Bald Cypress II

Mellow Mullet

Masterpiece
Messages
3,419
Reaction score
8,495
Location
Mobile, Alabama-The Heart of Dixie
USDA Zone
8-9
I did this work earlier this week, same day as the twin trunk cypress. Here is the start, as you can see it was well over ten feet tall:

DSC00438-1.jpg

Plenty of roots, having them in a pan of water really works:

DSC00444-1.jpg

DSC00446-1.jpg

DSC00447-1.jpg

A quick swipe with the trusty reciprocating saw:

DSC00449-1.jpg

A little combing and a root trim:

DSC00453-1.jpg
 

Tieball

Masterpiece
Messages
2,099
Reaction score
1,889
Location
Michigan. 6a
USDA Zone
6a
Nice root work. I like the way you've chosen the roots to remain. Nice tight root area. That trunk....I think I would have cut it back further. It appears to look like it is still 4-5' tall. But....easy for me to say....I can't see the tree in person. That's just my thinking. You probably have a good reason for the final height you chose....and it may just be the height you want. Post some more photos as you progress.
 

Attachments

Wilson

Masterpiece
Messages
2,230
Reaction score
3,995
Location
Eastern townships, Quebec
USDA Zone
4
I am a little jealous of folks south of the border, your bald cypress are great! I have always loved metasequoia, but the cypress have all the same attributes and maybe better foliage! Enjoy your trees.
 

Tieball

Masterpiece
Messages
2,099
Reaction score
1,889
Location
Michigan. 6a
USDA Zone
6a
There are likely numerous people who have bald cypress....like Wilson above....I am also a bit to far north to have the trees. However....an excellent person to talk to about bald cypress is Zach Smith. I'm sure he could offer some trunk chopping advice from experience. His website is http://www.bonsai-south.com
Zach is a collector down south....far enough south to collect, maintain and appreciate growing the BC trees. Scroll down Zach's home page of articles to this BC article....
 

Attachments

markyscott

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,021
Reaction score
14,549
Location
Houston, TX
USDA Zone
9A
There are likely numerous people who have bald cypress....like Wilson above....I am also a bit to far north to have the trees. However....an excellent person to talk to about bald cypress is Zach Smith. I'm sure he could offer some trunk chopping advice from experience. His website is http://www.bonsai-south.com
Zach is a collector down south....far enough south to collect, maintain and appreciate growing the BC trees. Scroll down Zach's home page of articles to this BC article....
I believe that Don Blacmond lives in Michigan and he grows some fantastic bald cypress - some of the best I've seen. I've seen them planted as landscape trees in Columbus and Seattle. There are native stands as far north as southern Illinois. I believe I've read that they are hardy enough to grow further north than that, but the growing season is too short to produce cones. Hence no native stands.
 

elroy

Sapling
Messages
32
Reaction score
12
Location
Ottawa, ON
USDA Zone
4
There are several bald cypress in the arboretum in Ottawa Canada.

Elroy
 

johng

Omono
Messages
1,578
Reaction score
2,269
I believe that Don Blacmond lives in Michigan and he grows some fantastic bald cypress - some of the best I've seen. I've seen them planted as landscape trees in Columbus and Seattle. There are native stands as far north as southern Illinois. I believe I've read that they are hardy enough to grow further north than that, but the growing season is too short to produce cones. Hence no native stands.
There are at least 2 mature Bald Cypress growing at the Eastman Arboretum in Rochester, NY!
 

markyscott

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,021
Reaction score
14,549
Location
Houston, TX
USDA Zone
9A
There are at least 2 mature Bald Cypress growing at the Eastman Arboretum in Rochester, NY!
Out of curiosity, do you know if they ever produce cones?
 
Messages
497
Reaction score
941
Location
Atlanta
USDA Zone
7b
I actually love the height you left, it make for a more convincing final image. I believe too many folks chop them too low, not honoring how the trees grow naturally. I say keep the height, the tree will be better for it.
 

markyscott

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,021
Reaction score
14,549
Location
Houston, TX
USDA Zone
9A
I'm sure I saw fruiting bald cypress along the Chicago lakeshore. I kept one for a while...it was hard and green but definitely a cone.
Hmm. Maybe they meant the cones wouldn't produce viable seeds. I'm fairly sure I read that in Brown and Montz, "Bald cypress: The Tree Unique, The Wood Eternal", but it's been so long I can't remember what they said exactly. I'll see if I can find what they said again.

Thanks Dav4
 

ColinFraser

Masterpiece
Messages
2,370
Reaction score
5,643
Location
Central Coast, California
USDA Zone
9b
I actually love the height you left, it make for a more convincing final image. I believe too many folks chop them too low, not honoring how the trees grow naturally. I say keep the height, the tree will be better for it.
I respectfully disagree and think that exactly the opposite is true - many use the "natural habit" as an excuse to leave them tall and taperless so they can begin branch development right away instead of waiting years to grow new, tapering, trunk segments ;)
 
Last edited:

Tieball

Masterpiece
Messages
2,099
Reaction score
1,889
Location
Michigan. 6a
USDA Zone
6a
I believe that Don Blacmond lives in Michigan and he grows some fantastic bald cypress - some of the best I've seen. I've seen them planted as landscape trees in Columbus and Seattle. There are native stands as far north as southern Illinois. I believe I've read that they are hardy enough to grow further north than that, but the growing season is too short to produce cones. Hence no native stands.
So I could grow...maintain...a Bald Cypress in Michigan? Cool...I did not think I could due to the very sub zero cold winters. Can a BC be left outdoors all winter (west Michigan) Or...is the catch that a BC would have to be indoor temperature controlled during the winter?
 

markyscott

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,021
Reaction score
14,549
Location
Houston, TX
USDA Zone
9A
So I could grow...maintain...a Bald Cypress in Michigan? Cool...I did not think I could due to the very sub zero cold winters. Can a BC be left outdoors all winter (west Michigan) Or...is the catch that a BC would have to be indoor temperature controlled during the winter?
Hi Tieball. I live in Houston and can't offer you advice about growing Bald Cypress in Michigan because I've never done it. But I do know they are grown as landscape trees in similar climates to yours. And I know Don Blackmond, a member here, grows some pretty nice ones in your state. My guess is that he gives them some winter protection, but I've never asked him. So my suggestion is that, if you're interested in growing one, don't write them off until you've had a chance to talk to Don and get his advice about growing them in your area. You could send him a PM, or contact him here:

http://www.gregorybeachbonsai.com/index.html

When I'm trying something new in my climate, I always secure an inexpensive test subject and grow in my garden for a few years before I sink more serious money into something nice.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,494
Reaction score
11,944
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Hi Tieball. I live in Houston and can't offer you advice about growing Bald Cypress in Michigan because I've never done it. But I do know they are grown as landscape trees in similar climates to yours. And I know Don Blackmond, a member here, grows some pretty nice ones in your state. My guess is that he gives them some winter protection, but I've never asked him. So my suggestion is that, if you're interested in growing one, don't write them off until you've had a chance to talk to Don and get his advice about growing them in your area. You could send him a PM, or contact him here:

http://www.gregorybeachbonsai.com/index.html

When I'm trying something new in my climate, I always secure an inexpensive test subject and grow in my garden for a few years before I sink more serious money into something nice.
I've been growing BC in Northern Va. for about 20 years. Although we don't get the drastic sustained cold that you all do in Michigan in the winter, but we do get subzero and single digit cold snaps between Jan. and Feb. and sometimes a lot of snow.

I provide my BC with deep mulch cover (6-9 inches at last) over their containers, after putting them on the ground in late November after leaf drop. Other than the mulch, they're left uncovered. I've overwintered them this way since I started keeping them. We've had some deep cold in that period. The trees have experienced more than a few nights of subzero temperatures, blizzards and winter weather. They haven't had any problems.

The trees I have were collected in Louisiana and Texas, which I think is an important point in trying them further north. I've had Florida-collected BC too. I've overwintered those side-by-side with the La. and Texas trees. The Florida trees inevitably die or, in one case, killed outright, by below 25 degree temps. In my experience, Florida-collected BC tend to have awl-shaped foliage like pond cypress, rather than feather-like foliage in Texas and La. trees. Or they have a combination of the two.
If there are nurseries in your area selling the species, that might be the best source. BC is native all the way up into Illinois and is listed as cold hardy to zone 4a (which probably means in a container it's hardy to about 5a)
http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/landscape/trees/hgic1033.html
Local nurseries MAY be using a cultivar that's more cold hardy than the main species -- check established, reputable nurseries. Forget the bargain basement variety.

I believe you can successfully keep BC in your area, provided you give them some winter cover at the root zone and probably overhead (like in an unheated garage, covered cold pit, etc. Starting off with an inexpensive test tree is a very good idea. Get an idea of what works before taking the leap.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
7,421
Reaction score
13,418
Location
on the IL-WI border, a mile from ''da Lake''
USDA Zone
5b
As to native range of BC, I'm north of Chicago, half way to Milwaukee, and they are used as landscape trees around here. And they produce viable seed. I have seedlings in my yard. However. Seed usually does not sprout until the heat of summer, and does not seem to get enough growth in to harden off before the cold sets in. I lost many seedlings in pots next to older trees in pots. I found that seedlings less than 2 years old need winter protection. Once they have a couple years on them, they are winter hardy to -20 F in the ground and with shelter from wind and in the shade are hardy outside in pots on the ground. Though often if there is room I do give the smaller ones protection in a below ground unheated well house. It stays significantly warmer than air temp, but no heat is added.

I think if you start with a 2 or 3 year old seedling, they will survive in zone 5 and zone 4 with a little protection from wind and sun in winter. I don't think they will survive zone 3, so if you are significantly north of Grand Rapids, you might not be able to grow BC. But south of GR you should be able to grow them. Check with Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids and see if they have any BC in their landscape.
 

markyscott

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,021
Reaction score
14,549
Location
Houston, TX
USDA Zone
9A
As to native range of BC, I'm north of Chicago, half way to Milwaukee, and they are used as landscape trees around here. And they produce viable seed. I have seedlings in my yard. However. Seed usually does not sprout until the heat of summer, and does not seem to get enough growth in to harden off before the cold sets in. I lost many seedlings in pots next to older trees in pots. I found that seedlings less than 2 years old need winter protection. Once they have a couple years on them, they are winter hardy to -20 F in the ground and with shelter from wind and in the shade are hardy outside in pots on the ground. Though often if there is room I do give the smaller ones protection in a below ground unheated well house. It stays significantly warmer than air temp, but no heat is added.

I think if you start with a 2 or 3 year old seedling, they will survive in zone 5 and zone 4 with a little protection from wind and sun in winter. I don't think they will survive zone 3, so if you are significantly north of Grand Rapids, you might not be able to grow BC. But south of GR you should be able to grow them. Check with Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids and see if they have any BC in their landscape.
Really great to know - it's fascinating what a large range in climate they will tolerate. Grand Rapids to South Florida! Amazing.

Anyway, I wouldn't bother with seeds too much. You can buy seedlings by the hundreds for pretty low cost and have them shipped bare root.

http://www.coldstreamfarm.net/bald-cypress-taxodium-distichum.html
 
Top Bottom