Matt Hughes tinkerer, grower, craftsman

The death of my cryptomeria (Japanese cedar) bonsai

I had such high hopes for my little Japanese cedar when I picked it up this spring, but it looks like I pruned it too hard, too fast.

March: repot and pruning

Cryptomeria bonsai before trimming

I really wish I had stopped pruning here. I think the tree would have thrived much more in this state, than it did after the massive defoliation I inflicted on it.

Crytpomeria bonsai during trimming

This looked like a good final-ish shape for a shohin. I really should have been patient and trimmed it back this much after it had a growing season to recover.

Cryptomeria bonsai after trimming

After the damage was done, I had an impressive pile of needles. I tried rooting a few of the larger ones, but unfortunately none of them survived.

Cryptomeria needle trimmings

May: getting a lot of die-back 👎

Cryptomeria bonsai

Early June: even worse off 😡

Cryptomeria bonsai

Late June: kicked the bucket 😣

Dead cryptomeria bonsai