bare root bald cypress coming in Nov/Dec ... what to do?

bendem

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Hi folks. I'm new here and new to bonsai ... just picking it up a few months ago.

I recently joined the Arbor Day Foundation and purchased 10 bald cypress bare root trees that are scheduled to ship between 11/15/2021 - 12/8/2021. They'll be delivered at an average height of 2'-3'. It would be great to get your thoughts on how best to plant them when they arrive.

I've looked through this site for ideas. In terms of the best way to develop the trunks, it looks like most of the debate here is over whether or not to keep the trees potted and submerged during their growing season. It seems like most prefer to keep the trees in the water, but others say they've had better growth outside of it. I haven't noticed many people talking about how they're growing their young bald cypress in the ground.

I've also read several of Brent Walston's articles on the Evergreen Gardenworks site, and I see where he's said he does the following to root prune and plant bare root seedlings: "I cut off all the tap root leaving only 3 inches below the crown (that part where the trunk of the tree met the earth). I do this even if it leaves only a stub with no side roots. I plant these whacked trees in 3 inch pots with high quality well drained soilless mix. I leave all of the top."

I realize that's a general statement from Brent and doesn't necessarily pertain to the bald cypress trees I'll be getting in November-December.

Any recommendations in terms of planting the bare root trees in the ground vs. a container? And if suggesting a container, do you have recommendations for the pot's dimensions, potting mix, etc.? Thanks!
 

Sekibonsai

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Ground preferred if you can. Swampy area would be ideal. If not, or 1 to 3 gallon pots if you can't. Good nursery mix is preferred. If there is an obvious tap root that could be removed, but probably not necessary. You really want it to hit the ground running. Plan on providing some protection if you get freezes.
 

bendem

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Ground preferred if you can. Swampy area would be ideal. If not, or 1 to 3 gallon pots if you can't. Good nursery mix is preferred. If there is an obvious tap root that could be removed, but probably not necessary. You really want it to hit the ground running. Plan on providing some protection if you get freezes.
Appreciate the advice! Exactly what I was hoping for.
 

sorce

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That's a rough time for reciept.

Welcome to Crazy!

Since they likely won't grow any roots after being planted, you can't really do the root work necessary to get them a good start straight away, so I'd probably pot em for a couple years.

I been thinking lately about how we always talk about "roots first" in regards to a surface look, but not many recognize the benefits of a lot of good roots under the soil. Especially with these trees that we think it's ok to just cut everything off of, which is kinda like us removing 85% of our lung capacity before running a marathon. Even if our lungs grew back and we may be able to finish the race, we aren't going to have the start of someone on 100% capacity.

Sorce
 

cbroad

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Richmond in the house🙌

Do you know where these trees are coming from?
If they are coming from a far southern state, there might be more than normal shock involved being moved north where our frosts occur sooner.

In Richmond, our first frost is usually around Thanksgiving, so basically when you are receiving them. Depending on where you live in Richmond (the Fan, or closer to the river) you may be able to leaves them up against the house where they can receive some radiant heat from the surrounding buildings.

Our last few winters here have been fairly mild, and bald cypress' can definitely take some freezes, but I'd be concerned if they're coming from South Florida or Louisiana where their temps at that time could still be in the 70s; that could be quite a shock moving into freezing weather here.
 

bendem

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That's a rough time for reciept.

Welcome to Crazy!

Since they likely won't grow any roots after being planted, you can't really do the root work necessary to get them a good start straight away, so I'd probably pot em for a couple years.

I been thinking lately about how we always talk about "roots first" in regards to a surface look, but not many recognize the benefits of a lot of good roots under the soil. Especially with these trees that we think it's ok to just cut everything off of, which is kinda like us removing 85% of our lung capacity before running a marathon. Even if our lungs grew back and we may be able to finish the race, we aren't going to have the start of someone on 100% capacity.

Sorce
Thanks very much for your message and welcome!

I may have made a mistake in terms of stating when I'd get the trees. Arbor Day Foundation's site says they'll start shipping newly purchased bare root BC to my zone in November; however, now I see their Membership Trees Shipping Dates page currently shows March-May shipping dates for the same trees in my zone.

I'll send them a message asking to clarify this. I don't want to give out the wrong impression about ADF's shipping practices.
 

bendem

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Richmond in the house🙌

Do you know where these trees are coming from?
If they are coming from a far southern state, there might be more than normal shock involved being moved north where our frosts occur sooner.

In Richmond, our first frost is usually around Thanksgiving, so basically when you are receiving them. Depending on where you live in Richmond (the Fan, or closer to the river) you may be able to leaves them up against the house where they can receive some radiant heat from the surrounding buildings.

Our last few winters here have been fairly mild, and bald cypress' can definitely take some freezes, but I'd be concerned if they're coming from South Florida or Louisiana where their temps at that time could still be in the 70s; that could be quite a shock moving into freezing weather here.
Thanks for your message and welcome! To be precise, I actually live in Glen Allen near Innsbrook. As I just mentioned in another reply, I'm going to double check the shipping dates. I might have gotten them wrong.
 

sorce

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give out the wrong impression about ADF's shipping practices.

There wouldn't be anything wrong with it for the regular intended purpose.

It's just important for you to remember our purpose is different.

Truth...I don't consider March-May any better for our purposes.

Sorce
 

cbroad

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To be precise, I actually live in Glen Allen near Innsbrook
I actually live in Chesterfield, but no one knows where that is if you don't live around here. There's a lot of us nuts here in the area!
 

bendem

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There wouldn't be anything wrong with it for the regular intended purpose.

It's just important for you to remember our purpose is different.

Truth...I don't consider March-May any better for our purposes.

Sorce
I heard back from the Arbor Day Foundation, and they confirmed the trees should ship in the November - December time frame. So I'll look to go easy on them when they arrive and provide some good protection for when cold weather arrives.
 

Cajunrider

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March - May would be the right time. Even in Louisiana I wouldn’t accept bare root BC in November.
 

bendem

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March - May would be the right time. Even in Louisiana I wouldn’t accept bare root BC in November.
Thanks for your reply. I agreed to the organization's terms when I made the donation and picked the trees, so I don't plan to push back now because the timing may not be ideal. Will do my best and hope for some good luck.
 

LittleDingus

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Thanks for your reply. I agreed to the organization's terms when I made the donation and picked the trees, so I don't plan to push back now because the timing may not be ideal. Will do my best and hope for some good luck.

I picked up a few bald cypress exactly this way once some years ago. They will be fine. Don't panic ;)

They will very likely bud out late. Don't give up on them...be patient.

They grow so well from seed that I always start from seed these days.
 

bendem

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I picked up a few bald cypress exactly this way once some years ago. They will be fine. Don't panic ;)

They will very likely bud out late. Don't give up on them...be patient.

They grow so well from seed that I always start from seed these days.
Yeah, no panic. I also put some BC seeds outside in a tray of potting mix a couple weeks ago. Skipped the cold moist stratification and all that. Noticed the first two seeds germinating this afternoon and checked tonight and see it's up to seven seeds. So I think I'll have plenty to work with.
 

Cajunrider

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I picked up a few bald cypress exactly this way once some years ago. They will be fine. Don't panic ;)

They will very likely bud out late. Don't give up on them...be patient.

They grow so well from seed that I always start from seed these days.
Agree. In 2019 I bought 50 bare roots BCs and started about 100 from seeds at the same time. By mid 2020, in spite of the later start compared to the bare roots, the ones from seeds outgrew the others.
 

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