A small Monterey Cypress
From the batch of Monterey Cypress that I started in 2007 I have only 6 trees that I’ve kept up to the present day. I wired some of the trees to be small, and others to be large. For the small trees the movement in the trunk was much more dramatic than the movement put in the large trunks. This particular tree has a tight turn near the base. Two others were wired to be small trees but I’m currently ground growing them to be larger.
At some point while I was in Thousand Oaks and this tree was growing in my friend’s back yard in San Francisco, part of the trunk on died back naturally. The resulting shari and rollover is one of the most interesting features of the tree. In fact, it was the reason that I started to concentrate more effort onto making this tree ready for show.
The general growing practice is relatively simple, similar to any juniper or many other species. But the styling, to look like the mature trees, needs to have branches that are ascending rather than descending. This makes the ongoing maintenance slightly more challenging as the cutback points are less well-defined than on a branch that descends from the trunk.
Monterey Cypress grow very quickly here in San Francisco, and even in a half-filled pond basket this one obtained a 2″ trunk in only 7 years.
Here is a progression of images of work on the tree:
The results of the spring 2014 styling were satisfactory, but I think I knew at the time, and thought about since, that the front of the tree that I used then was not the best possible front. Using it was a decision based on root work, the character of the branching and the shape of the crown. With some time I imagined that the front would be more toward the left side of the tree.
I left the tree alone to grow for much of the year, but finally decided to trim and clean it up at the end of August.