bald cypress question

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bald cypress question

Post  bucknbonsai on Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:05 pm

I purchased a very large relatively well developed bald cypress this fall in a pot 16x13x5 inches. I am wanting the trunk chop to heal over quicker before I ever show the tree. Normally for all other trees planting the tree in an obnoxiously larger pot would cause root rot due to soggy soil, but since this is a bald cypress I would think there is no limit to what size growing pot I could put it into right now If what I want is maximum growth as there is no way the roots will rot. I was thinking of using a pot rather than the ground because I may end up using lots of guy wires anchored to the rim to pull some of the limbs down. What do yall think? Is it true this things put out 3foot long roots circling around the bottoms of there pots in only 1 summer? thanks

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:19 pm

Buckinbonsai
I think you are on the right track. Bald Cypress will put out tremendous growth in a larger pot. Down here we use straight organic mix for maximin growth, also place a water tray underneath will help. Then when you start to develope the ramification we use a 50/50 mix. You also need to renjure the callous to kick start healing if any sprouts come up on or near the wound leave them to aid in healing.

Mitch

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Zach Smith on Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:19 am

bucknbonsai wrote:I purchased a very large relatively well developed bald cypress this fall in a pot 16x13x5 inches. I am wanting the trunk chop to heal over quicker before I ever show the tree. Normally for all other trees planting the tree in an obnoxiously larger pot would cause root rot due to soggy soil, but since this is a bald cypress I would think there is no limit to what size growing pot I could put it into right now If what I want is maximum growth as there is no way the roots will rot. I was thinking of using a pot rather than the ground because I may end up using lots of guy wires anchored to the rim to pull some of the limbs down. What do yall think? Is it true this things put out 3foot long roots circling around the bottoms of there pots in only 1 summer? thanks
As long as you get oxygen to the soil the amount of water won't matter. This means that the tree will grow in standing water but only if there's a means for getting oxygen in the root zone. You can use a heavier mix that drains less well than what is normally acceptable for bonsai, but it does need to drain in order to pull oxygen into the root zone.

The main things to remember are: lots of food, lots of water, lots of sun, and enough space for the roots to run (within limits). This should give you all the growth you want.

Zach

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  bucknbonsai on Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:45 am

There was a vaugn banting article that stated the cypress wood expands when in water so last year I grew a crude stump in a 80 gallon cattle trough filled with water, it grew and did swell quite well and bring out flutting for the first time I ever saw. It had no oxygen at all. I wonder if it would have grown better with oxygen, but then the fluting and base swelling wouldnt be as extreme. my pond is spring fed and has better oxygen than a tub would but its like 50 degree water year round so thats why I dont put it in there.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  JimLewis on Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:48 am

Is it true this things put out 3foot long roots circling around the bottoms of there pots in only 1 summer?

YES - or more. Depending on WHERE that summer is.

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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: bald cypress question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:11 am

Buck
First of all You can not over water Bald Cypress period. I have some I collected last year that were bare rooted and placed in tubs of water all thru last winter a couple of times the tubs froze solid and they didn't miss a beat this spring. They grow naturally in a totally anorobic environment ( sticky mud and stagnant water ) so I would say the oxygenated argument is moot.

The method I discribed was used by Vaughn and his disciples.

Mitch

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  drgonzo on Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:13 am

bucknbonsai wrote: there is no way the roots will rot.

You know i was just watching some of Jason Schley's videos of BC collection last week and he said that the roots can indeed rot and that its only the older wood that resists decay. He indicated the new root growth if not sufficiently oxygenated is certainly prone to rot.

Bald cypress are almost like an alien species from another planet to a guy in upstate New York!
-Jay

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Zach Smith on Fri Mar 30, 2012 10:28 am

bucknbonsai wrote:There was a vaugn banting article that stated the cypress wood expands when in water so last year I grew a crude stump in a 80 gallon cattle trough filled with water, it grew and did swell quite well and bring out flutting for the first time I ever saw. It had no oxygen at all. I wonder if it would have grown better with oxygen, but then the fluting and base swelling wouldnt be as extreme. my pond is spring fed and has better oxygen than a tub would but its like 50 degree water year round so thats why I dont put it in there.
Trust me, your water had oxygen. Standing water in contact with air tends to get oxygenated, and things living in the water that need oxygen of course deplete it, but the process of oxygen dissolving in the water continues (sometimes too much is depleted and the living thing dies, but it's hard to get to zero). Your cattle trough, at say 60-70 gallons fill, had plenty of oxygen for your bald cypress. If you put a tree in a smaller volume of standing water, then it can suffer if it depletes the oxygen faster than it can be replaced. Just replacing the standing water every week or so makes a difference.

Jay is correct, it's only the older cypress wood that resists decay. I read once that it takes about 75 years for heartwood to begin forming in cypress.

Zach


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Re: bald cypress question

Post  bucknbonsai on Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:21 pm

The one that I mentioned growing in a cattle trough was a nursery produced tree that I know for sure was less than 75years old, and it put on lots of new growth though the summer, so this makes me wonder if living tissue wont rot but any deadwood or sharis will rot (if that deadwood is less than 75 years old) Jay, was jason schley saying that living roots would rot? I guess I can find out this week when I try repotting that tree that was in the trough (if I find white root tips then everything is fine?) Would there be anything wrong with planting these things in pure compost or worm castings in the bottom of a trough? Im not sure if that would produce any PH problems or anything, and Im not sure what the ph is like in the cajun swamps. thanks everyone.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  drgonzo on Fri Mar 30, 2012 1:46 pm

bucknbonsai wrote: Jay, was jason schley saying that living roots would rot?

Buck-
Take a look through his videos, I really enjoyed them.
http://www.youtube.com/user/SchleysBonsai?feature=watch

-Jay

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Fore on Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:39 pm

Mitch Thomas wrote:Buckinbonsai
I think you are on the right track. Bald Cypress will put out tremendous growth in a larger pot. Down here we use straight organic mix for maximin growth, also place a water tray underneath will help. Then when you start to develope the ramification we use a 50/50 mix. You also need to renjure the callous to kick start healing if any sprouts come up on or near the wound leave them to aid in healing.

Mitch

Mitch, do you just re-injure the callous along the rolling edge that is covering the scar, or at the outer edge of the rolling edge of the callous? I hope this makes sense...

Plus, mine has no fluting. I read if you plant the lower part of the trunk in soil, flutes will develop. So I repotted it up in 70/30 org/inorg mix. But later, Rockm said this didn't work for him. So I'll leave it be this yr., but if putting this in a mostly water bath caused flute formation, then I'll try that next year...though I don't have a cattle trough! Wink

I need to track down that Vaugh Banting article bucknbonsai mentioned.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:11 pm

Fore
Yes the leading edge is where you injure the callous. Expose a small area just until the green cambium shows. I do this only in the spring when it is most active.

As far as a fluted a trunk I have only seen them developed in nature. Mostly in areas where the tree is submerged in water for long periods. It is my observation they develop these flutes to solve the natural engenieering for vertical stability. Architects have copied this technique for centuries. Therefore unless you tree has it when it is collected it is hard to recreate in a artificial environment. You are pretty much married to what you have. Although I have often wondered if you could approach graft a seedling vertically to the nabari and let it graft and fuse to make a flute artificially, but it is just to easy to collect one with a great base to start with.

I have been starting to experiment with different styles with wonderful material. I think that many styles can be successful. Why must we only make formal upright or bunjin trees with cypress. I am compelled to push the limits with it.

Mitch

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Fore on Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:45 pm

Thanks Mitch. When I moved to IL from Ca yrs ago, I had to live in temp. housing till we found a place to live. I left my trees with an inexperienced friend (fatal mistake I'll never make again) and he killed a JBP I had for over 20 yrs and almost killed the Cypress. So now I have this shari on one side of the tree that I've been trying to get new growth coming out close to the callous so I have a branch on that side of the tree. Very nice to know I can do that work now and see how it goes.

I'll stop trying to make this tree something it's not...a large cypress with flutes. If I want one, I know Don Blackman sells some nice collected ones every now and then. And I too think more designs are possible with this tree, when living in Houston, where I got this cypress, I used to play golf in Cypresswood...approp. named. I saw trees from formal upright to rafts. This is where I fell in love with this species.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Poink88 on Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:58 pm

I was walking at a Lowe's garden center last week and noticed some large Cypress. I believe they are in 25+ gallon pots and 12+ feet tall. They have very nice fluted trunks and best of all...costs about $135-$175 (can't recall which). Even at $175, it is pretty cheap (IMHO) for what you will get.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  GaryWood on Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:37 pm

I don't mean to hijack but while on vacation earlier this year in Florida, I visited the Dwarf Cypress Forest. It was amazing, 300 hundred yr old trees that were 6-15 feet tall. Sorry for the angle but I've tried to rotate and it just keeps going back
Wood
http://thingsofwood-gary.blogspot.com

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  bucknbonsai on Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:56 pm

Gary, I hope they do a good job protecting those things. I heard a horrible story one time of somebody digging up about 60 of these dwarfs in a period of 2 days. I hope maybe they owned private property near the area rather than them sneaking into the protected ones.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  GaryWood on Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:04 pm

A sad tale. I just can't imagine disturbing such a pristine area. There is even a boardwalk for everyone to enjoy.
Wood

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Todd Ellis on Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:06 pm

I have great results with growing my Bald Cypress in a soil-less mix, sitting in water during the growing season. I feed it like my other trees; with organics and inorganics, and it thrives. Aside from letting it sit in water, treat it like your other water-loving trees.
Best,
Todd Very Happy

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:13 pm

Gary
I too have found a grove of dwarf BC's. It's probably about a 60 ac bog with the tallest tree about 15' tall with bases in the 7' to 8' in diameter most are growing formal upright with great taper from top to bottom. It's truly a unique site. I know many people know about it but so far no one have violated it. I go and check it out once a year then back out and leave it to be.

Mitch

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  bucknbonsai on Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:14 pm

todd, do you completely submerge it or does some of the root ball stick above the soil? This is what Im really trying to find out about with this post because Im trying to get those big flutes (or at least basal swelling) like the ones that are collected from the wild, and with me messing around with just a few plants I really dont have enough numbers to make any scientifically based decisions on their behaviors/physiology. by the way todd, in the event yours are sitting in water, how do you fertilize something that is sitting in water, do just sprinkle in some miracle grow into the water at a certain percentage? thanks

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Todd Ellis on Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:41 pm

I sit the pot in water but do not let the water come over the top of the pot rim. I fertilize by applying to the top of the soil; hence the reason for not letting the water cover the top of the pot. Is your name Eric? The tree does fine. Forgive me because I forgot and can't find your name anywhere from previous posts or PM's. Hope this helps!
Todd

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  klusters on Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:09 pm

So, has anyone been able to successfully establish buttressed roots in a bald cypress growing in a pot, perhaps submerged under water?

From what I have read there seem to be two main factors affecting the formation of these features. Submerged underwater, the trees develop lateral roots with sinker roots growing from their ends. This combination gives the tree a wider footprint in the face of wind and other stressors. As they grow, the forces from wind will stress the junction points of these horizontal roots as they attach to the stem. This leads to dominant upperside growth (buttress formation) to ease the force from these directional stressors.

With trees that have they trunks chopped down, the second stress is minimized. A 3-5 foot tree just wont receive the same force that a 20-30 foot tree will.



Frank

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Poink88 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:18 pm

Frank,

WELCOME!!! I believe what you read is correct so if you want the buttressed roots, you just have to start with a stock with it developed already.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  bucknbonsai on Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:17 pm

I agree with the waving in the wind theory and also think they must be submerged. Ive let one nursery tree planted in the ground with a 5" trunk grow to about 16 feet over the last 3 years (12" thick trunk now). This is in a drainage ditch in my full sun front yard and there is constantly a 1/4 thick layer of water running across it slowly. Even in this situation where its tall and in the wet its not buttressing at all just getting fat like a telephone pole, so it must require submersion. If I try to let it get any taller to induce buttresses then it will end up requiring such a large trunk chop that it will never heal. It seems in the wild there are ones with 18" bases and the trunk is only 3" in diameter at 4feet high. My 12" base one is about 8" diameter at 4 feet high so im thinking of just letting it be a yard tree. Even though that Schelys bonsai videos say cypress can rot, Im still thinking of planting some shallow root ball cypresses in 55 gallon drums or cattle troughs with several feet of water above them. I guess by letting them have a flat shallow amount of soil to grow in they may buttress more yet to little soil may enable them to sway to much and actually be counter productive. I guess I could use the water in the tubs for watering my other trees then fill it back up with fresh water to help it oxygenate. Over the weekend I repotted one that I had in a 100gallon trough filled mostly with soil for the last year and only an inch of standing water above the soil, while doing this I noticed that the ends of the fat tap roots I had cut the previous year had rotted and were soft and had no feeder roots growing off of them but when sawing the rootball to make it go from 14" thick to 8" thick the rot had apparently stopped because my saw was going through all healthy fat hard white tap roots. It seemed that the portion of the trunk that was submerged in water/silt which was above the actual nebari, had lots of new healthy roots growing (possibly because they were closer to oxygen?) Despite these findings I think Im still going to risk it and plant one deep in a water filled trough because the flutting is what I want and none of the other techniques so far are working to produce them. The mosquitoes are going to love me.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Randy_Davis on Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:20 pm

I've sorta been following this thread and thought I'd post some pictures of a tree that I've had for a few years now. There has been buttress formation on the tree over the last 4 years. The pictures below show how the tree has progressed over that time. It has been grown in a container without drainage holes and was kept full of water during the summver months and then left to dry out during the fall and winter months until the following spring. Just thought some pictures might add to the conversation. I might add here that buttress and trunk girth start to happen in the late summer months (Late August/September) and ends when the tree has finished it's fall defoliation.

2008


2011

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Re: bald cypress question

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