Is my bald cypress a goner?

jferrier

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I have a forest planting of 5 bald cypresses. I have been so busy I missed a couple days watering and I had also counted on some rain that didn't come. To make matters worse, I accidentily left it sitting on top of the air conditioning compressor which just started being used a day or 2 ago. So even though its been in the 80's the fan has been pulling air across it. Well today the soil was bone dry. 4 of the smaller trees have just some minor wilting and look like they will be fine, but my almost all my large pivot tree's leaves look wilted with many dried up on the ends. I've left it to soak but I'm wondering if it will likely survive? It does appear to have a few leaves that still look lush, but not many.
 

Redwood Ryan

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I have one here in Virginia and mine still hasn't budded out. So either yours and mine still have a chance, or yours and mine are dead.
 

Dav4

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Leaving a potted plant on a running central ac compressor for several days:eek: is not good, even if you did water it. The heat, combined with the air movement, would dry out the pot in short order. Still, these are tough trees, so I wouldn't give up either. I'm no expert on bald cypress, but I wouldn't leave the root ball to "soak". Keeping the soil moist, not sopping wet, is best. With luck, you've only lost the first flush of growth...if the roots and trunk are healthy, I bet it will push new growth shortly. Soaking the roots will only add another stress to the tree right now.


Dave
 

DaveG

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I don't know that you need to soak it, but I doubt it's going to hurt it, as bald cypress can pretty much live their entire lives with their roots underwater. (As the owner, I'm guessing you knew that.) Don't leave it to soak for days or weeks after it has regained turgor pressure in the foliage that's still alive, or it might get a bit dependent on it. If all of the trees still have living foliage, I'd say it should be fine. It might be a little ugly this year and it might die back a little on those branches that dried out, but hopefully it won't be anything hard to fix within a year or two.
 

ml_work

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Jferrier,

I have some small seedling BC and 1 large, our heat was higher last summer than most. It slipped up on me a couple of time and the leaves went limp on the small ones and large. After a good watering they all came back.

Keep LOOkin Up!
Michael
 

rockm

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DO let it soak for a day or two, no longer. If the soil is completely dried out through and through, it will take that long for water to penetrate it all the way.

After soaking, Place it in the shade. You should start seeing the foliage perk up. BC are very tough--and contrary to popular belief, even though they are capable of living with their roots submerged, they do NOT prefer it. They prefer soil that drains, but remains on the wet side.

Your trees will probably recover, just be patient.
 

jferrier

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Dav4. Yes I realize it was a bad idea to leave it on the a/c. I intended to set it there for a few minutes when it wasn't running and while doing some yard cleanup and then got sidetracked and forgot about it. Lesson learned.

Well thanks for all the info. everyone. I'm going to soak it for a few days then take it out. I can tell you all this though. When you live somewhere where you might have 3 months or more of 100 degree weather you will find that the soil in shallow bonsai pots can go completely dry before the day is half over. Keeping my bc's in water is the only way to avoid them drying out.
 
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rockm

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Keeping BCs in water in high temps will slow them down considerably, may even cause premature brown out of the foliage--especially if the water the tree is submerged in is exposed to sun. BC in nature have the luxury of having their roots buried in five feet of mud or soil to protect the. BC in shallower containers do not.

After being told to submerge my BC, I found that it caused problems (noted above). After talking with BC experts, notably Gary Marchal, I found it's better to compensate with higher levels of organics in the soil to keep it moist in hot weather. I use 60/40 mulch and regular potting soil/bonsai soil with a little sharp sand.
 

jferrier

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rock- good info. I posted my comment before reading yours. The soil cover makes sense. I'm not talking about submerging here though, just standing in a shallow pool. There's no other way to keep moisture in the soil here regardless of the soil mix when its 100 degrees for 3 months. While at work the trees would literally dry up before I could water them.
 

rockm

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"I'm not talking about submerging here though, just standing in a shallow pool."

Shallow water heats up very quickly and gets hotter than deeper. Unless the water is also circulated, the roots get no oxygen. Swamps that BC grow in are not stagnant. Water moves through them, bringing oxygen. Same cannot be said of a tub of water.

I am well aware of high temperatures. I am in roughly the same growing zone as Dallas, Tex. here in No. Va--USDA Zone 7. I also know about deep south summers and about heat (my folks live in East Tex. I have a lot of relatives on the Gulf Coast). Here in No. Va. we regularly get sustained temps in the high 90s and 100s well into Sept.-- with nighttime temps hovering in the low 80s (nighttime temperatures are a big threat, BTW, as they can interfere with a plant's photosynthetic cycle, or so I've heard). A pool retains heat longer than aerated soil, especially if the soil is watered from above during the day, which brings in not only cooler water, but oxygen as well.

The advice given to me by Gary Marchal www.cajunbonsai.com (a La. native, but now moved to Ga.) was not to keep BC in standing water, but to augment the soil, using majority organic material to retain water. I've done so for years now. I used to get yellow leaves and early brownout of foliage on BC when I grew them in water. I haven't seen that since moving to more moisture retentive soil.

If your soil is drying out while you're away, move them into a more sheltered spot out of the wind. Morning sun until 1 or so, if possible. It also helps to put wet white T-shirts over the soil surface on really hot days. This not only keeps evaporation from the soil down, but also keeps temperatures on soil surface and pot surfaces a lot cooler...
 
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rockm

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Sorry, didn't mean to sound like a preacher. Just trying to explain why growing BC in water might not be the best way to get optimal results.
 

Kirk

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The advice given to me by Gary Marchal www.cajunbonsai.com (a La. native, but now moved to Ga.) was not to keep BC in standing water, but to augment the soil, using majority organic material to retain water. I've done so for years now. I used to get yellow leaves and early brownout of foliage on BC when I grew them in water. I haven't seen that since moving to more moisture retentive soil.
I'm in Gary's study group. He recommends lava and organic (Nature's Helper or the like). It works well. None of his are in standing water.

Kirk
 

digger714

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Hello. Ive enjoyed reading all the info on the BC. I have just acquired my first one, and it was kept mainly full of water. The container fills up and takes an hour to drain. THere are only a couple small drain holes> Should i drill more holes so it drains faster?
 
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Only if you can make sure you check it everyday to make sure it does not dry out .
 
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