Hinoki cypress need help

I recently acquired two hinoki cypress clusters. Both had been rather neglected with a fair amount of brown foliage probably due to lack of watering. They were mine free of charge and already quite established in large, very deep pots. Too deep actually.

Since there were two separate clusters and neither was assured of survival I took two different takes with nursing them back to health.

On the first, less brown one I removed about half the rootball (still leaving a good 10”) and carefully pruned away as much of the dead stuff as I could. Then I repotted in good, well draining soil (about 50/50 organic and akadama). It lives in a temperature controlled greenhouse where temps will remain between 55 and 75 degrees F. (I am trying to fool it into thinking it’s spring). I keep it moist inside so the air doesn’t get to dry.

The second one is in a larger pot with it’s entire rootball intact and less of the dead stuff removed up top. It lives outside in a sheltered area which will get about 3 hours of morning sun and little wind exposure. Same 50/50 soil mix. This will experience a normal central Arkansas winter in zone 7A.

I realize it may take many months before I know if either tree survives.

I would appreciate any good information on hinoki as bonsai from this point forward. Both have decent primary trunks of about 1” diameter and 30” height and lots of healthy green remaining so I am guardedly optimistic.

I’ve always loved hinoki with their beautiful feathery foliage. I sure hope they make it.

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Sounds like a good experiment! It’ll be fun to see how they do.

I like the approach you took with the tree you repotted - the half-bare root is a good way to get roots growing in better soil. And as for the second tree, it’ll serve as a control for the experiment. If the first tree responds well, you’ll have a good path laid out for the second tree.

As for basic hinoki advice, they’re a lot of fun, but they can get sunburned if the weather gets hot so some protection may be needed in summer. When they’re healthy, they drink a lot of water and produce roots quickly.

The branches are flexible, but they don’t always produce back buds after pruning. They are most commonly styled as formal uprights in Japan, but I see them in all configurations in the US.

Here are a few photos of hinoki forests at a Japanese exhibit: