Got permission from my wife to collect a bald cypress growing in her perennial border. Taxodium distichum I believe, but would defer to any superior authority. @BillsBayou
Do I need to wrap the trunk and roots with burlap to protect from the sun?
The photo adventure follows. Any constructive criticism is appreciated.
I am six feet tall for a reference… notice the Bills Bayou doo rag.
Nice spread on that base! Why would you keep it that tall though?
@Mike_Hennigan My goal is to grow fine roots in the pumice and granite soil. I believe leaving the most foliage will make energy for the plant to grow roots and do well after being collected. I have not set the style I want yet, so I have left the possibility of a flat top, or a formal upright weeping classical style. I can always chop it shorter, but cannot make it a taller tapered trunk without lots of years in a grow container. How would you envision the style for this tree? The deadwood shari on the base is natural due to insect damage in the garden.
Yea I’m all about the flat top baldies. I think 7 feet tall is probably a bit excessive though? And there’s no foliage on the tree right now so I don’t think keeping it taller necessarily translates to more foliage. Since they’re deciduous you can treat them a lot more like a broadleaf deciduous upon collection than a typical conifer. I figure the tree has a lot of stored energy at the time of collection, you may as well chop down closer to where you want to grow taper from… 3, 4 feet up?
Bald cypress in my experience are really vigorous growers too. You may be surprised at how quickly you could grow some taper into a new leader if you’re watering right and hammering it with fertilizer. I’m not as experienced with these guys as @BillsBayou is. I’d like to hear from him about wether anything I just said makes sense . Nice start though, and nice material! I’m excited to see this tree develop.
Hundreds of buds just emerging on the branches. So you recommend chopping to about 4 feet. Should I cut back the lowest branch in your opinion?
I am going to rewatch Bill Butler youtube today to refresh what works for him.
Yea I was just throwing out vague numbers when I said four, but I think those chops you indicated with the blue line make sense. Basically you may as well chop the trunk closer to where you want to develop some taper with a new leader. Which could also save you a year or two of development. Instead of realizing you left it too tall a year or two down the road and having to come back in and chop off all that new growth at the top because you left it taller than you wanted. Those chops look good to me.
Leave it a bit taller than the blue line if you’re hesitant about making it quite that short though.
help @BillsBayou !!
Your video shows cutting all the branches off the trunk, so I am doing it all wrong? Is it the wrong time to clean cut all the branches? I appreciate all opinions, but hope for direction from experience with BS. Yes I called my tree a BS tree!!!
in case you could not tell, this is my first time with cypress. Be gentle and understanding of my ignorance.
I’m no expert on dry land collecting at this time of year. I’m a winter swamper. That said, the photo with the blue line cuts looks to be what I would do. As recommended, treat this like any deciduous. Since the tree wasn’t in water to begin with, I’d go with a draining container, but keep it wet. The roots of a flooded tree will have air channels (aerenchyma) to supply oxygen. I think that asking the tree to recover from the dig as well as forcing it to change its root structure is a bit much. It has to do with hormone levels and the ones that will drop are the ones you need. The advice on making your big cut when you dig, instead of a year or three down the road is spot on correct. I’d also cut any remaining branches to within a foot of the trunk. And remove the very tips of any growing twigs to encourage back-budding. I hope you got enough roots. Keep me posted.
Sorry for my drop in forum activity. We’ve had a personal tragedy that’s turned me into a zombie. I’m just going through the motions.
By the by, my doo-rag is actually a welder cap.
Thanks for the advice. Will keep you in our prayers Bill.
Gonna go punch some drainage holes in the container!!!
Sorry to hear that Bill, keep your chin up buddy.
So drainage holes, branches trimmed, chopped to about 4 feet, and cut paste applied. I added a little skirt/kilt/old pillowcase to the base and roots to protect from the sun. Any and all suggestions are appreciated. I did not completely bare root the tree. I also hope that there are enough roots to survive.
so does the skirt/kilt make this a scotts cypress??
Did you use rooting hormone? Normally, I’ll use Miracle Gro Quick Start, but I’m thinking that a light dusting of rooting hormone powder and watering it in couldn’t hurt
I did water with starter fertilizer, may water in some rooting hormone tomorrow. Do I need to protect the roots from sunlight?
Thank you so much for your help. I probably should have had all my notes and plans BEFORE I dug it up.
So long as the roots are well covered with substrate, you should be okay
Your darn youtube videos got me excited about digging and designing the bald ones.
thank you for all your input and time spent helping others.
My cypress is looking pretty wooly with lots of top and side fronds. I moved it into more sun to push the growth hard before the autumn. Do I need to worry about sun burn to the foliage or the buttress?