Cryptomeria Japonica Bonsai (Japanese Red Cedar)

Cryptomeria Japonica Bonsai (Japanese Red Cedar)

I purchased this Cryptomeria Japonica (Bandai Sugi) from Lone Pine Gardens in Sebastapol, CA in May of 2007. It is over 20 years old and has a great trunk and bark that resembles that of a redwood.

Below is my photo journal of it’s progress.

Interesting facts: Cryptomeria Japonica is the only species in its genus, and Cryptomeria is one of only 10 genera in the ancient family, Taxodiaceae, which once shared the landscape with the dinosaurs. Other Taxodiceae include: Dawn Redwood, California Redwood, Giant Sequoia, and Bald Cypress. Although it’s common name is cedar, it is not actually part of the true cedar (Cedrus) family.


15 thoughts on “Cryptomeria Japonica Bonsai (Japanese Red Cedar)

    1. Thanks T! It has recovered well from the repotting and is pushing out nice bright green foliage now. I need to update w/ some new pix soon.

      1. What time of year did you do major pruning? I Have a couple cryptomeria that I want to start working this spring but I’m finding detailed development info hard to come by.

        Larry Aldrich
        Seattle WA

        1. Hi Larry,
          The nice thing about cryptomeria is that it is very hardy so you can pretty much prune it any time of year and it will be fine. That said, common convention is that the best time to prune/style/repot is just before growth starts in the spring when the tree is dormant. At that time of year the least amount of sap is flowing and it is only a short while until new growth begins to start healing the cuts you make.

          I trim mine whenever I can find the time all year round and it has always recovered just fine.


          1. Steve,
            Thanks for the response. Has your work all been trial and error or do you have a source you might recommend. I will start working on my two this spring when new growth starts up and the rain slows a bit.

            Larry Aldrich
            Seattle WA

    1. Hi Stephen,
      Thanks very much. It’s doing quite well actually turns out cryptomeria is a very hardy species.

      I’ve taken the wire off now and it’s a little overgrown. I plan to style it some more soon before winter comes.

      I’ll upload new pics when I can.


      1. Steve – Thanks for getting back to me. Glad to hear your tree is doing well. I have purchased a nice Cryto. from Lone Pine and Steve Price is going to style it with me. It is a little over 2′ tall. I haven’t taken any pictures of it yet. It was in a 10 gal. container and now in a 15″x15″x5″ Anderson flat. May do a bit of branch pruning soon then leave it till spring. Look forward to your pics. – Steve

    1. Hi Dave
      Glad you like the tree – I need to post a recent picture of it. I am not a seller/distributor, but you should be able to find one if you hunt around a bit.


  1. Looks great, any updates? The dates on the pics are very helpful. I just picked up a large crypto this year. Initial hard prune completed.

    1. Thanks for the prompt Jeff – I have added an update to the gallery. Tree is doing well. these are a very hardy species. 😉

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Optionally add an image (JPEG only)