Lemon cypress (Cupressus Mac Goldcrest)

I bought this cypress from Walter Anderson nursery in San Diego for $19.99 on September 20, 2020. It is a variety of Monterey cypress, so I believe the current scientific name is Hesperocyparis macrocarpa, but the tree was labeled with the older genus name of ‘Cupressus’. I am pleased with its development in the 2 years and 4 months that I have been working with it.

April 1, 2023:
The tree today.
September 20, 2020:
The tree when purchased.
October 14, 2020:
Wiring some initial movement into the trunk. I left the smaller branches alone to provide energy for the tree.
October 15, 2020:
The tree from another perspective.
November 15, 2020:
In the garden. Leaving it alone to thicken.
March 13, 2021:
Spring growth.
March 13, 2021
Wire removed to prevent bark scarring.
May 8, 2021:
Some needle browning during spring.
August 22, 2021:
Branch selection and trunk styling in summer. I removed about half the foliage.
August 22, 2021:
Cut-paste applied to wounds.
August 28, 2021:
Lots of top-growth remaining.
September 4, 2021:
Pruned some of the top-growth, wired major branches.
September 29, 2021:
Slip-potted into a large terra-cotta container without working on the roots.
December 29, 2021:
Branch-pruned. Some reverse taper at the base. I will leave the lowest branch to try to thicken the nebari although it may not be part of the final design.
April 9, 2022:
Wired the major branches in spring, leaving most of the finer foliage to grow.
April 9, 2022:
Some selective pruning.
September 18, 2022:
Back to a bush.
September 18:
Wired to separate the upper trunks.
March 25, 2023:
Winter growth.
March 25, 2023:
Heavy pruning of new growth.
March 25, 2023:
Inside of tree exposed.

My future plans for this tree are to continue working on the main trunks as I let the foliage grow and then cut it back. I hope by leaving lots of foliage the lower trunk will thicken and a good nebari will form. Eventually I expect to develop the pads by clip and grow more than by wiring because the foliage is so fine.


  1. Yes, teaching me about patience and about enjoying the work at hand instead of focusing on the eventual goal. Especially in bonsai, where the goal may change to reflect new options the tree presents as it matures.


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