Developing a Bald Cypress

Hello Mirai-ians,

Starting this thread to document the growth and evolution of a Bald Cypress that I’ve been working on since 2017.

It was bought at Wal-Mart from their nursery department for $14.99 in April of 2017. It was very tall (7’) and slender with a slight buttress at the nebari (1.25"). That same day I took it home and worked on it.

It was cut back hard and had a severe root reduction operation performed. It had a radial root system at the surface so everything below that was removed. It was placed in a shallow oil pan that was placed in a kiddie pool. I had just moved in at that point and the pool was inherited from the prior home owner.

April 2017

I made cuttings from the trunk chop and some branches. I had 100% rooting success. I’ve since sold and gifted them to others.


Late May 2017

Yard renovation in progress, creating a goldfish pond. Keeps the tree watered and fertilized. Similar to how they can be found in Texas, near or emerging from a source of water. Though not exactly in this fashion.

It’s growing vigorously. I actually cut back 8-9 branches that were competing with one another and keep just the highest branch to form the leader. Every branch had grown about 2-3’ in length. The leader was cut back as well.


December 2017

Going dormant for the winter, not much to look at. It had to be repotted some time during the late summer because my dogs discovered they could use the pond as a pool! While swimming with the fishes it was knocked off its perch and sank to the bottom and lost its soil. It was replaced with DE. I kept it in the pond all winter.

May 2018

Over the winter it thickened up considerably. In February as the buds were beginning to swell I was brave enough to cut back harder on the trunk to introduce movement and taper. You can see how much thicker the trunk is already.

August 2019

Tree was repotted in February because it had grown so many roots it was being pushed up and out it’s growing container. Two leaders were selected from the many that had grown the previous season. All had elongated about six feet maybe more.

The trunk continues to thicken well and the nebari that’s forming under the soil line is flaring. Rapid progress I’d say.

April 2020

Roots re-worked in February, 2 weeks ago I reduced the leader and removed its competitor. Here it is today, with a much wider nebari and thicker trunk. It’s also barking up nicely and the taper is improving and we have some movement as well. I plan to cultivate it with the roots submerged this entire season and maybe next season as well. Depends on how it develops this year, I want to keep it small-ish.

Front - looking at this pick I need to reduce the trunk about 2 more inches. I’ll do this tomorrow.


Chop sites, its rolling over well.

That’s it for now. Updates to follow.