Bald cypress, October collecting

These bald cypress were collected just over two weeks ago. Circumstances kept me from doing their initial potting until today. Left tree is 14" at the soil line. It is in a plastic mixing tub from Lowes with an interior dimension of 21"x32". Right tree is 16" at the soil line. Tub is a 36" pond tub found at the curb of a very expensive home. Both trees are a little over 9-feet tall and have had nothing removed.

Collection could not take place in January because the lake was full and these trees were under a few feet of water. Lake levels are managed for duck season and deer season. I waited until October for cooler weather.

The trees were hosed down with WiltPruf. This helps with post-collection stabilization. It also helps with the three hour drive home. Until I could pot these up, they waited in a 48" round pond tub.

Today the trees had all of their sandy/clay soil removed; full bare root. The soil is about 10 parts Miracle Gro potting soil, 4 parts haydite, and one part mushroom compost. I was at Lowe’s and saw the compost, “Hmmm… Why not?” The trees used 30-plus gallons of soil. Light fish emulsion and some Miracle Gro Quick Start were used.

The trees will remain flooded in these tubs for at least the next two years.



Thanks for the post Bill! Keeping you and family in our prayers.


Looks good. Also,… probably a heavy carry…even though to the 4 wheeler was 10 feet away :grinning:
Why so much organics? Just to keep them wet?
I’m doing desert collecting, which is a different can of worms.
Good luck with them!

WOW! Great looking trees. Is that the normal way to ‘re - house’ them by keeping them flooded? I suppose you have to use rain water for them?

Views differ on after-care. Here in New Orleans, I can bare-root the tree, pot it in any soil, and flood it. Many local artists grow their bald cypress in a flooded manner. Some take it up to an inch below the soil line, and I’ll put it underwater.

Taxodium distichum have the ability to modify existing roots into gas-exchange systems. Quite a remarkable tree. T. ascendens (pond cypress) have a similar ability. I don’t know if T. mucronatum (Montezuma cypress) have the same ability. I’d love to get some seeds and try.


That’s really interesting. And is that how you keep them once they are underway so to speak?

Yes. If a tree will not be sitting in water, I give it plenty of organics to stay wet. During the Summer, these are very thirsty trees. All those open leaflets just keep pumping water into the air. If you have a sprinkler system or you work in the nursery, you can use a drier mix or even completely inorganic.

I suppose having them is both a blessing and a curse. You can’t over water them but under watering is obviously very serious. How old would you reckon they are? Now they’re potted up they already look verry impressive

I have my bald cypress planted in my standard deciduous mix (4 akadama, 1 pumice, 1 lava) in a fairly warm dry climate and don’t have any issues keeping it hydrated in the summer. It gets a good watering once a day (twice if breezy and over about 100F / 38C). I grew it submerged for a few years and the transition was easy.

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:slight_smile: love all the videos you have produced over the years. You have helped many by sharing your victories and the failures.

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Thank you for the mixture ratio. Glad to hear when people from various areas share how they’re keeping their BCs.

Given that the one on the right already has holes going through the trunk, I suppose it won’t hurt to run some sort of coring tool through there. The one on the right could possible get the same treatment.

Good heavens! I took a moment to look up the cost of the tool. It’s called an increment borer. Decent ones cost hundreds of dollars to well over $1000.

I guess we’ll never know the age of these trees.

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There is one way to estimate the age of the tree that I could try. I can go back to where I got the two trees and cut down a few trees of similar sizes.

Wanton destruction of natural resources is right in my wheelhouse.


:slight_smile: I’m pretty sure foresters have knowledge about the population because of logging and from sacrificing a few representative individuals. Anatomy and physiology is advanced by studying the actual species. Also cypress slices make excellent coasters for entertaining. ^_^.