Yamadori hunting for bald cypress

I’m planning on hitting a few spots I have already secured permission to gather some bald cypress and maybe if I find something else of interest. I think I have a solid list of items I will need for the gathering process. What will I need after?

  1. Tub to plant the tree
  2. Soil, what kind of soil should I use?

I guess my biggest question is soil and what else should I know if I have never done this before? Thanks in advance!!

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This youtube video from Bill’s Bayou shows a potting after collection.
Go to about 16:30 for the placing into a grow container.
Bill has told me that swamp collected go into a container without drainage.
A cypress collected from above waterline soil need drainage holes just like any other yamadori.

Bill is a frequent poster on the forum and a great source for soil or knowledge.
Beautiful videos about forest planting and carving old bald cypress!


just watched this video yesterday. Thank you for your suggestion!

@BillsBayou I have collected a cypress tree, put it in a tub and soil and now I have a question for the expert. When the tub gets filled with water, how do you keep from floating? I have it tied to the sides of the tub but can’t figure out a way to get the tree tied to the bottom of the tub without putting a hole in the tub which would allow the water to drain and I don’t want that. What are your suggestions? In the image you can see the wire on the left and I have a similar one on the right.

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Was the BC collected in the water? If not it should be in a draining container. If it was collected from a submerged location you can put holes into the side of the container at a level that allows water to remain and still stabilize the tree to preserve root growth. Good luck with the cypress.
Mine did not make it through the winter.
Have fun, learn lots, share with others.

Thank you. Yes. Tree was collected in water.

I will have to poke holes and tie it in to the tub at a lower point to hold it. It was to move too much when it’s full of water. Thanks for your advice! Can’t wait to see if the tree wakes up in the spring time.

Joel Jenkins

Bricks. For my floaters, I use anything heavy enough to keep the tree in place. I’ve used house bricks, floor tile, stone shards (I carve stone slabs), concrete bricks, pots…

I’m concerned about those branches. Yes, you already have a potential leader. Yes, you already have a potential first branch. My concern is that the tree will dedicate all of its energy in developing those two branches and nothing else. I’ve had this happen to me. I recommend removing all branches from the trees and letting new buds pop everywhere the tree can pop them.

On the other hand, I’d love to see what happens if you leave the branches on the tree. Just so I can see what happens.

Will you be doing any other collecting?
Will you be at the Mid-Winter Workshop in Baton Rouge?


I plan on doing more collecting this season yes. I actually have submitted an application for some public land and was told it shouldn’t be a problem but I will see if i get approval. This tree was collected on private property with permission.

I am worried about leaving the branches as well. The ends of them appeared to be dead to me, as they were breaking off easily and had no green on the inside of the twig. I’m considering cutting them back but not fully flush with the tree and seeing what happens. This tree was taken from a pond bank but I didn’t get the mass of fine roots from your videos.

Would you be worried about this? should I do anything differently to increase my odds for success? I will definitely be collecting more, wanting 4-5 more. Really interested in seeing if i can find another species near the water and collect a unique specimen. and Yes I will be at the mid-winter workshop, just not for all three days. Likely just Saturday.

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Just keep it wet, is my only advice. Looks like it should do well. Then again, you need to kill a few to learn what not to do.

I have a friend with land near Monroe with it’s own private lake. The problem is the trees are all in gumbo clay. The roots are not compact. What we’ve pulled is lacking many fine roots. The success rate is lower. His success rate is a little higher than mine. I’ll need to find out if he’s doing anything different.


This was pulled out of the nasty clay as well. I tried to preserve as many of the fine roots as I could based on watching your videos! My thought exactly on why I want 4 or 5 trees assuming I will mess up a few of them. Just hope I dont mess up on it if i find a really great one!


@jjenk321 How is this tree doing? What about any of the the others collected? I aim is to dig a few BC in early '22. Starting to get my mind right and sites scouted…