Chamaecyparis is an evergreen tree species ranging from medium to tall trees growing abundantly in the reasons of the United States and East Asia. It is popularly known as Cypress in many regions or as false cypress. The origin of the name Chamaecyparis is in Greek, derived from the word “Khamai” meaning “on the earth”.It belongs to the family Cupressaceae of genus conifers.
The leaves of Chamaecyparis generally come in two types. The first one is the young leaves that generally come in the first one or two years having long penetrating ends and the second are old rough leaves quite similar to scales. The trees can grow up to the height of 20 to 68 m in height.
There are large varieties of Cypress found globally some popular species of Chamaecyparis are-
Species of Chamaecyparis Found in-
- Chamaecyparis formosensis – Taiwan
- Chamaecyparis lawsoniana- Oregon, California, Washington
- Chamaecyparis obtusa- Japan
- Chamaecyparis pisifera- Honshu
- Chamaecyparis taiwanensis- Taiwan
- Chamaecyparis thyoides- United States
The Chamaecyparis (Cypress) are used as ornamental trees in many regions, the ones that are most suitable for ornamentation are the short heightened dwarf trees having different colors of foliage. Apart from this the wood of this tree is used for its rich fragrance and used in japan for temple constructions as well.
When it comes to selecting Chamaecyparis (Cypress) for bonsai, they are not the best of choices to consider. This species isn’t typically suitable for bonsai purposes. If a consideration must be made, however, it must be noted that this type of bonsai should only be undertaken by advanced bonsai enthusiasts. Only those with sufficient experience can handle the requirements of this species. This guide is an attempt to acquaint advanced bonsai enthusiasts with Chamaecyparis (Cypress)Bonsai Tree care.
How long does it take to grow Chamaecyparis (Cypress) Bonsai?
The seeds of the Chamaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai under the ideal conditions can grow within a year, in some cases, the time may exceed more than a year.
Before getting into the specifics of how you can plant, grow, and care for your Chamaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai. We’ve put together the basics with regard to the best conditions and requirements for Chamaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai tree care.
Position and lighting
Chamaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai should be placed in such a way that it receives complete sunlight. The Cypress requires a hot and dry climate for its growth. As compared to many bonsai trees they do not require colder climates. In case of strong wintery wind currents, it should be placed in a secluded area away from the wind.
The Chamaecyparis can get a little hard and stuff in the temperature of – 10F, these cold conditions are very dangerous and can lead to the death of the plant. It is important to protect them from cold wind and harsh cold climates. Placing them in the sun in the cold season is the best alternative while growing them indoors.
The Chamaecyparis best grows in semi-humid soil having a mix of different soil types rich in different minerals. The moisture content of the soil should be checked regularly and it should not be left to dry. Dry soil can hamper the growth of the tree.
The Chamaecyparis bonsai needs adequate amounts of water, but too much water can be avoided for its better growth. The plant is known to consume plenty of water during its growth and should never be left to dry. The watering needs requires only that the soil remains wet, excess watering is dangerous for its root and ultimately hampering the growth of the whole tree.
Feeding is essential to make sure your Chamaecyparis (Cypress) species of bonsai can grow easily. Feeding must typically be done when new foliage appears and be carried on till autumn. Spring and autumn are ideal feeding times for bonsai. A feed with balanced minerals and nutrients should be used in the months of spring/summer and a low nitrogen feed is perfect in the autumn season.
The Chamaecyparis (Cypress) Bonsai can grow in a variety of styles. There are medium to large-sized bonsai trees. You can grow the Charmaecyparis species of bonsai in multiple trunk styles or even as group plantings. Other bonsai styles that can be used to make an attractive bonsai are the upright, cascade, slanting, and literati styles.
How to Plant and Grow Chamaecyparis (Cypress) Bonsai?
Planting a Chamecyparis (Cypress) bonsai requires a deep knowledge of the plant’s need and its method of growing and the right species to choose for different regions. We have mentioned the species for different regions of the world in the above sections.
Once you know about the popular Chamecyparis (Cypress) bonsai species and have selected them for a bonsai, it’s time to get into the specifics of how you can actually plant and grow them.
Propagation of Chamaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai species can be done with the help of cutting.
The cutting can be performed easily from a young wood portion of a healthy Chamaecyparis (Cypress) plant in the months of July and August. After cutting the wood it will easily start to grow roots in any suitable medium of growth.
Pruning and wiring
Pruning is essential for the Chamaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai for its perfect growth otherwise the tree can face major challenges like rapid growth in a single direction. Leaves getting dead due to low light, or no growth of new buds over the old wood. In absence of frequent pruning, the branches of the tree eventually die and can not grow further making the process of bonsai management irksome. Constant pruning by removing the outer growths of newer foliage will help you in getting a perfect shaped bonsai. Avoid using sharp tools like scissors for removing the foliage as it can leave dark brown cuts making the bonsai ugly. If the Chamaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai is not constantly pruned the whorls can grow in an absurd fashion giving it a bad look.
Wiring can be done simply in most of the Chsmaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai. The only part of the tree that may require constant wiring to gain a perfect shape are its branches, if not properly wired there are chances that the bark may get damaged. In the case of Chamaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai wiring should not be performed in the early stages of plant growth, wiring should be performed after 4 to 5 months of repotting.
The process of repotting in Chamaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai should be performed at intervals of 2 to 4 years in the early years of the plant’s growth. After the bonsai plant is over 10 years of age then repotting should be performed at an interval of every 4 to 5 years. The type of soil to use mainly depends on the specific area but the soil that can drain easily is best suitable to most of the areas. A mix of soil having the right content of moisture is perfect for hot and dry areas. It will prevent the root from getting completely dry and will aid in the proper growth of the tree.
How to Care for Your Chamaecyparis (Cypress) Bonsai?
The Chamaecyparis (Cypress) Bonsai needs full sunlight for its proper growth, protecting it from the cold wind is also important in the winters otherwise the plant may get dry and eventually die. The Chamaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai can be easily propagated from old wood. It equires the right mix of different soils rich in various minerals for its proper growth, a soil that has the property of quick draining will be the ideal type for the plant.
The Chamaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai requires plenty of water to achieve proper growth, constant watering while checking the moisture content should be provided to the growing bonsai. Proper feeding is very important in the early years of the Chamaecyparis (Cypress) bonsai. The application of fertilizers can help in strengthening the growth rate of the bonsai to a large extent by providing the much required nutritional support.
Pests and diseases
There are very few chances of your bonsai getting any kind of pests or diseases. You only have to make sure that you have followed the right steps and provided the right kind of conditions for the proper growth of the Chamaecyparis(Cypress) bonsai tree. Many diseases like root rot and other diseases that infect the root can be easily prevented by maintaining the ideal watering conditions for the bonsai. Placing the plant in idea sunlight and protecting it from the wind can help in avoiding the growth of many pests as well.
It is very important to fertilize your Chamecyparis (Cypress) bonsai at a constant interval of two to three weeks from the spring season to the middle of the autumn season. The ideal fertilizer for this bonsai will be an acid-based fertilizer as these bonsai plants can not survive in a basic environment.