Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

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Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:32 pm

I've downloaded several pages of information on Taxodium distichum (Bald Cypress) I live in Zone 5, midway between 5a and 5b. So I'm not sure how to prepare this for overwintering.

Also, 2 of the 3 pages state that during the growing season the pot needs to be placed in a tray to allow it to stand in water.

Any help would be appreciated.

Jay


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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:14 am

It should be OK in that deep pot over winter, but it won't hurt to mulch it in. That has a lot of potential, but I think you need to wire one of those top branches up as a new leader soon now, or they'll be too set in their ways as branches.

Bald cypress bonsai don't "need" to be kept in a tray of water, except (maybe) in very, very hot climates. I don't think you live in one of those -- even if you may occasionally have summer temps in the 30s. They grow just as well in "normal" conditions as any other bonsai.

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 27, 2009 3:26 am

You can't see it in this picture, the top left branch has been "connected" to the other side and is pulled up into the lead position. I'll photo it in the next few days to ask if I need to change it I so, I will wire it this weekend, but all the guidance on Taxodium says to wire carefully beacause it mars easily. Would it make sence to remove the opposite branch and carve a little taper to the cut?

The tree is not, and has not been in a tray, so far, twice a day I fill it to the rim and let it drain. That is why I was looking for advice, because up till now I had only been watering it well but not letting it "soak". Even a broke clock is right twice a day. Seems like I've been doing this one right while researching how to do it right! The last resource I hit tonight said the same thing you said. Only soak it if the heat and humidity levels call for it.

Thanks,

Jay

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:04 am

I went back and looked at the pages I pulled on the Cypress. One says hardy to -10*C (14*F) and rapid growing. One says inspite of its slow growth. The others were incolmplete.

How's a guy supposed to figure out his trees with conflicting info.

I've got a contact in Missouri that raise native trees, I'll have to go straight to the source.

G'nite all,

Jay

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  rock on Thu Aug 27, 2009 4:30 am

Jay Gaydosh wrote:

How's a guy supposed to figure out his trees with conflicting info.


Hi Jay,

How you doing? you are full of questions aren't you? Laugh out loud!

The best answer to the question is, you live a few years with your trees, then you know.

Good luck,
rock

PS do they have Google over there in Illinois ? Shocked

how bout these guys...
Twin City Bonsai‎
1511 Morrissey Dr # A, Bloomington, IL‎
- (309) 454-8060‎

rock
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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:52 am

Rock wrote:
Jay Gaydosh wrote:

How's a guy supposed to figure out his trees with conflicting info.


Hi Jay,

How you doing? you are full of questions aren't you? Laugh out loud!

The best answer to the question is, you live a few years with your trees, then you know.

Good luck,
rock

PS do they have Google over there in Illinois ? Shocked

how bout these guys...
Twin City Bonsai‎
1511 Morrissey Dr # A, Bloomington, IL‎
- (309) 454-8060‎



Unfortunately, I've already lived more than a few years. The tree was given to me a week or so ago and I would just as soon not kill it before I get to know it.

We don't have computers yet so we're a few decades away from getting Google. scratch Oh wait, that's where I got the conflicting pages on the Bald Cypress.

Twin City Bonsai, deals mostly with tropicals, I've got him on speed dial. I also have a few others in the Springfield bonsai club. But then again us rednecks if Illinois don't nultitask as well as you Left Coasters do. Rolling Eyes

Jay

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Dave Murphy on Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:47 pm

I've seen bald cypress growing as landscape trees along the lakefront in Chicago, which is USDA zone 5, I believe. Having said that, the winter hardiness of a given tree has much to do with where it came from...they grow as far south as the Florida keys (zone 10) and as far north as southern Indiana (zone5/6). I know that Guy Guidry believes the cypresses he collects in zone 8 Louisiana are hardy to at least zone 6. In any event, your tree will need at least basic winter protection, including protecting it from winter sun and wind, mulching the rootball, etc.. If this were mine, I might place it up against my house foundation out of the direct sun and mulch it in there. Good luck,

Dave

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:37 pm

Thanks Dave:

One of the websites I found says it is hardy to -10*C (14*F) Usually by 25 *F I have all the hardy trees in the cold frame to protect them from the wind. THe bottom is lined with foam board insulation and heat kicks on if it gets too cold. So I hope it rides it out OK.

Jay

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:58 pm



Regarding the establishment of a new leader: It is hard to see from the exploded view of the trunk top, but there is a wire pulling the left branch up using the base of the right branch as the anchor point.

Jay

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:02 pm

Bald cypress are not tropical trees, so your guy who does those won't be much help.

Your bald cypress will be leafless by the time you get freezing temps, so wind won't bother it. Depending on where they come from, they will survive winters with the pot frozen solid.

Do you know the origin of your tree? A bald cypress from the deep south will be less cold hardy than one from the northern end of its natural habitat.

I dunno if the pages you've been looking at were on bald cypress as bonsai, or bald cypress as trees. The ones dealing with bald cypress as bonsai are much more likely to be wrong. Those, I'm sure, were the ones that told you to keep your tree in a pot of water. As I said, that's OK, but not necessary.

I'd let your tree go fully dormant outside. Then, depending on the answer to the question on its origin, I'd either leave it outside in a protected area or put it in the cold frame.

The bigger of those two branches will make a much better leader. But, an even better leader might be that left hand branch below the one you have wired up. BUT that depends on what the front of this tree is, and THAT depends upon the base and how the roots are shaped.

_________________
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: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  AlainK on Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:09 pm

As I said in another post, they are hardy here in zone 8 (we had a few days with temperatures around -10° Celsius last winter, and all mine survived with no problem.

But I would take Vance's advice, and mulch them just to make sure...

As for the growth, they grow faster here than J. maples or larches for instance, and much faster than any other conifer I have.

PS : funny shape the computer you are typing on in the photo of your avatar. I suppose the antennas in the top right are for getting WiFi signals ?... LOL

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:27 pm

JimLewis wrote:Bald cypress are not tropical trees, so your guy who does those won't be much help.

Your bald cypress will be leafless by the time you get freezing temps, so wind won't bother it. Depending on where they come from, they will survive winters with the pot frozen solid.

Do you know the origin of your tree? A bald cypress from the deep south will be less cold hardy than one from the northern end of its natural habitat.

I dunno if the pages you've been looking at were on bald cypress as bonsai, or bald cypress as trees. The ones dealing with bald cypress as bonsai are much more likely to be wrong. Those, I'm sure, were the ones that told you to keep your tree in a pot of water. As I said, that's OK, but not necessary.

I'd let your tree go fully dormant outside. Then, depending on the answer to the question on its origin, I'd either leave it outside in a protected area or put it in the cold frame.

The bigger of those two branches will make a much better leader. But, an even better leader might be that left hand branch below the one you have wired up. BUT that depends on what the front of this tree is, and THAT depends upon the base and how the roots are shaped.

All good questions, Jim. I'll check with the previous owner this weekend. I know he likes to travel to Florida to collect samples, but I'm not sure about this one.

The pages I looked at yesterday were bonsai pages. Today I shot an e-mail to the Forestry Department at Souther Illinois University at Carbondale to check on their recommendations based on Southern Illinois Cypress trees in the Forests.

If I choose the next branch down on the left, I would guess that my trunk reduction woul be from above that branch and angle it to the right to create a taper. Jim, the former owner had a small piece of wire inserted into the front of the pot to identify what he believed the best front to be.

Jay

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:42 pm

AlainK wrote:PS : funny shape the computer you are typing on in the photo of your avatar. I suppose the antennas in the top right are for getting WiFi signals ?... LOL

Its a digital Ham Radio. The little ones are receivers, the big one is a transmitter.

Actually, more often than not it has been identified as a WMI (Weapon of Mass Irritation) thumbs up

How do you get two bagpipers to play in tune?

Shoot one of them!

Jay

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:22 pm

Just remember:

Bagpipers, we put the fun back in FUNeral! Laughing

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  JimLewis on Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:47 pm

the former owner had a small piece of wire inserted into the front of the pot to identify what he believed the best front to be.

I do that, too -- then change my mind on a daily basis until I have all soil off the roots and can really SEE.

Whatever, the angle your first picture was take at is NOT the front. That roo needs to go off to one side or another. You might take several pics of the base, turning the tree 1/4 turn each shot.

_________________
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: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Aug 27, 2009 9:38 pm

[quote="JimLewisWhatever, the angle your first picture was take at is NOT the front. That roo needs to go off to one side or another. You might take several pics of the base, turning the tree 1/4 turn each shot.[/quote]

Will do.

Jay

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:17 pm

Just spoke to a gentleman refered to me by the Illinois Nurseryman's Association. He indicated that he has two Bald Cypress growing in his yard (about 2 hours north of me) He indicated his trees have survived to -35*C and that although mine is kept in a pot is should do fine in our environment.

Sounds better every day!

Jay

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  rock on Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:49 pm

yeah Jay... a happy ending

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Fri Aug 28, 2009 4:52 pm

With bonsai, the only happy ending is you're dead and all your favorite trees lived long
enough to see you off! thumbs up

Southern California and a name like Rock, hmmmmm, any chance you are a Jarhead?

Jay

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Re: Taxodium distichum, Bald Cypress

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