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The tree below is a very nice old hinoki (False cypress) that i worked on while i was in Japan. This tree had been shown in Kokufu, so i was very honored to get to work on such a nice tree. (If any one reading this can find it in an old album please let me know what number)

The tree had been grown out without much maintenance for a number of years and as a result the it had grown very dense and had lost some inner branching.

Hinoki before

This is the tree after the first branch had been pruned.

My job was to thin out the entire canopy, remove un-needed branches and reduce the remaining branches back to a more manageable structure. This work was intended to stimulate back-budding prior to a future wiring.

Hinoki Midway

The pruning is half done.

As the tree was large, it took me a full day just to prune it from bottom to top.

Hinoki After

The pruning is finished.

After the work the structure of the tree started to become apparent.  Although it still has a long way to go, it is now easy to  imagine it future .

The tree had the most amazing twisting bark that i am sure will add to its chances of one day again being shown in Kokufu.

Unfortunately i was unable to work out what species of Chamaecyparis it was. I am guessing Chamaecyparis obtusa but i am not 100% sure. It had fine foliage that i had not seen before. If anyone reads this and can identify the species from the pics below please add a comment or send me an email.

Hinoki Foliage

The foliage up close.

It was a great tree to work on and taught me a lot about pruning. At the start of the process i was concentrating too much on the tip density. Mr. Urushibata spent some time explaining how you often you have to look deep within a branch structure and cut out some secondary branches rather than thinning the tips. It was a concept that like many in bonsai seemed simple enough but was not apparent until someone pointed it out.

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