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The cherished Hinoki - Chamaecyparis -obtusa

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

Without fail, anyone entering the nursery always heads straight to my little Hinoki, Chamaecyparis Obtusa. Hinoki Cypress is a popular choice among Bonsai enthusiasts due to its elegant appearance and unique features. Native to Japan, the Hinoki Cypress, is a slow-growing evergreen tree that can live for hundreds of years. Its delicate foliage and distinct reddish-brown bark make it a prized choice for Bonsai cultivation.

One of the most appealing aspects of Hinoki Cypress Bonsai is its compact and dense foliage. The fresh, vibrant green leaves are arranged in small, flat sprays that give the bonsai a well-balanced and refined look. As the tree ages, the foliage becomes more delicate and nuanced, creating a stunning natural display. The small cones that appear on the branches of Hinoki Cypress Bonsai also add to its aesthetic appeal. However, growing Hinoki Bonsai may be challenging for a Gardner with no knowledge about the care requirements of the tree. Caring for a Hinoki Cypress Bonsai requires attention to detail and patience. Experience has show that in South Africa, Hinoki's love light, (sunlight with no UV, such has shade cloth is very good). It is essential to water the bonsai regularly and ensure that the soil remains slightly moist but not overly wet. Apart from all these qualities, the Hinoki cypress is also one of the most recommended tree species for inexperienced Bonsai growers because it is very easy to work with as it requires a minimal level of maintenance.

Hinoki Cypress Bonsai is a hardy tree that can withstand temperatures below freezing, but it is important to protect it from extreme weather conditions, particularly wind.


When it comes to styling the Hinoki Cypress Bonsai, the possibilities are endless. The tree responds well to pruning and wiring, allowing for the creation of various shapes and styles. Whether it is a traditional formal upright style or a more modern and artistic approach, the Hinoki Cypress Bonsai can adapt to different techniques and designs. You can start to cut back secondary branches from early spring to late summer. You can pinch out the tips of new shoots several times during the growing season. You need to cut the leaves of the tree regularly so that the inner leaves will not be shielded away from the sun which may eventually cause them to die.


You should pinch the tree instead of running with scissors to prevent the leaves from turning brown, a defect that is commonly seen in areas where the leaves are cut back. Leave the new shoots to grow up to 2 5cm before you pinch them with your finger. Also, do not heavily prune the tree during summer because the naked inner leaves may die back. And lastly, avoid messy or irregular pruning as this can lead to the formation of mishappen whorls on the leaves. In conclusion, the Hinoki Cypress Bonsai is a stunning and elegant choice for Bonsai enthusiasts. Its compact foliage, unique bark, and versatility in styling make it a favourite among many. With proper care and attention, this beautiful evergreen tree can bring tranquillity and beauty to any space.


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