Bald Cypress Roots

I just got this bald cypress for $10 at home depot, and the roots are no good. Is it possible to do some kind of air layer? Or is there some other thing i can do? Any advice would be great

Maybe let the tree get strong and then ground layer it?

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I would go with the above recommendation…Put it in the ground for a year let it get strong for a year or two then ground layer it depending on the roots look at that point


I recall the words of a well known bonsai artist when asked what he’d do when presented with a tree in poor health that lacked character: “I’d toss it over the fence into the trash and find another tree to work on”. Harsh but wise words.

To be honest, unless you are new to the art of bonsai and this is one of only 3 or 4 trees you own, your time, energy and resources would be better spent on other trees. Personally, I would discard this tree and chalk it up to a lesson learned (be leery of $10 trees). If cost is an issue, there are reasonably priced nursery trees you can work with…or consider growing trees from cuttings or seedlings that offer more promise (if you are young and have time on your side).

That said, if you’re really attached to this tree, I’d put it in a pot or in the ground, do nothing but water regularly for a year or two and see where it goes.

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I don’t think you need to toss it over the fence. You will learn a bunch from taking a “poor choice” and developing into the a tree most people would like to have.

Start ground layering with emphasis at these points in the ground/box, come back in a year or two and check the root development and remove the structural stuff you no longer need. Move it into a shallow grow box focusing on finer roots and root layout.

During this whole period leave the foliage growth unchecked. They are extremely vigorous as young trees. Yea it’s not quick but it’s also not a ton of time that you’re actually investing. I imagine you have other trees your already watering so it’s an extra 2 minutes to your watering practice and maybe 2-5 hours of root work over a 2-3 year period. This is actually more about patience than time spent on it.

With that said if your just starting out and continuing to accumulate trees there is a point where you have to start peeling back quantity for quality and that’s where I think the “find a better tree” advice comes from. It’s not wrong, I just disagree and believe a bunch of the learning comes from trees we never should have bought.

Yeah, I try this! Do i need to take the bark off around where i want roots? Or just trim to fit the box, and have soil up where i want roots?

I would remove the bark personally. I would follow everything you would do for a air layer but then plant in a some organic/ inorganic medium

Like this, than wrap the ring in spaghnum then backfill with the medium you think will work best based on your environment/watering practice.