New Bald Cypress

Redwood Ryan

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Hey everyone,



Ventured to the local nursery again today in the hunt for a new tree. I stumbled upon something I wasn't even looking for, a new Bald Cypress. I managed to find one in their sale section that was 14 feet tall, but with foliage only on the lower half of it. For that reason the tree was only $50.00. I told them I would gladly take it but it was too tall for my car, so they gladly handed me a saw and told me to chop it down to whatever height I wanted. So, I did. Unfortunately I do not have any shots of the tree before. I have it placed in the outdoor greenhouse to get its grow on. I left a good amount of branches on the trunk, so it should backbud very well, right? I am also considering placing the pot into a small pool to not only help the tree recover, but also to increase overall humidity in the greenhouse. Thoughts on this? Sorry for these bad pictures, I stepped into the greenhouse and was immediately blasted with humidity, causing the lens of the camera to fog up. Here are the shots though:





P.S. The trunk is a little bit larger than the Coke can, just for size reference.



Ryan
 

Mellow Mullet

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It should put out numerous buds all over the trunk, let it grow wild this year. hopefully you will get a bud at the top of the cut that you can use for the new apex. Putting it in a pot or tray of water will not hurt it and help the base to swell.
 

mcpesq817

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Great stock. No need to put it in the outdoor greenhouse though. I have mine sitting on benches with no problem. They will bud back like crazy.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Thank you both! I've placed it in a big bin of water and managed to get some better pictures:




It has almost a 4 inch trunk! This leads me to believe it is going to have to be a rather tall tree, which I am fine with.
 

jferrier

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Ryan:
Good start. There's no need to keep this tree in a tub of water though. It looks like its in a quite organic soil mix right now, so just keep it well watered. Also if there's no chance of a hard frost it doesn't need a cold frame either.
 

rockm

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Get it out of the water. You can wind up cooking the roots if you don't know what you're doing, especially as we get hot weather here. Although BC CAN grow in standing water, they DON'T prefer it. The shallow, small volume of water combined with the heat trapped in the greenhouse will inhibit or even kill the roots in the water. If kept this way for long, you will notice yellowing foliage, and an overall decline in vigor. It's really hard to kill a BC, but you have probably found a way to do it.

And JFerrier is right about the cold frame. I've been overwintering my collected BC here in N.Va. under eight inches of mulch on the ground in the backyard for over 15 years now.
 

Redwood Ryan

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I've taken it out of the water. I have also noticed some browning and dying foliage, which I assume is probably due to the chop and moving it, and probably from lack of water. I have given it a good drink though, so I hope it will pick back up soon.
 
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I collect these from the marshes down here in florida... and not to insult some of the others with their comments, but one of the trees I have collected, the only time it's been outside of the water was when I removed it from a lake and transfered it to a bucket. It has for the last six years remained in a tub filled with nothing, but water and spagnum moss.The funny thing is it has been, and continues to be my healthest tree. I'm considering leaving it there. Now, having said that, this doesn't work the same with soil for some reason, but some time in a pail of water will not hurt it. Alot of people do this, they believe it helps thicken the trunk, but as of right now I would suggest against it, mainly because who ever you bought it from didn't probally water it very much. I am more curious as to why the tree when you fist bought it, didn't have any foilage further up the tree??? Makes me wonder... is it still cold there ??? Perhaps the top of the tree got bit by the cold. In the fall this tree will drop all it's foilage, (best time to wire, carve etc.), so leaving in a greenhouse would be kinda counterproductive... do as Rockm suggested and use mulch, leave it outside.
 

jferrier

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I collect these from the marshes down here in florida... and not to insult some of the others with their comments, but one of the trees I have collected, the only time it's been outside of the water was when I removed it from a lake and transfered it to a bucket. It has for the last six years remained in a tub filled with nothing, but water and spagnum moss.The funny thing is it has been, and continues to be my healthest tree. I'm considering leaving it there. Now, having said that, this doesn't work the same with soil for some reason, but some time in a pail of water will not hurt it. Alot of people do this, they believe it helps thicken the trunk, but as of right now I would suggest against it, mainly because who ever you bought it from didn't probally water it very much. I am more curious as to why the tree when you fist bought it, didn't have any foilage further up the tree??? Makes me wonder... is it still cold there ??? Perhaps the top of the tree got bit by the cold. In the fall this tree will drop all it's foilage, (best time to wire, carve etc.), so leaving in a greenhouse would be kinda counterproductive... do as Rockm suggested and use mulch, leave it outside.
Just sayin..its not necessary. I've kept them in water too and noticed no ill effects.
 

rockm

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If you ask the guys who have been collecting and growing BC in La., the majority (if not all) recommend not keeping these trees constantly submerged. Gary Marchal told me a while ago that it's not a great thing to do. Additionally, research on this species at universities in La. and other states where the tree is an imporant timber species has shown that BC doesn't like constant submersion in water. It grows best in areas that are seasonally flooded (in the fall). In fact, BC can drown when water levels reach a certain point--ten to twelve feet up the trunk is apparently the tipping point according to the research I've seen. That point is far beyond those levels that can be done in a container however.

The mistake people make with this species in keeping it constantly in water is they miss the fact that BC grow in submerged areas because they CAN not really because they really prefer it. They are exploiting an environmental niche that other species can't.

Additionally, a pot of water is not a swamp. Swamp water drains (albeit slowly) and the deep muddy soil beneath remains relatively cool even in the hottest weather. In a container, water goes stagnant and the water temperature can skyrocket in the summer. Warm water can't hold as much oxygen which isn't good news for roots. As summer comes, the temperature of the water in a container can rise (Sometimes sharply), which can also contribute to slow root growth or even root death, depending on how hot it gets.

I stopped submerging mine quite a while ago, after having problems with early yellowing of foliage and slower growth. I compensated with a rich soil mix that is 70 percent potting soil and other organics, 15 percent turface and 15 percent crushed quartz sand. The mix stays soggy providing constant moisture to the roots, but breathes.
 
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mcpesq817

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I'm no expert, and I would certainly defer to those with more experience. But for what it's worth, this is my third season working with Bald Cypress and I don't keep mine submerged. When I got my first one which at the time was recently collected, it was a bit stressed so I did keep it in a galvanized tub for a month or two and in the shade. Not sure if it helped, but the tree pulled out just fine. That being said, as rockm mentioned, you have to be really cautious about water temps and stagnant water issues, not to mention, mosquitos.

Since then, I have not kept my BCs submerged, and they have thrived through the hot and humid DC summers. So, I don't think that submerging BCs is necessary, and the risks that rockm mentioned to me seem to outweigh any potential benefits. I do water them often though, as they are very thirsty trees. This year I moved to a more rich soil mix akin to what rockm suggested, which I believe was on the order of 60-70% organic (split equally between regular potting soil and bark) and the remainder split between turface and pumice. I think that with a really rich mix like that, you can pick up a lot of any potential benefits of keeping your trees submerged, yet avoid any of the associated risks. So far so good, as my BCs are really thriving.
 
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ok, the reason why I left the comments I did was in response to the overall panic of getting the tree out of the water !!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!, about cooking roots in hot weather, etc. If one was to read the post I actually commented, I also, told Ryan to remove the tree from the water, not for fear of "frying roots" in the terrible heat you all have, but for a much more serious reason... His tree has not probally seen alot of water lately, and going from one extreme to the other will kill the tree even faster. One might also note that I expressed to Ryan the need for him to remove the tree from the green house as well and to follow the info on winterizing the tree that Rockm suggested. Now as far as me keeping a tree in water, I have read probally most of those same studies, and I am very well aware of what the guys in Louisiana are doing. I have had previous trees in water that didn't do well so I too, removed them. I have also collected other trees, and have put them in a well draining organic soil mix, and have had them not make it... The tree I was refering to that is in a tub with water and spagnum moss, was collected form the water, I decided at that time to retain it in water, to ensure that the roots did not dry out. I had planned on eventually slowly easing it out, but it has been been doing very well, and seems to like it, even in the 100 degree weather we had the other day sitting in the blazing sun. When it starts to do bad the tree will be removed, but untill then... I did really enjoy the actual explanation of how a pot of water is not a swamp though...
 

rockm

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Stacy,

Wasn't calling you out specifically. I've just seen repeatedly online that people plunk BC in a tub of water "because that's how they grow in nature." It's wrong assumption IMO, but a common one since almost every picture of BC you see shows them in standing water.
 

Mellow Mullet

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It my not work for some, but my dad an I have grown ours in the summer (Mobile,AL) in tubs of water for years with no problems, they thrive and the trunks thicken really fast. Like I said, others my have a problem with it, but it works for me.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Man, so much controversy over this!

I am only keeping a small amount of water in the tub, so a small amount of the pot is actually touching the water. So far everything is going very well. I just returned back from a trip to Cali and the tree has exploded with new growth since I left.

I appreciate the advice and comments, thanks everyone!
 

DannyBonsai

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bald cypress usualy grow in areas where there is water standing only part of the year in some of the east coast swamps. I have some small saplings in a pot on my porch that will become literati and informal uprights in a couple years. they growl like crazy, and are for the most part bullet proof. They have been growing with about an inch of water standing in the pot for spring and summer, abd i let it go almost dry in winter. they are doing great right now.
 
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Here in the land of Oz I have a single Swampy. It was nursery stock about 5 years old when i got it.

For the first 10 or 15 years or so I kept it in a shallow water tray which in effect gave a flood and drain type inundation; mostly just to ensure the tree soil got really wet through in summer. I would then take it out of the tray for winter. It did fatten up quite nicely and got good base flare.

For about 15 years now I have grown it not in water and where I live now it can get to 100 F plus quite often in summer and very low humidity; yet it grows very nicely. In fact this time last year(our winter) i transfered it into a much shallower pot and it is doing really well.

before and after repot pictures attached

Grant Bowie
 

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grant bowie, nice cypress... Also, wanted to say I like your new styling better... when the foilage fills in it will have a nice weeping look !!!
 

fore

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Grant Bowie, may I ask, why you used wire to pull down the branches vs. just wiring them down?
Thanks!
 
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I found it quicker to just tie down the branches to tie down points. I was only needing to bring the tips and middle of the branches down; the area of the branches close to the trunk had mostly had the desired angle set years ago.

Also if I had wanted to I could have undercut the branches after the tree was wired.

Saves heavy wire as well.

Grant
 
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