Thuja occidentalis

Messing Around With a Small Cedar

This little thuja (~30cm to top of jin) was collected in spring 2011. It’s not exactly a jaw-dropper, but it has some nice movement, natural jins and it reminds me of the big old thuja I see with dead tops.

Preserving the old flaky bark while extending the deadwood was difficult, and some was inevitably lost. Some was actually intentionally removed as it was giving an illusion of inverse taper.

This tree probably won’t be touched for the rest of the year except for some light trimming if the foliage bounces back strongly.

Cool Thuja

Perhaps my favourite thing about old collected Thuja is the little details.

This tree was brought in to display at a local club meeting, and is more or less the same as it was when growing in the wild. Aside from some casual annual cutting and a bit of wire here and there, the owner has never really tried to make a bonsai of this tree. Instead it is just an old Thuja growing in a pot that is appreciated for its wild beauty. I would probably try to take the tree to a more refined state, although I understand the owner being content with the natural beauty of the tree.

While at first glance a rather and straight and boring looking thing, the incredible details tell another story.

The tree is about 1m tall and is in a Sara Raynor pot. It is a gorgeous pot, but slightly too showy for my taste.

Shari detail.

Strange hollow jin. It almost looks like this was drilled out by a bonsai artist, but it is 100% natural.


Shari separating from trunk.

Big Thuja Update

This big Thuja was collected in Fall 2010 and had its first serious root work just over a month ago. It is growing very nicely now, and I moved it into full sun the other day.

As soon as possible this tree will need some major thinning to prevent weakening of the interior growth. Probably 50% of the foliage will need to be thinned. However, before that I decided to cut back some useless branches at the top of the secondary trunk.

This tree actually seems to be two trees/trunks growing together. The main deadwood trunk, and an apparently younger but still interesting trunk behind it. They could work together for a final design, but I think I would prefer the simplicity of the main trunk alone. However, I need to be sure that I can kill off/separate the second trunk without harming the living part of the nicer one. And I am still not 100% convinced as I saw some root fusion when I repotted it last month. The entire deadwood trunk only has one live vein.

Here is the tree as collected in October 2010.