Buttressing BC roots?

biglou13

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I have a Bald cypress. It has nice root spread, however the roots are more like a flying butress/ incomplete buttress. What's best way to fill in the spaces?

It's now in shallow 12 inch pot soil mix is turf ace, pine fines, peat.
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Do you have any pictures?

There are a couple options...you could try to do a partial ground layer and bury the tree a little bit, but there's a chance that it might not root since there's not a complete ring of bark removed. You could also graft roots to the base. Or if there are thick roots around the blank space, you could do a ground-layer-type-thing around the roots and hope that they grow in the right direction.

There's just a couple options. I (well, "we" [did i mention that I have multiple personality disorder?]) could give a better answer with pictures :)
 

rockm

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It's unclear what you are trying to accomplish. A picture would help greatly. Buttressing on BC is rarely regular or symmetrical.

FWIW, You will not have much luck filling in buttressing roots if the tree is kept in a container. The ridges develop correlating to branches above. The bigger the branch directly above a root, the more the root develops. Allowing free growth of branches while a BC is in the ground results in buttressing on roots directly below.

BC are collected with heavy buttressing already in place...
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Rockm, thank you for that bit of info. Is that the same with all trees, or strictly with bald cypress?
 

rockm

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It varies from species to species. I've noticed it working with BC over the years. Some may disagree...

However, the best (and probably only) way to develop root buttressing is in the ground. I've had a BC in a bonsai container for over 15 years now and its buttressed roots are mostly the same as they were when it was collected.
 

Kirk

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They will also show the more dramatic flare at the base when grown in water or bog. BC grown on dry ground or large nursery pots tend to look very different.

Kirk
 

Mellow Mullet

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I know I will probably get flamed for this, but submurge the pot in water and it will buttress. My father and I have been doing this for years and it works.
 
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oh, don't start that whole arguement again !!!! Only joking, have to say I am with you...
 

rockm

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Mellow,

Can you post photos and explain the process?
 

Mellow Mullet

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Sure, I have a few on my website, www.thebrassdragon.com. These are older pictures, I had to move and have not posted any new ones in a while. They also suffered a setback last summer, the ex wife tried to kill my trees by not watering them till I could get them moved (lost 20 or so). I lost several limbs on this one and a clump lost all of its limbs, luckily, the trunks survived, these are some tough trees. The one in the white training pot was seedling that is about 10 years old. It is sitting on the bench, out of its cement mixing tray, due to some lawn work. It now has some nice butressing on the trunk and is a little bit smaller that a coffee can at the base and is approximately 36 inches tall. Trying to make a flat top style. I'll take some pictures and post them tomorrow. Basically, it is just potted up in my standard mix of 60% lava and 40% pine bark. In the spring, the entire pot is submerged in a tub of water and left to say till we start to get frost. I completely flush the water with fresh every couple of weeks. I remove it from the water in the winter, I learned the hard way that bald cypress don't like having their roots frozen. My dad and I have been doing this for years and it seems to work for us, you can check out some of his trees at www.bnjl.com. I'm not saying that some of the claims of other's problems with this method aren't true, this just works for me.

John
 

xghostx

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Does this hold true for dawn redwoods. If so I have a small whiskey barrel pond I could place my dawn redwood in to accelerate buttressing.
 

rockm

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Sorry, but in looking at those photos, I wouldn't really call what's going on "buttressing." Rooting, maybe, but not buttressing.

The basal flare on both of those trees is minimal. In saying this, I'm not trying to be insulting. They're both good BC, but they just don't have the big basal flare that some collected BC are collected with:

http://cajunbonsai.com/
http://lh5.ggpht.com/_fYM76QaXc7A/TDZ_QEn6f0I/AAAAAAAAIjU/08UTnCTwb2w/s800/P1120346.jpg

What is going on is root thickening, not buttressing--which is fluted ridges on the trunk of the tree. That kind of trunk ridging appears above dominant roots that have a lot of room to run, swelling the pathways up the trunk to limbs above them. The more root run a dominant root has, the more it will swell the ridge on the trunk. In a container, even in water, such root run is minimal compared to what happens in the ground...

I hesitate to post this and expect heavy gunfire...:D
 

biglou13

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picture.php

picture.php

picture.php

picture.php




here are some pics
(and for those that didn't google flying buttress)
 
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