Simulating floods for bald cypress taper.

Haxor Dave

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Mine has lived like that since being collected I don't have any pictures atm . I mess with water level here an there
 

Adair M

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LOL sometimes I can be! But... unfortunately is not that easy. Even using a naturally weeping cultivar won't be an easy 1:1 translation down to bonsai scale. At that size, you'll have plenty of straight up branches that would need to be manipulated to conform to the tight curves I am working with. I had the opportunity to work with a couple of weeping BCs in Texas. They still required similar work and treatment. I have also worked with several weeping willows for clients and I still had to do quite a bit of wiring to bring the bush down to a believable weeping-tree image. I think no matter what, weeping styles do require a good deal of work to get the best out of them.
Here’s a couple shots of my weeping BC:

300F4253-28C0-465B-99E1-B1E45B9C259C.jpeg

It naturally weeps. This tree was created by grafting on weeping branches onto a regular BC trunk.

Here’s the apex:

7ABE6D9E-3B58-42AD-A321-16F0EFE47EF3.jpeg

Up top, you can see that there is one wild upright shoot growing upwards with a lot of natural S curves. But, it has weeping branches, too. I was going to just cut it off…. But I’ve been told that if I wait until fall, cut it off, stick it in some soil in a pot, which stays wet, it should root! Like a huge cutting!

Heck, what’s to lose? If it works, I’ll have with 15 minutes of work what Sergio has been working on for 5 years! LOL!!!
 

rockm

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Or you can just use a weeping cultivar--Falling Water, Cascade falls, Pendens, etc. 😁

 

Adair M

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Or you can just use a weeping cultivar--Falling Water, Cascade falls, Pendens, etc. 😁

Yeah, if there are multiple cultivars, I wouldn’t know. Mine didn’t say what it was. Down near the base, I do get a few suckers of regular BC branches I have to remove.
 

Cajunrider

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Here’s a couple shots of my weeping BC:

View attachment 449039

It naturally weeps. This tree was created by grafting on weeping branches onto a regular BC trunk.

Here’s the apex:

View attachment 449040

Up top, you can see that there is one wild upright shoot growing upwards with a lot of natural S curves. But, it has weeping branches, too. I was going to just cut it off…. But I’ve been told that if I wait until fall, cut it off, stick it in some soil in a pot, which stays wet, it should root! Like a huge cutting!

Heck, what’s to lose? If it works, I’ll have with 15 minutes of work what Sergio has been working on for 5 years! LOL!!!
I sure like to get my paws on one of those.
 

Tbrshou

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Fwiw I've grown my bald cypress from seed started spring last year minus the two largest one's which i purchased from Walmart on sale last year for $15 each and the curvy one that is over slightly over 2 years old. I've always kept them submerged in water and I can honestly say that constantly submerging causes a significant amount of trunk growth. The fissures in the bark shows the fast expansion of growth on the trunk kinda like stretch marks. I also add a bit of fish emulsion to the water.
 

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19Mateo83

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Fwiw I've grown my bald cypress from seed started spring last year minus the two largest one's which i purchased from Walmart on sale last year for $15 each and the curvy one that is over slightly over 2 years old. I've always kept them submerged in water and I can honestly say that constantly submerging causes a significant amount of trunk growth. The fissures in the bark shows the fast expansion of growth on the trunk kinda like stretch marks. I also add a bit of fish emulsion to the water.
That’s exactly what I’ve been doing, adding a good dose of fish emulsion to the water.
 

Tbrshou

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That’s exactly what I’ve been doing, adding a good dose of fish emulsion to the water.
This spring the root system of all the cypress had to be cut back tremendously. They were tangled up and matted together, have yours done this? I was wondering of the availability of food in the water was causing the roots to be so aggressive?
 

19Mateo83

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This spring the root system of all the cypress had to be cut back tremendously. They were tangled up and matted together, have yours done this? I was wondering of the availability of food in the water was causing the roots to be so aggressive?
This is my first full year with a BC and the one I started with seems to have multiplied…. I’m up to 15 now, seedlings up to 1.5-2 inch trunks. This coming spring I plan to take a trip to the coast to dig one or two biguns.
 
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Maiden69

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I was wondering of the availability of food in the water was causing the roots to be so aggressive?
BC's roots are just like that, super aggressive, that's why I have them in separate water containers. In your case, I would advise to pot them in a shallow and oversized pot. Growing them in the 1 gal containers will give you a mess of roots you really don't want to deal with too close to the tree. It will be like a nest of snakes, almost impossible to separate ( I have one with that problem), and you will probably need to ground layer the tree losing the flared base.
 

johng

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Here is your experiment 25+ years later. Grown from a seedling and always been in a container. Many of those 25+ years were spent submerged. The bottom line in my estimation is that you can produce a nice radiating root base but you cannot produce the flutes for which this species is known for by growing in a container...submerged or not... That root base is more that 10" across.

IMG_8621.jpeg
 

Cajunrider

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Here is your experiment 25+ years later. Grown from a seedling and always been in a container. Many of those 25+ years were spent submerged. The bottom line in my estimation is that you can produce a nice radiating root base but you cannot produce the flutes for which this species is known for by growing in a container...submerged or not... That root base is more that 10" across.

View attachment 453651
Thanks for the info John.
I am only a few years in and am finding the same. Submerged in water BC will make big root flares but I haven't seen any sign of buttressing and don't expect any.
 

19Mateo83

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Thank you for sharing your experience With us. That is still a very nice root base, any chance we can see more of this one? I’m starting to think I need to plant a few seedlings in the ground also and see what that does for me. I think this spring I’m gonna have to go collect a few to get some of that buttressing were all shooting for if it can’t be grown out in a pot.
 

johng

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Thank you for sharing your experience With us. That is still a very nice root base, any chance we can see more of this one? I’m starting to think I need to plant a few seedlings in the ground also and see what that does for me. I think this spring I’m gonna have to go collect a few to get some of that buttressing were all shooting for if it can’t be grown out in a pot.
Sure...there is a chance to see more but you will have to visit the garden! Now that you have learned to grow BC you should figure out how to acquire some decent material...IMG_8201.jpeg
IMG_8394.JPG
 

Maiden69

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I’m starting to think I need to plant a few seedlings in the ground also and see what that does for me.
Planting seedlings in the ground will net you something inferior to what you are growing up in your muck. You want buttress, you need to do what you are doing but in an OVERSIZE (like seriously oversize) pot/environment. The reason BC flare out the way they do is because the roots are growing in a mud/sludge soil that allow the roots to run straight and thicken. In a pot they will run then circle and thicken, which is why you get the ugly nebari roots that are so hard to untangle. I'm going into phase 2 of my experiment with the large cypress this Spring and I am making an oversize box for it, but I am finding it very hard to find a water container big enough to hold the extra water.
 

Srt8madness

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Planting seedlings in the ground will net you something inferior to what you are growing up in your muck. You want buttress, you need to do what you are doing but in an OVERSIZE (like seriously oversize) pot/environment. The reason BC flare out the way they do is because the roots are growing in a mud/sludge soil that allow the roots to run straight and thicken. In a pot they will run then circle and thicken, which is why you get the ugly nebari roots that are so hard to untangle. I'm going into phase 2 of my experiment with the large cypress this Spring and I am making an oversize box for it, but I am finding it very hard to find a water container big enough to hold the extra water.
Those blue kiddie pools should work. Sink it in the ground like a pond liner and paint it black.

Your explanation doesn't actually cover any negatives of ground growing. As with any ground grown bonsai, it isn't a set it and forget it, it needs to be pulled every couple of years and root pruned.
 

Cajunrider

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Planting seedlings in the ground will net you something inferior to what you are growing up in your muck. You want buttress, you need to do what you are doing but in an OVERSIZE (like seriously oversize) pot/environment. The reason BC flare out the way they do is because the roots are growing in a mud/sludge soil that allow the roots to run straight and thicken. In a pot they will run then circle and thicken, which is why you get the ugly nebari roots that are so hard to untangle. I'm going into phase 2 of my experiment with the large cypress this Spring and I am making an oversize box for it, but I am finding it very hard to find a water container big enough to hold the extra water.
I have observed BCs planted at the same time across a large area. The ones in stable ground do not have the huge buttresses; they have decent flare but behave pretty much like all other trees. The ones in mucky soft and unstable soil have big buttresses and roots spreading far away from the trunk to keep the tree stable from wind storm. Unless you can replicate the stability demands from wind, you may not be able to develop the big flare you want even with the oversize grow box.
 

nuttiest

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What about rocking or swaying the trunk often?
 

Maiden69

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Those blue kiddie pools should work. Sink it in the ground like a pond liner and paint it black.

Your explanation doesn't actually cover any negatives of ground growing. As with any ground grown bonsai, it isn't a set it and forget it, it needs to be pulled every couple of years and root pruned.
Kiddie pool won't work for that I plan to do.

Main negative, and I am pretty sure we have explained this to death. BC behave like a typical tree when it is in the ground. It grows fast, straight and thin. It doesn't buttress, or swells at the base as when it is growing in a swamp. BC NEEDS extra water to grow faster, the amount of water that will drawn a regular tree. This is why most people that have a lot of experience with BC grow them inside water tubs during the growing season. Growing a BC in the ground in the method you explain, will give you the same results as a nursery bought BC. Nothing spectacular to look at.
 
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