It all begins with this cypress entering into my garden in 2017, after purchasing it from my dear friend Stefano.
Although it does not have a thick, dark bark, like other Tuscan cypresses I was intrigued by its well-sized trunk and healthy vegetation.
The scale is of a lovely shade of green and there are no traces of disease.
The branches are properly sized. Too often, unfortunately, you see plants with newborn branches on very old trunks. Having properly-sized primary branches will enhance the cypress’s appeal.
Some of them have a common malformation of the branch attachment: this branch inclusion malformation at the junction weakens the connection of the branch to the tree causing the reduction of the stability in case of bending. The area with this malformation is definitely more brittle, so I always recommend to secure it thoroughly and never force the bend there.
In the high section of the trunk we can see the huge pruning scar which has already resulted in a small Shari. We will obviously have to let the cut disappear and widen the Shari as a result of the natural withdrawal of sap.
I had the chance to work with this cypress for the first time during the IBS 2018 congress in Camporosso (IM).
In order to streamline the work to be done, the evening before the demo I draw up a project.
Andrea Matteucci, in his first experience as an assistant, will work with me on this project.
In the first part of the process, we will focus on the deadwood:
First, we peel off the already dry parts and widen the natural Shari. We simply debark and then, with a splitter, we remove the exceeding wood so that the cut at the top disappears and the trunk becomes properly conical.
In the second phase, the folds are prepared. We protect with some rubber the large branch to be bent and then continue wiring all the others.
Since this is the first working on this tree, we will try to preserve as much vegetation as possible. This will not only ensure a more refined look to the tree, but above all to minimise the stress of working.
As I position the branches, Andrea takes care of the details: from the cleaning of the lower profiles to the preparation of the guy wires. It’s a lot of work, but in the end it’s what we love to do!
Snapshot during the demo:
Job is done! Looking at the design, I am very satisfied as the end result matches what was planned.
Time to relax and celebrate! …maybe with a good beer…a Peroni! 🍻😉
Here is the tree with all the details of the process
For the two following years I just cultivated the tree and re-potted it.
In 2021 the cypress looks strong and healthy enough for the second working
Reducing the deadwood area in the apex to make it thinner, is the first step.
The vegetation is then pruned and shortened and each branch is subsequently re-positioned.
Right side and left side
Details of the foliage and shaping.
Compared to the first shaping it is time to look for more details in the foliage. I am referring, in particular, to the asymmetries created by managing the negative spacing between the pads.
The basic principle is: no repetition!!! 😉