collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

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collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  ironman on Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:51 pm

I have been collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) for years but have yet to find a well buttressed, larger tree. Does any of you know anyone-or maybe a bonsai club-collecting in Texas or Louisiana I might tag along with? I've tried GNOBS but came up short and time is running out for swamp/river collecting this year.
Thanks very much in advance... Very Happy

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Re: collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  bucknbonsai on Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:35 am

Ive spoken with several people on the topic and once someone finds a good spot for bald cypress, its hard to get in on it. Are you looking in flooded areas or areas that are dry most of the year? Vaughn Banting stated that bald cypress wood that is submerged is what causes the trunks to swell due to a certain chemical in the wood. John Geanangel has told me he feels the flare comes from growing on a hard pan of clay like material under the soft mud. I have almost given up on finding an area to collect them, Im just gonna try fusing hundreds of seedlings together and continue field growing them in the stream on my property. Have you tried knocking door to door on farmers houses that have bald cypress behind them? Thats what some guys in west tennessee did and they hit the jackpot. I would try it but I live in eat tennessee.

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Re: collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  DougDT on Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:10 pm

Try bonsainorthshore.com
He is a good Guy and even though he sells BC he is usualy willing to help with collecting advice.

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collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  ironman on Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:19 pm

Thanks bucknbonsai...

Being an avid fisherman, I understand and respect the concept of protecting 'my spot'!
I collect in riverbeds which are on the dry side till a flood episode. There the trees do have a good spread but not the 'swampy' look I'm after. I have knocked the doors and been tickled to find owners happy to oblige and some delighted to watch me wear myself out digging. I still remember one from 20 years ago...
My view was/is flair happens as the soil is washed away exposing more of the roots...but what do I know?! Vaughn was a giant.
I know of the fusing technique of which you speak and may try it but at 63, time is a premium. A decent tree with a good flair and aged bark is paramount. Fusing lacks aged bark. It only comes with a truly matured tree so I continue my quest.

In the spirit of my mission, I'd like to invite you to hop on a plane to TEXAS. I've the saws, waders and boots, haddock, and come-a-long. You can come and dig in 'my spot' and I'll ship your tree back to Tennessee...but 'ya better hurry. Spring is a'coming
ironman
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DougDT...thanks for good advice. One of his demo tress from the show in San Antonio sits in my backyard. He IS a good guy and I will make contact. Thanks, again...

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Re: collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  jgeanangel on Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:13 am

bucknbonsai wrote: John Geanangel has told me he feels the flare comes from growing on a hard pan of clay like material under the soft mud.

maybe "hard pan" isn't the most accurate description...where I collect there is a very dense layer of kaolin just under the soft mud and vegetative debris. The roots of the trees tend not to penetrate into the kaolin more than a few inches before going horizontal. I think this contributes to the already natural tendency of this species to have a flared root base.

Ironman...one thing that may interest you is that we collect "stumps" in late June and through July with predictable success. Percentage wise its much better than our success collecting in the early spring/late winter. Besides, if you are going to the swamp you need to visit when its miserably hot, humid and the snakes and mosquitoes are out:)
John

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collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  ironman on Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:03 pm

I didn't know that BC roots wouldn't penetrate kaolin. It is clay so that does make sense.

John...collecting stumps in SC in early summer IS interesting to me-thanks for the tip. I have dug very few in Texas that time of year but they responded well. I thought I was just lucky. The fact success % is greater than early spring/late winter really is a surprise!
I get plenty of hot and humid temps here-not to mention snakes and blood suckers-so I'll pass on swamps in the summer, thank you very much! Shocked
Ironman

Come to think of it, I plan on attending a long distance casting tournament in SC in early summer and know a couple guys who live on the river near a swamp so maybe I'll get to meet one (or more) of your snakes after all affraid
Thanks again...

ironman
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Re: collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  bucknbonsai on Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:50 am

John, I remember you telling me about your success with summer collecting, but does that mean that it could be collected any time from spring up through mid july, or is there a window of time within there (possibly just after leaves harden) that the tree would not likely tolerate being collected and trunk chopped?
thanks

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Re: collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  jgeanangel on Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:25 am

bucknbonsai wrote:John, I remember you telling me about your success with summer collecting, but does that mean that it could be collected any time from spring up through mid july, or is there a window of time within there (possibly just after leaves harden) that the tree would not likely tolerate being collected and trunk chopped?
thanks

The window I use is June and July. After not having good success in the spring I don't collect at that time any more. If I am going to collect something I want to make sure I give it the best possible opportunity to survive. There is plenty of other species to collect in the spring and late winter:)

John

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collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  ironman on Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:19 pm

Thanks for the tip, John.
Now that I have collected a good number, another couple questions have surfaced;

1. Is it possible to air layer the top of a collected bald cypress?
2. Is it possible to air layer bald cypress?

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Re: collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  JimLewis on Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:59 pm

The answer to both is "yes." But only well after they've been collected and are established in a pot.

_________________
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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collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  ironman on Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:04 pm

Thanks very much for the information.
I LOVE this site Exclamation

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Re: collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  Jesse on Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:29 pm

Yup...great people on this site. Super place to learn. I notice how you have "TEXAS" in caps as to where you are from. I guess I wouldn't expect anything else from a true Texan Smile

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collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  ironman on Tue Feb 15, 2011 3:38 pm

Yes, Sir....nothing less except maybe adding
Yeeeeeeee, Haaaaaaw Exclamation

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Re: collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  jgeanangel on Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:29 pm

I haven't tried and the one time I saw it tried was not successful. That in no way means its not possible...

ironman wrote:Thanks for the tip, John.
Now that I have collected a good number, another couple questions have surfaced;

1. Is it possible to air layer the top of a collected bald cypress?
2. Is it possible to air layer bald cypress?


Last edited by jgeanangel on Sat Feb 19, 2011 12:06 am; edited 1 time in total

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bald cypress

Post  art_rod on Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:57 pm

try contacting Zach Smith.
i believe he lives and collects bald cypress in la.
here's his website
http://www.bonsai-south.com/Home_Page.php

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collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  ironman on Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:59 pm

Thank you very much
I will do it today... Very Happy

ironman
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Re: collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  Zach Smith on Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:04 am

ironman wrote:Thanks for the tip, John.
Now that I have collected a good number, another couple questions have surfaced;

1. Is it possible to air layer the top of a collected bald cypress?
2. Is it possible to air layer bald cypress?

You could certainly air layer bald cypress. I've seen this happen in nature, in areas that flood seasonally. A root mass will form just below the water line, and then when you go in the area after the water's drained you see this odd mass of dried up roots several feet up the trunk of the tree.

Now, the real question is what do you gain by layering a bald cypress? You won't get a buttressed trunk, unless you plant your layer in the ground and wait for a decade or so. Certainly nothing wrong with that, but for those of us who are past 50 it's kind of like buying green bananas. If you can get nice buttressed specimens by hitting the swamps, then that's the way to go.

For winter collecting, the season is over in South Louisiana. I have a small specimen (3" trunk) that remembers where it came from, and is budding today. You can still collect farther north, but do it this weekend.

Best of luck with your bald cypresses. A truly wonderful species for bonsai.

Zach

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collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Post  ironman on Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:56 pm

Thanks for air layering info. I suspected as much...
I wanted info because 2 of the 20 collected trees this year HAD really super tops.
After removing a magnificent flat top from one of them, it finally occurred to me that I should have air layered it instead of just whacking it off. Yes, no buttressed trunk but it would have been another good tree. Live and learn...

I found collecting time has gone here, too. The tree which had the fantastic top has started to bud out as well as the demo tree I got from Guy in San Antonio about 3 years ago. A Chinese elm was the first, about a week ago, and the other 19 BC may have swollen buds, as well...
Jack

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Re: collecting bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)

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