Dwarf Hinoki Cypress

I found this little dwarf hinoki cypress at a local nursery this past fall. They had it on sale for about $3.00 for end of season! I liked the way the movement of the trunk and branches were so I figured I would buy it. I would of been stupid not too at that price! I did some dead wood work on it creating some jins and wired it with copper wire. The overall process is a spread of about 6-7 months (due to time mostly). Below is a progression photo series of the bonsai from when I obtained it to its now current pot. I have not completed the full wiring process. I got most of the wiring done to position the main branches but not to fine tune the tips and create foliage pads. I ran out of time and then we came to repotting season. I wanted to get it in better soil and a new pot so I will have to wait on the finishing of the wiring now. One thing with hinoki cypress is that it is a very bad idea to root prune/repot and wire at the same time. Most likely the tree will not like you and go to a happy place in heaven 😉 . You should always wait a good 6-8 weeks after repotting to wire and the same if you are doing it in reverse order. 


Front view:

Here it is fresh from the nursery and looking all shaggy. Believe me there is a bonsai in there……. I think.


Back view:

Just like the front…. nothing spectacular.


I started thinning it out and you can see that the top foliage is compact and the bottom foliage is leggy and far at the tips. So lets work on fixing that issue.


Another view of thinning out some of the branches. Hinoki will not back bud on old wood so it’s a must to thin out the foliage to get sunlight into the interior. Without light the inner green will turn brown and die quickly. 


After I gave the tree some rest from all the thinning out (you can see the huge difference from the previous pic), I started working on creating some jins. Remember those long leggy lower branches? 🙂


Here is a close up of the jin work.


As I explained in an earlier post about wire, I use a cheap gold aluminum wire for a short temporary fix until I have time or whatever else reason to properly wire the tree with good quality wire. Plus by doing this I can get a better idea of what I want to do when i wire it properly. And “NO” i do not do this to every tree! That would be just down right crazy. LOL


All the temp wire removed and the jin work refined. Ready to get a good official wire.


Close up 🙂


Here it is mostly wired up with good copper wire and all the jins have been lime-sulfured to make them standout.


Close up of some wiring and jin work.


Ready for its new pot!


Root ball and potting soil 


Roots raked out


Root ball trimmed up but not bare rooted.


This will be its new home. This is a 2 tone unglazed Zisha pot. Zisha pots are also called Yixing pots. They are made in China by Jiangsu Yixing Ceramic Group.


In its new pot!  


Right side view


back view


left side view


close up of rear jin


The the final view again. Once I get to wire and create the foliage pads in the future I will do an update post for this tree. 

Thanks for viewing!

6 thoughts on “Dwarf Hinoki Cypress”

  1. Great work. I think I like the right side better as the front though. The trunk movement looks better.

    I have one I butchered when I first got got into bonsai. Somehow it’s still alive but I don’t think it is salvageable.

    1. You know, I never even looked at the side views as a possible front. That’s such a rookie move on my part! LOL. But now you sparked my interest. However, it will have to wait until its repotted in the future. How bad is your tree you think isn’t salvageable?

      1. It’s bad enough that I am embarrassed to take a picture of it even, ha! I had just read about maple pruning and thought that would apply to it. Big mistake. I am super surprised that it pushed out any new growth. There was so little foliage left. Even if there was, the branching is bad. It’s a “twin trunk” in the loosest sense. The bigger trunk is straight up and about 3/4 thick.

      2. I would just let it grow out a couple of seasons and see what it does and maybe a couple years from now you can rework it. As long as its healthy and continues to push new growth you might have a second chance with it.

  2. The right side movement is very nice, but the jin is too much in front if you do a full 90 deg rotation. Maybe there’s a spot in between that catches the best of both views? Nice job! And a nice looking pot.

    1. I will definitely do a severe examination on a possible better front once its time to repot again in the future. I agree the jin would be to strong in the front so it would definitely have to be towards a side/back.

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