Repotting bald cypress - timing?

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I feel like it's getting a little late in the year for repotting deciduous material, but I just picked up a bald cypress that I'd love to get into a pot. If it's simply a bad idea, that's all there is to it and I won't do it. I was sort of thinking about simply slip potting it with mushroom compost if there isn't enough soil in the pot as it is.

I always have this feeling that plastic pots can't be good for them, but I'm certain I've blown that up a bit in my head. I still can't shake it tho, and don't like the idea of letting it go for a growing season in plastic if it can be avoided. If it's bad timing though, it sounds like I should keep that sucker in a bucket of water for the growing season and see if I can't get some knees.
 

HENDO

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It's probably a bad idea, assuming the buds have popped and it's starting to explode?

Give it one more year of girth either in the current container or slip-potted. This will give you time to stare at it like the rest of us tree-obsessed weirdos and generate a plan for next Winter/Spring, when you can make your chop and container selection.

Not sure how big it is but a lot of people recommend the cement tubs for development. I loathe them. They take up a tonne of bench space and bend/break when moving. You could use your time to find a good sturdy agriculture feeder tub or something less hideous but suitable for development since you seem to not like the nursery-looking containers.
 

Cadillactaste

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A dead tree in a pretty pot gets ones no where fast. If the plastic pot bothers you. Stick that plastic pot into a ceramic one...like a sleeve, just be sure it has a drain hole as well.

Bald cypress once the buds show the brush of the fronds...it's to late.

Health of a tree isn't dependant on a nice pot under it.


I personally don't slip pot. Two different mediums drying at different intervals. When I mess with roots it's to set them in order when the timing is right for the tree.
 
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Yep it's already popped - OK, that's what I thought. I was curious if maybe the slip potting idea could have worked.

If there's really no concern keeping it in plastic, then I have no actual reason to take it out right now. This year all I'd like to do is get the branches in place.
 

Cadillactaste

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Yep it's already popped - OK, that's what I thought. I was curious if maybe the slip potting idea could have worked.

If there's really no concern keeping it in plastic, then I have no actual reason to take it out right now. This year all I'd like to do is get the branches in place.
I missed two spring repots with my bald cypress. One...it woke before I could catch it...showed brush. *Had a commissioned pot at the time for it. Following year...it didn't seem to go all the way dormant. And started growing on the ends which hadn't fallen from the tree.

Personally...there are cons to slip potting. One being two different mediums in a pot drying out differently.

Another is not getting good root work in. I just don't see the need... but plastic pots do not bother me.

Many training pots are plastic...some folk use pond baskets and such. Look at local landscape nurseries...their plants are also in plastic. Not a big deal at all. Just a cheap way to offer them to the public.

Good deal, I've myself for small trees with no weight to them..slipped them into a ceramic pot to help Stabilize them. Now, I use bungee cords...and pots no longer concern me they will blow over.

I'm glad you asked. Some do slip pot...but I know a few who just won't do it. I'm one of them. The benefits don't weigh more than what I see for cons.
 
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I missed two spring repots with my bald cypress. One...it woke before I could catch it...showed brush. *Had a commissioned pot at the time for it. Following year...it didn't seem to go all the way dormant. And started growing on the ends which hadn't fallen from the tree.

Personally...there are cons to slip potting. One being two different mediums in a pot drying out differently.

Another is not getting good root work in. I just don't see the need... but plastic pots do not bother me.

Many training pots are plastic...some folk use pond baskets and such. Look at local landscape nurseries...their plants are also in plastic. Not a big deal at all. Just a cheap way to offer them to the public.

Good deal, I've myself for small trees with no weight to them..slipped them into a ceramic pot to help Stabilize them. Now, I use bungee cords...and pots no longer concern me they will blow over.

I'm glad you asked. Some do slip pot...but I know a few who just won't do it. I'm one of them. The benefits don't weigh more than what I see for cons.

Thanks, definitely helpful to hear how you think about it!
 

AaronThomas

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people recommend the cement tubs for development. I loathe them. They take up a tonne of bench space and bend/break when moving
Yep... they are ugly and they do flex. But they are inexpensive and with a bit of lumber and some knowhow you can dress um up. The lumber adds a ton of support... adding a cross brace at the bottom will help your cause as well.
As far as taking up space on your bench. Well, that's the price ya pay for larger bonsai yeah?

IMG_6088.jpeg
 

HENDO

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Yep... they are ugly and they do flex. But they are inexpensive and with a bit of lumber and some knowhow you can dress um up. The lumber adds a ton of support... adding a cross brace at the bottom will help your cause as well.
As far as taking up space on your bench. Well, that's the price ya pay for larger bonsai yeah?

View attachment 371418
Now THIS is cool, great idea! And yes definitely the price we pay for having swamp monsters.

Having to play bench roulette with trees here is no fun with the tubs especially with saturated soil but if you can leave it in one spot or lug the whole thing around it makes total sense, I like it!!

I've started really liking the round feeder tubs as a good rigid alternative, but they are more difficult to source.
 

Joe Dupre'

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I'd vote for putting it in a bucket of water with good ole MiracleGro. You might enlarge the holes in the nursery container and let the roots run freely in the nutrient-rich water. Give it this first year to really get vigorous and healthy. It will pay off big in the long run.
 
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I'd vote for putting it in a bucket of water with good ole MiracleGro. You might enlarge the holes in the nursery container and let the roots run freely in the nutrient-rich water. Give it this first year to really get vigorous and healthy. It will pay off big in the long run.

That sounds like a good idea. Do you want the nebari under water as well to encourage knees, or is having it say half submerged and drinking from the bottom more the ticket?
 

Joe Dupre'

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The science of "encouraging knees" is murky, at best. I've seen dozens of bald cypress bonsai and only a couple have had knees. I'd suggest water level no higher than the soil level you wish for the finished tree. There is a point of decreasing advantage of water height on bald cypress. There is no exact cut-off point. Wild trees start suffering when in about 2 feet of standing water. Trees in 3-4 feet of standing water in southern lakes are visually in decline.
 
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The science of "encouraging knees" is murky, at best. I've seen dozens of bald cypress bonsai and only a couple have had knees. I'd suggest water level no higher than the soil level you wish for the finished tree. There is a point of decreasing advantage of water height on bald cypress. There is no exact cut-off point. Wild trees start suffering when in about 2 feet of standing water. Trees in 3-4 feet of standing water in southern lakes are visually in decline.

super helpful, thank you!
 
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ok there we go. now to wire the branches.


0Ozz74R.jpg
 

HENDO

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ok there we go. now to wire the branches.


0Ozz74R.jpg
I'm really liking this material. Not a BC beast but excellent taper and movement for the size. Not all BC need to be monsters, check out Vaughn Banting's work. Any nebari pictures?

This sucker screams Graceful Flat Top all day long! Whether you go Flat Top or Pyramidal, you're going to have fun with branch/leader selection and have lots to work with.
 

Maiden69

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ok there we go. now to wire the branches.
One thing I would recommend is to make a few holes at that water level, or cut/find another bucket. Because it will overfill when it rains. This is a small picture I have from the tray I use for my BC, they are 1 yr old seedlings in small terracotta planters inside a plastic tray filled with water. I try to keep the water level 1/2 way on the pots, but if it rains the water spills out and won't cover the trees.


BC tray.jpg
 

Sekibonsai

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Now THIS is cool, great idea! And yes definitely the price we pay for having swamp monsters.

Having to play bench roulette with trees here is no fun with the tubs especially with saturated soil but if you can leave it in one spot or lug the whole thing around it makes total sense, I like it!!

I've started really liking the round feeder tubs as a good rigid alternative, but they are more difficult to source.
C'mon the don't weigh that much! 😂 😂 You know you can dump the water out right?

A lot of mine are in the LARGE mortar pans. I also keep mine in kiddie pools.


If you are talking the round black soft rubber tubs, any Tractor Supply will have them.
 

Sekibonsai

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These?

I also
0308211827b.jpg
use cattle 0221211600_HDR.jpg0316211810 (1).jpgmineral tubs that I get from my feed store. And like I said, the larges mortar pans are a blessing!
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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@badatusernames
In general, the right move, no repotting once active growth starts in spring. I recommend against slip potting, though there are times when it is something that must be done. Generally I try to avoid slip potting.

There is a second repotting season that you may be able to take advantage of. You are in MA, a climate that is not wildly different than mine. After foliage growth and development has slowed down, for me it is about the middle of August, there is a second window of time where one can repot trees. You are in zone 6b, I am in zone 5b. We both get a cooling off at night that begins sometime in August, for me about August 15 night time starts to dip below 65 F (below +18 C ). About this time most trees have a flush of root growth. I repot pines, spruce and a fair number of deciduous at this time of year. I do this repotting Aug 15 to Sept 15. You should finish repotting before the autumnal equinox, as you need time for new roots to establish before winter dormancy.

I have not repotted bald cypress at this time, but I have repotted maples, Chaenomeles, Malus, all my pines including JBP, spruce, Hinoki, and Thuja at this time of year. My success rate is about the same as in spring. So you can consider this. I would repot larch in spring only.

So whether you try this or not, it is up to you. If you live in HOT SUMMER climates, DO NOT DO SUMMER REPOTTING. This is NOT FOR California, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas. The southwest and southern tier of states your climates are far too different to consider this timing. So don't be stupid, if you live in Texas, don't try repotting trees in August. This is a technique for Minnesota thru Maine, Iowa can do it, but most of Missouri is too hot for August repotting. Northern IL it works fine, Southern IL wait until Sept 15, for "summer repotting". So if your area is part of a desert, as in the desert southwest, do not consider this technique.

But if you are in climate zones 6b to 4a there is a possibility of repotting in summer. If you have fewer than 10 days per year over 90 F, (+32 C ). If your summers are relatively mild, middle or late summer repotting is possible. Be sensitive to your local climate, and watch how your trees respond.

If you are in doubt, stick to spring repotting.

Point is, there are at least 2 seasons where repotting can be successful. Actually, with winter protection, there are even more windows of time, but I try to keep my winter protection minimal.
 
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I'm really liking this material. Not a BC beast but excellent taper and movement for the size. Not all BC need to be monsters, check out Vaughn Banting's work. Any nebari pictures?

This sucker screams Graceful Flat Top all day long! Whether you go Flat Top or Pyramidal, you're going to have fun with branch/leader selection and have lots to work with.

Yeah, I thought it would be interesting to experiment with a smaller one! Nebari is completely covered with moss right now and I don't have a picture handy but it feels like something interesting is going on under there and I see what seems to be a good amount of surface rootage.

@badatusernames
In general, the right move, no repotting once active growth starts in spring. I recommend against slip potting, though there are times when it is something that must be done. Generally I try to avoid slip potting.

There is a second repotting season that you may be able to take advantage of. You are in MA, a climate that is not wildly different than mine. After foliage growth and development has slowed down, for me it is about the middle of August, there is a second window of time where one can repot trees. You are in zone 6b, I am in zone 5b. We both get a cooling off at night that begins sometime in August, for me about August 15 night time starts to dip below 65 F (below +18 C ). About this time most trees have a flush of root growth. I repot pines, spruce and a fair number of deciduous at this time of year. I do this repotting Aug 15 to Sept 15. You should finish repotting before the autumnal equinox, as you need time for new roots to establish before winter dormancy.

I have not repotted bald cypress at this time, but I have repotted maples, Chaenomeles, Malus, all my pines including JBP, spruce, Hinoki, and Thuja at this time of year. My success rate is about the same as in spring. So you can consider this. I would repot larch in spring only.

So whether you try this or not, it is up to you. If you live in HOT SUMMER climates, DO NOT DO SUMMER REPOTTING. This is NOT FOR California, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas. The southwest and southern tier of states your climates are far too different to consider this timing. So don't be stupid, if you live in Texas, don't try repotting trees in August. This is a technique for Minnesota thru Maine, Iowa can do it, but most of Missouri is too hot for August repotting. Northern IL it works fine, Southern IL wait until Sept 15, for "summer repotting". So if your area is part of a desert, as in the desert southwest, do not consider this technique.

But if you are in climate zones 6b to 4a there is a possibility of repotting in summer. If you have fewer than 10 days per year over 90 F, (+32 C ). If your summers are relatively mild, middle or late summer repotting is possible. Be sensitive to your local climate, and watch how your trees respond.

If you are in doubt, stick to spring repotting.

Point is, there are at least 2 seasons where repotting can be successful. Actually, with winter protection, there are even more windows of time, but I try to keep my winter protection minimal.

Really cool information, thank you! I have a Chaenomeles in plastic right now, but it's in good soil and I want to figure it out before I do anything with it, so I'm going to wait on that too.
 

Oleg

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Looks like you're done here so... can I hi-jack your thread for a moment? Look @ my BC buds, could someone tell me if this is ready for a transplant today or is it too far along?
BC BUDS_2000013.jpg
Thanks.
 

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