Bald cypress work

I have a nursery stock bald cypress that I have trunk chopped this summer and it has come back in full force with growth. I’m wondering if I should allow the growth to continue to go unchecked through winter to early spring or should I do some trimming/light wiring now to set it up for spring when it starts to bud back out. Don’t want all the new growth that will eventually be removed to stop sun and suck energy from the growth I want. Any thoughts would be appreciated.


This tree was from the workshop you did at under hill. Would love any advice you could give me on your thoughts.

I have one that I let grow 2-3 years to smooth out the taper from the trunk chop and then cut back and grew out again to get more taper. I had no issues with keeping the lower branches. I cut off some of the lower branches for a restyle (flat top from formal upright) and have had to cut off the new branches from the wounds twice during the growing season. I was in a grow box in in NE WA so I have to protect it in the winter. Ground growing or a warmer climate would have shortened the time.

Hey Joel!

As always, it depends on your goals. :wink:


I will take some good pictures today and post them today. Really going for this look on the tree. Flat top style would represent the closest I think.

I was going to come in here and chastise you for hanging out the car window on I-10 to take that photo, but I went on to Google Streetview and saw you’re using a screenshot. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Yeah I wouldn’t have done that. Definitely google street view image. The tree looks slightly different now but that’s the general style. I’ll send pictures of my tree now later today! :+1:

image image image

This is my tree as it sits today. Long way to go but excited to learn how to get it there.

GAH! My neck hurts!

I recommend leaving it alone until the winter. Late December, early January, get in there and wire branches how you like them and trim off the last inch of everything. Many of those verticals at the top should be removed at that time. Right now, they’re directing energy up the trunk. Remove them now and the tree might get mad. Wait until the tree is asleep, and it’ll wake up focusing its efforts on the other branches near the top. Go ahead and keep many of the other branches unless they become so fat that removing them would leave large scars.

You’ll want to remove the “obvious” flaws like crotches, downwards, verticals, and more than one branch growing from one point (reduce those to 1).

Post this again in late December, when the leaves are all but gone. We can discuss it again then.

I’ll be in Baton Rouge in January for the Mid-Winter Workshop. You may end up with some buds popping at that point, but I can still give you advice there. There’s always some time in there when I’m doing nothing. Wait until then to ask me.

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I have no clue why the pictures rotated like that.

Thank you for the advice. I will definitely post again in December and see what it looks like.

While not a bonsai I have a landscape bald cypress who’s putting all of its energy in the upper canopy. The lower branches are dying back. How do I prevent this with my bald cypress that I have in the ground and even when I eventually put them into pots? Any way for me to redirect energy in my landscape BC or are those lower branches a lost cause?

A hard cut back of the upper canopy, thinning of the foliage in canopy, or a chop to a new leader should help out.