Bald Cypress Air Layer

Hello! I´ve tried making an air layer out of the top part of a big bald cypress i recently got. I used only sphagnum moss (maybe i used a small amount?) inside a plastic bag covered in aluminum foil, but after 3 months no roots have appeared whatsoever. Im planning on re doing the air layer but wanted to ask if anyone has any tips they can share when doing air layers on this tres. what kind of substrate to should u use, how wet should the air layer stay? would you prefer to do it on a pot rather tan in a bag? etc etc. Thanks for any help!


Have you tried root hormones?

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yes, I used them when I made this one

I don’t have experience with air-layering bald cypress, but I know a little about how they react to things. So this is all guessing.

Bald cypress do not react well to a sudden drought. They go into shock mode and drop their leaves. The upper portion of your tree may be suffering from that type of shock. If so, hope is not lost. Keep an eye on the moss in your bag. If it doesn’t stay moist, loosen the upper binding and gently water the moss inside. You may be able to keep the moss moist without loosening the bindings by watering the upper trunk and letting it flow down.

I say this a lot, but I recommend using Miracle Gro Quick Start in the water. Use it for the upper and lower part of the tree.

Don’t give up on the upper portion of the tree even after it goes leafless. If you can scratch green and the twigs are still supple, leave it alone.

Keep us posted!


thanks Bill! the upper part is budding again from almost every branch, so i know its still alive. would you recommend to let it grow again and try re-doing the air layer in some months or could I give it a try now? thaks for the reply!!

i think like most conifers they don t aif layering well

Nice suggestion @BillsBayou, I have rooted several BC by taking hardwood cutttings and placing them in a nursery container and placing in a kiddie pool of standing water. It also works with semihardwood cuttings as well. The medium doesnt seem to matter much as I’ve done this with standard nursery mix/mulch, pumice/lava, pumice/lava/DE, and plain aquarium gravel with I would say about >80% success rate. Thats been without the use of rooting hormome.

@Maxajax You could also take a meat syringe and inject water into the moss bag. That way you dont have to unwrap the binding and risk disturbing potential roots.