The Hinoki cypress, Chamaecyparis obtusa, is a native of Japan where in the natural setting it makes a large spreading tree. In Japan it is an important timber tree and is held as sacred by followers of the Shinto faith. It was first introduced into the UK in 1861.
Like most tree species long cultivated by man it has given rise to innumerable garden cultivars. It is only rarely seen as in imported bonsai and when it is, normally, it is of a very high quality and exceedingly expensive. As bonsai they are certainly seen in Japan a bit more often than in the west. The species grows easily and well and has many good attributes for bonsai, some cultivars have better growth habit for our purpose than others.
Like the majority of Hinoki bonsai in the UK this has it’s origins either as a garden collected plant or a horticultural nursery tree. The design is quite unusual and hardly fits any style category very easily, it is a bit exposed root, part informal upright but with a cascading trunk and branched emerging from near the trunk top. For us though, it works pretty well ! It features any amount of branching and foliage to be able to refine the canopy into a size and shape to suit the trunk. There is movement and taper in the trunk as well as modest deadwood features by way of jin and shari, the bark is typical aging Hinoki and the foliage that lovely lush dark green. The unusual trunk base with associated exposed roots makes an added interesting uniqueness to the bonsai. It is 65cm. in height with a spread of 55cm . At soil level the root spread is 28cm. although above this the trunk diam. itself is 6cm. The pot is good quality Chinese round ceramic with an interesting rough texture, it measures 41x9cm. This is a quite mature looking bonsai for someone who favours their trees a little out of the ordinary.