Bald cypress seedlings

Zadmat

Seedling
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I am new to this forum, I have bald cypress seedlings that I harvest from a nearby pond that will get weedwacked down. My problem is they are always dying on me. I started with bare root and kept roots wet, and panted in sandy soil with peat moss and keep it moist. within a day or two the tops curl and the whole plant dries up. Where I got them from is pond edge and moist soil in full sun. I tried to keep it exactly like where they were. The tap root breaks sometimes or a lot and maybe that is the problem? I live in Florida. I have tried lately to get more of the ball of soil around the seedling, but they seem to keep dying. Any thoughts.
 

PA_Penjing

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Are they dying or are the leaves falling off because you just collected them? The leaves are very tender and won't stay on the tree after you collect. Ideally you'd dig them up while dormant but the species is so tough (and they're seedlings) that what you're doing shouldn't really be killing them
 

Zadmat

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You could defoliate when you collect, or collect while their dorman
 

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Zadmat

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This is what they look like and it’s warm now. I can’t wait until fall as the banks are weedwacked every 2weeks. These grow under 20yr trees or older and there are about 12 of the bigger trees. The area I get them is around office buildings and anything I take will be damaged by wackers, its a great spot to get these seedlings. These are the ones I got yesterday and 1 is already dying. I am also wondering if there is something else I could do to improve, like fertilzer? I am hoping I can save a couple, but must have lost 20 now, some the stalk turns black. They were in really moist edge of pond.
 

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Zadmat

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Are they dying or are the leaves falling off because you just collected them? The leaves are very tender and won't stay on the tree after you collect. Ideally you'd dig them up while dormant but the species is so tough (and they're seedlings) that what you're doing shouldn't really be killing them
I posted a picture and they wilted and turned brown, i think most the stalk turned black, they were literally on edge of pond which was super moist. So I kept it moist, I didn’t think would have a problem transplanting seedlings.
 

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Zadmat

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I never thought of defoliating them I may try, I am extremely discouraged
 

PA_Penjing

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Oh jeez, they might be dead. Those are just seedlings, I assumed they were a few years old. Seedlings are very delicate. If I were going to collect them I would scoop them out with a shovel to get a bunch of the earth around them so the roots aren't disturbed. I wouldn't defoliate a tree that is only a week or two old, but to be fair I can't tell you why exactly. So try it if you want. But if they are relocated without disturbing the roots I see no reason why they wouldn't survive
 

Zadmat

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Oh jeez, they might be dead. Those are just seedlings, I assumed they were a few years old. Seedlings are very delicate. If I were going to collect them I would scoop them out with a shovel to get a bunch of the earth around them so the roots aren't disturbed. I wouldn't defoliate a tree that is only a week or two old, but to be fair I can't tell you why exactly. So try it if you want. But if they are relocated without disturbing the roots I see no reason why they wouldn't survive
That is what I was thinking get as much dirt around the roots, which is the latest green ones pictured. Is there a fertilizer that would be ideal? Or just keep hem moist until much bigger? Right now they get sun until 11am then indirect.
 

LittleDingus

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This is what they look like and it’s warm now. I can’t wait until fall as the banks are weedwacked every 2weeks. These grow under 20yr trees or older and there are about 12 of the bigger trees. The area I get them is around office buildings and anything I take will be damaged by wackers, its a great spot to get these seedlings. These are the ones I got yesterday and 1 is already dying. I am also wondering if there is something else I could do to improve, like fertilzer? I am hoping I can save a couple, but must have lost 20 now, some the stalk turns black. They were in really moist edge of pond.

I usually start these from seed in a community pot and when they are about this size is when I sometimes pot them out into individual pots. I've always bare rooted them when transplanting at this age.

That said, I grow them in coconut coir seedling mix that washes off the roots really easy. There's very little/no root damage from my typical transplants at this age.

Your situation is much different. If they are in damp soil along a pond, the soil is probably quite a bit heavier than what I sprout these guys in. Even shoveling out a ball of heavy soil may be moving the soil enough to break tiny roots :(

You may also be fighting the issue that "in the wild" the damp soil by the pond has a wider ecosystem to balance fungal issues, bacteria, etc...when moving them to pots, the balance may be tipping in favor of the bad guys :(

I think what I would do is get some sterile seedling mix. Coconut coir, perlite, or a mix of both. Bring a spray bottle and a butter knife and try to gently lift one seedling at a time. Once to do one or two, you should get a feel for how wide the roots may be, but try to take as little soil and break as few roots as you can. This is where the spray bottle helps. You can use the butter knife to scrape away soil and dig down much more gently than a shovel. Use the spray bottle to help wash away the soil you've loosened up. If you can lift one without breaking too many tiny roots, you should be able to easily plant them into a light seedling mix. Spray the roots with the spray bottle to keep them moist as needed.

I don't care for all the litter I see in your six pack of seedlings :( That might work well in the wild, but bring it into tiny pots and there are too many variables to control. Get them in a light, sterile mix and you should have better success with tiny pots.

All that said, if you miss your opportunity this year and run out of seedlings to collect, collect a few cones in the fall. They're easy to break apart and harvest the seed out of. They germinate readily with the right pre-treatment which is basically just toss them in a baggie of damp sphagnum and throw them in the bottom of your refrigerator for a few months. That's where all mine have come from. My office campus has a number of trees and I would grab cones when out walking during lunch :)

Good luck! I hope you can successfully grab yourself a few this season yet!
 

Zadmat

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I usually start these from seed in a community pot and when they are about this size is when I sometimes pot them out into individual pots. I've always bare rooted them when transplanting at this age.

That said, I grow them in coconut coir seedling mix that washes off the roots really easy. There's very little/no root damage from my typical transplants at this age.

Your situation is much different. If they are in damp soil along a pond, the soil is probably quite a bit heavier than what I sprout these guys in. Even shoveling out a ball of heavy soil may be moving the soil enough to break tiny roots :(

You may also be fighting the issue that "in the wild" the damp soil by the pond has a wider ecosystem to balance fungal issues, bacteria, etc...when moving them to pots, the balance may be tipping in favor of the bad guys :(

I think what I would do is get some sterile seedling mix. Coconut coir, perlite, or a mix of both. Bring a spray bottle and a butter knife and try to gently lift one seedling at a time. Once to do one or two, you should get a feel for how wide the roots may be, but try to take as little soil and break as few roots as you can. This is where the spray bottle helps. You can use the butter knife to scrape away soil and dig down much more gently than a shovel. Use the spray bottle to help wash away the soil you've loosened up. If you can lift one without breaking too many tiny roots, you should be able to easily plant them into a light seedling mix. Spray the roots with the spray bottle to keep them moist as needed.

I don't care for all the litter I see in your six pack of seedlings :( That might work well in the wild, but bring it into tiny pots and there are too many variables to control. Get them in a light, sterile mix and you should have better success with tiny pots.

All that said, if you miss your opportunity this year and run out of seedlings to collect, collect a few cones in the fall. They're easy to break apart and harvest the seed out of. They germinate readily with the right pre-treatment which is basically just toss them in a baggie of damp sphagnum and throw them in the bottom of your refrigerator for a few months. That's where all mine have come from. My office campus has a number of trees and I would grab cones when out walking during lunch :)

Good luck! I hope you can successfully grab yourself a few this season yet!
Thanks for the reply, I really appreciate it, a lot of useful information and things I did not know and will try. I will try the seeds, but these seemed easier and already a plant. I do have some not pictured in pots but they have the natural litter with it. I was hoping I could get them to last a week and transplant. I would be interested in learning ore about seed germinating, I tried it before and no luck.
 
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Cajunrider

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Up until this point, I've harvested and planted a couple hundred of them. Regardless of whether I pluck them from wet ground, swamp, edge of pond etc., I now plant them in well draining potting soil and keep them part shade so the tender leaves aren't burnt. The survival rate after transplant increases a whole lot once I started to do that. The hot burning sun in the afternoon often put way too much stress on the transplants and they die. Once they re-establish themselves and grow, I will put some back in really flooded pot if I want them to develop big root flare and knees. In general, I find them growing much faster in the earlier years in well drained pots.
 

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