Growing Bald Cypress in water?

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Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Steven on Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:03 am

Having spent many summers hiking, and fishing in swaps and wetlands in the south, I have always loved bald cypress trees, unfortunately getting my hands on a larger specimen to play with where I currently live has not worked out so I have a few 1-2" thick, 40" tall younger trees I decided to make a project for the next 5-10 years lol. I know John on here/youtube has tried this and I have read several posts, brief blurbs and un-descriptive articles about growing bald cypress in water and wondered if anyone else on the site has experience doing this in a controlled setting (i.e. a pot or tub) if so what materials and methods did you do to keep the plant healthy and did you have any better results as far as growth rate?


Concerns:
1-how often would I need to switch out water
2-what would be the optimal temperature to keep the water
4-Would a bonsai soil be beneficial at this point or would it be better to use more sand/peat based mix
5-Would it be better to place a potted tree into a larger tub of water, or could you grow these similar to how you grow mangrove trees by using styrofoam to keep the tree afloat in a tub of water (obviously the tub in this case would need to be dark or covered to help with root growth and reduce algae)
6-Is it even worth trying lol

Steven
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  BonsaiJim on Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:03 am

While they have adapted to their own niche ecosystem, growing in water is not required.

Its not necessary, there is no advantage to it. The root system that are produced are not amenable to bonsai pot culture. Knees develop regardless of where it is planted. This is my experience and as I learned from Gary Marchal and Alex Liang...

I think Dave Degroot (published in ABS Journal?) did a test years ago basically growing them hydroponically with some degree of improvement over pot culture... but that is a bit different.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  bucknbonsai on Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:34 am

If your goal is just "growth rate" I think there is no advantage with growing them in giant tubs of water. With a moisture retaining rich potting medium you will get plenty of growth. Ever since I witnessed one of my big cypress drink what I estimated was close to 8 gallons of water out of a concrete mixing tub that the pot was sitting in on a 100 degree day, i have started putting all the cypress pots in mixing tubs with several inches of water in them (enough to help the tree out while at the same time being a small enough volume that it evaporates and the mosquito larvae die) For a couple years I experimented with large cattle troughs with 80 gallons of water standing above the tree but the results were not impressive enough to be worth the mosquito bites while working in my bonsai garden.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Marty Weiser on Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:53 am

I have one that seems to grow better with the bottom of the pot in water than not. I am using a water tray that is not much bigger than the pot and target having the bottom 1/2 of the pot in water. It is in fairly coarse bonsai soil which may make a difference.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jul 27, 2012 12:29 pm

I don't know many people who "grow" BC in water. Tubs of water are often used for a few days' holding after collection and before you have time to plant or pot them properly.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:04 pm

Steven,

this will probably make you laugh. My swamp cypress is approximately 32 years old, from a whip, and my days of living in Lafayette, Louisiana. I live in the West Indies [ Caribbean ], the tree does not need cold,but it does rest as the year progresses.

I grow it in a 1/3 of a 55 us gallon barrel. Just bonsai soil and watered. The trunk evolves rapidly if you just let the tree grow upwards, and it can be cut back down. Years ago on a live chat I asked I believe, the then gurus of swamp cypress for an optimum size of height to get good believable results and was given the measurement of 3 feet.

I haven't done anything, save grow my child,so there is no bonsai anything to show.
Best to you.
Khaimraj

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Andre Beaurain on Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:21 pm

I removed my photo. Suspect


Last edited by Andre Beaurain on Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:49 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : No response.)

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:19 pm



Steven, no it's not necessary - but I can' t agree that there are no advantages. We have a member in our club that grows his cypress bonsai in standing water during the summer. The results are impressive. I'll track him down and get the details.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Jkd2572 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:53 pm

I have two of them. I grow them both in my regular bonsai soil. 75% aggregate 25%organic. They grow like crazy. I have grown them in straight potting soil which was kept wet all the time. I think they grow better in the bonsai mix.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Poink88 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:05 pm

I have one I chopped (both roots and top) then planted in my usual dish pan with its original soil. The pot have holes but I double potted it on a new, unaltered dish pan so it is growing under water but I can drain it easily if I want to. Never had the need to yet.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Jkd2572 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 8:27 pm

Point is. These grow like weeds regardless of what you do to them. They back bud like crazy. You can tear off a branch and a new one will grow back in the same place. I carved two thirds of one this year. It then lost all of its leaves. Two weeks later all of the branches budded back out again. They are the tuffest tree I have ever delt with.

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Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  ironman on Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:11 pm

...for what it's worth, I have 36 BC, all thriving in bonsai soil w 50% potting soil and sitting in water trays or deeper containers.
I live in central TEXAS so it's hot, hot - the standing water is important for my conditions.
I see roots actively growing out of drain holes if they are standing in water and I don't without a 'pond'.
Also, the rapid growth that BC are famous for is far more prevalent with the water component.

I am not saying these BC are 'growing IN water'...they are growing 'with water' ...

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Jkd2572 on Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:44 pm

Ironman. Where do you live? I would love to see that. I'm in the Dallas area.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Steven on Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:54 pm

bucknbonsai wrote: For a couple years I experimented with large cattle troughs with 80 gallons of water standing above the tree but the results were not impressive enough to be worth the mosquito bites while working in my bonsai garden.

--Good point, hadn't thought about the mosquitos lol

Thanks all, now that I know others have had good results, and/or possible improved growth rates I will have to give this a try. As it is I am currently growing them in a high moisture retaining soil mix and had placed their pots into tubs of water during the heat wave to meet their thirsts which seemed to give me a a huge burst of new growth. This led me to several articles about growing them in water but most either did not give results or did not yield sufficient data to make any assumptions. Either way it should be a fun summer project.

Steven
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Steven on Fri Jul 27, 2012 11:55 pm

Russell Coker wrote:

Steven, no it's not necessary - but I can' t agree that there are no advantages. We have a member in our club that grows his cypress bonsai in standing water during the summer. The results are impressive. I'll track him down and get the details.



Thanks Russell, I would love to see the details and his results.


Steven
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growing-bald-cypress-in-water

Post  ironman on Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:54 pm

@JK
Near the San Antonio area

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  JimLewis on Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:59 pm

--Good point, hadn't thought about the mosquitos lol

The nearest nursery or box store will sell BT granules that you sprinkle in the water and that will take care of the mosquitos -- and safely.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Steven on Sat Jul 28, 2012 2:52 pm

Thanks Jim! I may have to try that because as it is I already attract the things like crazy lol

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Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  ironman on Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:49 pm

@ JKd...
Next time you are near SA, come on by for a visit. My mosquitoes need some new blood!

I empty most of my water containers once every 10 days but since there's real pond nearby, they feast on me often.
I'm surprised I'm not carrying around dingy fever!

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  JMcCoy on Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:02 pm

My Bald Cypress lives in the fish pond.. a cinder block on the bottom and a paver keep the bottom of the pot just barely in the water so that it wicks up as much water as it needs, I rarely ever water it. It's still in training, healing over some wounds and developing. Fish also keep the mosquitos at bay and "nutrify" the water. Also I know the water is oxiginated. I've never kept a tray under one for water, but I've heard from other folks that anaerobic conditions don't hurt a BC.


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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Steven on Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:46 pm

JMcCoy wrote:My Bald Cypress lives in the fish pond.. a cinder block on the bottom and a paver keep the bottom of the pot just barely in the water so that it wicks up as much water as it needs, I rarely ever water it. It's still in training, healing over some wounds and developing. Fish also keep the mosquitos at bay and "nutrify" the water. Also I know the water is oxiginated. I've never kept a tray under one for water, but I've heard from other folks that anaerobic conditions don't hurt a BC.

Wonderful progress and an impressive trunk flare you have there. I have been toying with putting in a small koi pond when we move so this may be the route I take, plus it seems to make a unique and eye catching centerpiece to your pond, thanks for sharing

Steven
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  leatherback on Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:17 pm

JMcCoy wrote:My Bald Cypress lives in the fish pond.. a cinder block on the bottom and a paver keep the bottom of the pot just barely in the water so that it wicks up as much water as it needs, I rarely ever water it. It's still in training, healing over some wounds and developing. Fish also keep the mosquitos at bay and "nutrify" the water. Also I know the water is oxiginated. I've never kept a tray under one for water, but I've heard from other folks that anaerobic conditions don't hurt a BC.

Do your Koi assist in root-pruning? cheers

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  JMcCoy on Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:09 pm

I'd love to have a team of trained Koi apprentices! Laughing They probably do nibble the roots a bit, but I pull the pot from the water and shear off any roots that escape from the bottom from time to time.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:23 pm

Steven, this is what my friend John Lee does. I haven't tried it but I've seen his results.

In the spring the pot goes into water. If you submerge it completely roots will grow up and out of the pot, which you don't want. Trunks swell considerably, especially in late summer, and expect to have roots out the bottom of the pot. In the late fall lift it out of the water and removed the root overgrowth as they ease into dormancy. John says it's important not to let them freeze standing in water, he's lost some doing that even down here.

His trees bulk up quickly this way, and the production of knees has been pretty amazing. He brought a big one in for an event we do in the spring, and the knees were perfectly in scale with the tall tree and really beautiful.

Hope this helps...

R


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Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  ironman on Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:45 pm

Now that's good info!
Pictures???

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

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