Growing Bald Cypress in water?

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Steven on Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:46 pm

Russell Coker wrote: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



Thanks! I think I will try this schedule out next spring and see how it goes.

Steven
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:11 am

russel, how deep does he put them into the water? (no deeper than the rim?) Do you know if it only works if the tree is in a broad shallow pot producing some kind of instability?

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:22 am

bucknbonsai wrote:russel, how deep does he put them into the water? (no deeper than the rim?) Do you know if it only works if the tree is in a broad shallow pot producing some kind of instability?

Hi Alex.

Yes, he puts them in water almost as deep as the pot. And it seems that most of his trees are in deeper pots too, not broad shallow pots. It could be that his trees respond the way they do because they have big, roomy pots with a good sized root mass. He also said the trunks expand so fast that it sometimes splits the bark, but doesn't seem to cause any long-term problems.

I'll see if he has any pictures, especially of the knees.

Russell Coker
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  ericrobinson on Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:35 am

I bought two 4" potted bald cypress from Brent Walston from Evergreen Gardenworks in 2005. They both had a trunk diameter the size of a pencil. I potted them up into 1 gallon pots and treated them the same as my other trees as far as watering is concerned. They doubled their trunk diameters in 1 growing season to about 1 inch.

The second growing season I potted them into 2 gallon pots and put the pots in 5 gallon buckets of water for the summer. I drilled holes in the side of the buckets so that the water would not go so high as to float the root ball and tip the trees over. The trunk diameters increased to 3 inches at the base in one growing season! In the fall I removed the trees from the buckets and overwintered them with the other trees.

2006


2006

The next year I potted the trees up one more pot size and did the same procedure with them spending the summer in the buckets. The trees reached 4.5 to 5 inches at the base. I did several trunk chops to build slight taper and began to work toward flat-top style trees.

2008 chop



For the following growing season I grew the tree outside the buckets of water, watering them as I did all the other trees so as to slow the growth and begin building the branching.

This spring (2012) I took a sawsall and cut away 3/4 of the root ball and then potted the trees in shallow bonsai pots.

No current pics but I'll try to get some taken. The warmer winter and early spring followed by many frosty and freezing nights in May had me moving them in and out of the shed numerous times. They had slower growth at first with such a drastic root pruning but they have begun growing strongly in July.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:06 pm


Here's John's tree in 2007, you can see the first 2 knees...



Same tree in September, 2010...



R

Russell Coker
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  bucknbonsai on Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:12 pm

thanks russel for posting those pics. Thats a really nice tree. Did he have to bend roots to form those knees or did they form naturally? Do you know if he had to let it get real rootbound to trigger the knees?

bucknbonsai
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Russell Coker on Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:17 pm



Good questions...

As far as I know the knees formed on their own. And repotting/rootbound... I'll have to ask.

Russell Coker
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  John Lee on Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:35 pm

The knees formed naturally, no bending of roots. The bending of roots never really look like knees to me, not three dimensional enough, they just look like roots sticking up. Bald cypress grow so fast, they get root bound in one season and the have pushed themselves up out of the pot an inch or so at times.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:08 pm



John Lee wrote:The knees formed naturally, no bending of roots. The bending of roots never really look like knees to me, not three dimensional enough, they just look like roots sticking up. Bald cypress grow so fast, they get root bound in one season and the have pushed themselves up out of the pot an inch or so at times.

So there you have it, straight from the horse's son's mouth. Please add more if I left anything out, I don't have much cypress experience.

John Sr. also made a couple of good points - being potbound seems to helps, but some cypress just seem more predisposed to produce knees. I planted 3 in my front yard 10 years ago that were 10 - 12 ft tall. They've quadrupled in size and I have those damn knees popping up all over the place. The mower keeps the ones in the lawn shaved down, but some in the beds are already a foot tall.

Russell Coker
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  bucknbonsai on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:14 pm

russel is your front yard wet?

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:17 pm



Well, yes and no.

No, it slopes down to the street, but the soil is dense and heavy. And yes, because I live in Mobile, Alabama, and it rains all the time.

Russell Coker
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Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  ironman on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:30 pm

Thanks for the pictures and for posting the answers for us.
I'm keenly interested in BC.

ironman
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  coh on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:31 pm

This is really interesting to me...I think I've always read that bald cypress won't produce the knees in pots, and yet here they are! Thanks for sharing this info. I'm looking at my bald cypress a little differently this morning!

coh
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  JMcCoy on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:01 pm

Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?
John Lee Today at 6:35 am

.The knees formed naturally, no bending of roots. The bending of roots never really look like knees to me, not three dimensional enough, they just look like roots sticking up. Bald cypress grow so fast, they get root bound in one season and the have pushed themselves up out of the pot an inch or so at times.

John,
I don't think I've ever seen natural knees growing on a Bonsai either. Is this the only one that has done this, or do you have others? Have other people been able to reproduce it in your area? Could you give any thoughts on reasons why they formed this way? ie: long time in Bonsai culture, root bound, constant summer water, stangnant vs oxiginated water, sun vs shade, temperature, soil, etc. Most BC I've seen (including mine) are in open Bonsai mix.. does a "muckier" soil maybe encourage knees? That's the look we're all trying for, and I'd love to see those in mine as well!
Thanks!

JMcCoy
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  coh on Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:49 pm

Good questions! Hopefully we'll find out that other bonsai cypresses have also produced knees. If not...perhaps the owner should invest some time in cloning this particular tree - I'm sure there would be many eager buyers!

coh
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  BonsaiJim on Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:24 pm

I have one presumably starting. Not sure if it will end up a true knee or not. I am not soaking the pot, but think now maybe I might! Very Happy

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  JMcCoy on Sat Aug 04, 2012 12:05 am

by BonsaiJim on Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:24 pm

I have one presumably starting. Not sure if it will end up a true knee or not. I am not soaking the pot, but think now maybe I might!

Picture?? Very Happy

JMcCoy
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  bumblebee on Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:37 am

I have 2 bald cypress and they each have produced 1 small knee. One is growing in a smallish deep 3 gallon pot in water
and the other is a clump of immature BC trees in a great big very deep pot without being in water. I do get a lot of rain, however.
Especially this year.

Libby

bumblebee
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Jkd2572 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:06 am

I have two of them. I grow them in 75% aggregate and 25% pine bark. No sitting in water. They grow like weeds. No knees. I would like to here more about water and knees, but I have never seen the knees grow in pots either.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Jkd2572 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:09 am

I usually put mine in the shade when it reaches over 100 degrees f. If I don't the leaves burn. Do any of you who grow in water leave your out in those temps without the leaves burning?

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  bucknbonsai on Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:23 pm

Jkd. The only time I've seen them burn is in to dry a mix or if they have root mealybugs. A lot of collected trees will have the mealybugs but they are only on the roots. Is your clump fusing I've been told bald cypress won't fuse together but don't know if that person was correct.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Jkd2572 on Sat Aug 04, 2012 6:06 pm

It gets really hot hear. BC planted in the landscape around here have burnt leaves in August. When the weather cools off they put out a fresh round of growth.

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Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  ironman on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:02 pm

@ JK
All 37 are in the full sun and water trays...NO burnt leaves here.

ironman
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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:18 pm




Yep, when there's plenty of moisture, heat isn't an issue.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

Post  BonsaiJim on Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:34 pm

So what does one do for root mealies? Also anyone have nematode issues? Supposedly these were an issue in Houston the last few years.

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Re: Growing Bald Cypress in water?

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