my formal upright. The trunk like yours was thin when I started but it's finally after 8 years beginning to show some cracking and the beginnings of real bark. A few more years (maybe 1/2-3/4 of a decade) and it will be on its way to being called a bonsai.

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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby Andrew Legg » June 24th, 2011, 6:32 pm

Nice tree Randy! :tu:
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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby craigw60 » June 25th, 2011, 7:32 am

Here is my Deodara, this tree is well over 30 years in a bonsai pot originally styled in a workshop with Tom Yamamoto, just to give you some idea of how slowly they thicken. It would be a much better tree if the original owner had spent a few years developing the trunk before committing it to a bonsai pot. The tree is over 1m tall and badly needs to be wired to accentuate the stepping in the branches.
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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby Matthew » June 25th, 2011, 10:42 am

my large one just over 1 metre tall formal upright. over 30 years old.i have other pics of it alone but do you think i can find them :lost: :palm:

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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby plantmanky » June 25th, 2011, 11:32 am

Great trees Craig and Matthew! I don't know why Americans seem to think this is not good bonsai material. They must not have ever tried it! I'm so glad to see others use this tree too!

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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby BirchMan » June 25th, 2011, 12:03 pm

I also have one that i bought about 6 months ago similar to Fred's. One thing i've heard is they like to spring their branches back to the original position even after leaving wire on for some time. How bad is this effect? Has anyone overcome this by wounding the branch or something else?
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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby Craig » June 25th, 2011, 12:47 pm

Birchman :wave: , undercutting the branch/slitting the branch have worked well for me in the past, I've found that even though Cedars are slow to gain weight the Cambium grows quite easily/fast where cuts are made, give it a go :yes:
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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby Grant Bowie » June 25th, 2011, 12:58 pm

Here is the start of my cedar.

Golden cedar 1.jpg


I am happy with its progress.

Golden cedar 15.JPG


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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby Gerard » June 25th, 2011, 6:01 pm

I have one styled as a semi cascade
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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby craigw60 » June 26th, 2011, 7:12 am

Birchman, while I am not opposed to scarring some trees species with wire its not such a good idea with cedar because you will find they thicken very quickly when scarred and also because the bark is pretty smooth the scars show for many years. I have a few cedars here which I bought from an old friend of mine now about 30 years old, they need to be wired constantly. While it is possible to set the main branch structure all the sub-branches and especially the twigs never seem to set so when the old wire comes off new wire goes on. Look forward to a life time of wiring.
Matthew your cedar looks like a lovely tree however the trunk would seem much more powerful if the branches were shorter.
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Re: Cedrus Deodara

Postby Matthew » June 26th, 2011, 7:39 am

craig ill have a think about it for next spring. next time im down your way ill bring it to you for a lookie if you dont mind :)
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