bald cypress question

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Poink88 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:21 pm

I grew up in a tropical place where a lot of big trees have buttressed roots in the mountains. It is how some trees respond to stress/load and stabilize themselves. Sometimes you will see the same formation in branches (beam like rather than round). In cypress, I do not believe it is related to being submerged but I could be mistaken.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Ryan on Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:35 pm

According to the site below, "The large buttress trunk is thought to develop in response to the instability of the root
system inherent to trees growing in soft submerged soil."

http://www.treesusa.com/Plantinfo/Shade/Templates/Cypress,%20Bald.pdf

Just my 2 cents Wink

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Poink88 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:06 pm

Ryan wrote:According to the site below, "The large buttress trunk is thought to develop in response to the instability of the root
system inherent to trees growing in soft submerged soil."

http://www.treesusa.com/Plantinfo/Shade/Templates/Cypress,%20Bald.pdf

Just my 2 cents Wink
Ryan,
I think the main thing to note here is the "instability of the root system" and not the "soft submerged soil". Note that the dynamics change in a pot setting also.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:10 pm

Dario
Here the soil they grow in is a very organic on top and about 10" to 12" down it becomes a very thick clay. When we collect them you can see a mass of fine surface roots near the surface on top of the clay, underneath each butteress there is a tap root. Each tree has one main tap root and a tap root for each buttress. So ifyou can imagine the bottom of the tree looks like molar tooth up side down. Each buttress is like a pileing that is driven in ground to stabilize the tree. All trees that grow in the swamp develop a wide bottoms water oaks, sweet gum, etc. They do this because of the unstable foundation they grow in.

Mitch

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Poink88 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:27 pm

Mitch, Exactly my point. Is turning the substrate in your pot mushy create the same effect and will the tree try to stabilize itself like it would out in the wild? Personally I doubt it (unless the pot is really wide). It might develop a good nebari but not buttress type.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:09 pm

I would have to agree. Even in nature you do not see many 2" diameter trees with deep buttress. It take years to develop these even in ideal conditions

Mitch

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  bucknbonsai on Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:51 pm

I guess no one knows about stimulating buttresses in pots because all the bald cypress experts live where they can just collect them already with buttresses. One thing ive noticed is that although some of these amazing collected buttressed cypresses will live after collection, the buttresses after a few years sometimes start to die because the taproot connected to each buttress was cut and new roots didnt form fast enough to keep that flute alive, and because there are other fine roots directly off the trunk they are what keeps the tree alive. For this reason I try not to buy any cypress unless they were collected more than 2 seasons ago and the wood and bark on the flute feels firm.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  klusters on Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:33 pm

Hi Dario,

Thanks for the warm welcome. I love this topic, its a great demonstration of science and art coming together. btw for those that are flooding the roots of their trees, keep an eye on the soil pH, which usually goes up under those conditions, but should be kept at around pH 6 for the tree to grow.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Tue Apr 03, 2012 10:31 pm

Buck
Most of the time the buttress root don't die off they put out fine surface roots. Now the flat cut made when collecting some times callous over and some time the tree hollows from the inside out, it just depends. I have seen collected trees develop nice nabari but not much buttress.

Mitch[img][/img]

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bald cypress question

Post  ironman on Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:30 pm

Great topic...please keep it going!

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Zach Smith on Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:08 pm

Mitch Thomas wrote:Buck
Most of the time the buttress root don't die off they put out fine surface roots. Now the flat cut made when collecting some times callous over and some time the tree hollows from the inside out, it just depends. I have seen collected trees develop nice nabari but not much buttress.

Mitch

Very cool image, Mitch. I can't think of a better way to illustrate the rooting power of a bald cypress. Kudos!

Zach

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:22 am

Zach
They are remarkable trees! All the roots shown plus what I had to cut to fit in the pot were developed in about 1 yrs time. You are probably more experienced than I on these trees any thing you can add?

Mitch

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Zach Smith on Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:56 am

Mitch Thomas wrote:Zach
They are remarkable trees! All the roots shown plus what I had to cut to fit in the pot were developed in about 1 yrs time. You are probably more experienced than I on these trees any thing you can add?

Mitch
The small cypresses with buttressing are much rarer than the big ones with buttressing, so I never pass up a chance to collect those. It seems to be easier to collect the smaller specimens in winter and the larger ones in summer, not sure why. Once the roots start growing you can't stop 'em! I'm always surprised by how vigorous the species is and how much cutting/chopping it'll stand. Pure delight to work with. The apical chops are handled differently than with other species, I know you're very familiar with this as your New Orleans folks more or less wrote the book on it.

Zach

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  bucknbonsai on Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:53 pm

zach, can you elaborate on what you mention about apical chops, are you talking about carving them convex rather than concave?

I know johnjeanangel has his most luck collecting in june an july in south carolina but schelys bonsai in florida says where he lives it must be done towards the end of dormancy while in late winter. I think John has success since they are being trunk chopped at that time there is no evaporative loss and the roots seem to like the warmth. I believe he told me that collecting as they bud out in late winter spring produces higher mortality rates possibly because they dont like getting cold once messed with. It seems johnjeanangels collected trees have so much flutting that runs up the trunk, that if you took a cross section it looks more like a starfish than a circle. The ones in my creek despite having amazing nebari and being very vigorous and large diameter put on girth to symmetrically and as a result no flutes. I wonder if to many roots are feeding the trunk it will do this by just putting on bulk to homogenously . I may consider experimenting by removing say all roots except for about 4 or 5 and let those run as long as they want and see if that makes the flutes pop out over the next several years. Maybe that will produce the flutes then once they are dug up and cut back new roots will form that will give you nebari and then you have both the flutes and the nebari? By the way have any of you collectors ever noticed root mealy bugs on your collected cypress. Ive had some experts tell me its on almost all collected ones as soon as they are lifted up out of the swamp. I have noticed root mealy bugs on collected cypress and my theory in killing them was going to be to just put the pot under water for several days yet if they truely do live in the swamp that obviously would not kill them. Maybe I will try a SEVIN drench.

The fluting appearance I seem obsessed about is such an attractive feature, Im thinking of dismantling some of my ficus fusion projects and trying to stack ficus roots vertically on top of each other about 5" inches high and some how pin or use deep narrow serpantine shaped ceramic molds (my mother has a pottery studio) If they fuse they may give the appearance of the silk floss trees bases that grow in the wild. I know that is a stretch but it might be fun to try, and i dont mind if it takes 20 years to work.

thanks everyone


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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Zach Smith on Mon Apr 09, 2012 1:42 am

bucknbonsai wrote:zach, can you elaborate on what you mention about apical chops, are you talking about carving them convex rather than concave?

I know johnjeanangel has his most luck collecting in june an july in south carolina but schelys bonsai in florida says where he lives it must be done towards the end of dormancy while in late winter. I think John has success since they are being trunk chopped at that time there is no evaporative loss and the roots seem to like the warmth. I believe he told me that collecting as they bud out in late winter spring produces higher mortality rates possibly because they dont like getting cold once messed with. It seems johnjeanangels collected trees have so much flutting that runs up the trunk, that if you took a cross section it looks more like a starfish than a circle. The ones in my creek despite having amazing nebari and being very vigorous and large diameter put on girth to symmetrically and as a result no flutes. I wonder if to many roots are feeding the trunk it will do this by just putting on bulk to homogenously . I may consider experimenting by removing say all roots except for about 4 or 5 and let those run as long as they want and see if that makes the flutes pop out over the next several years. Maybe that will produce the flutes then once they are dug up and cut back new roots will form that will give you nebari and then you have both the flutes and the nebari? By the way have any of you collectors ever noticed root mealy bugs on your collected cypress. Ive had some experts tell me its on almost all collected ones as soon as they are lifted up out of the swamp. I have noticed root mealy bugs on collected cypress and my theory in killing them was going to be to just put the pot under water for several days yet if they truely do live in the swamp that obviously would not kill them. Maybe I will try a SEVIN drench.

The fluting appearance I seem obsessed about is such an attractive feature, Im thinking of dismantling some of my ficus fusion projects and trying to stack ficus roots vertically on top of each other about 5" inches high and some how pin or use deep narrow serpantine shaped ceramic molds (my mother has a pottery studio) If they fuse they may give the appearance of the silk floss trees bases that grow in the wild. I know that is a stretch but it might be fun to try, and i dont mind if it takes 20 years to work.

thanks everyone

It's sufficient to leave the apical chops straight, the bald cypress is so apically dominant that if you use the standard angled cut you'll usually get a reverse taper as the swelling overwhelms the cut area.

It appears that growing in standing water is the most reliable way to get the fluting we all want. I see a lot of trees growing in damp but not continuously flooded areas that put on taper but not fluting. You'll get some buttressing on them, but not the deep fluting.

Zach

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Ebbtide on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:41 am

My first and only bald cypress which I got from a nursery 2 years ago s showing more fluting/ buttressing. I keep the pot in the pond from spring to fall and keep it in a bucket of water inside a greenhouse in the winter.



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Re: bald cypress question

Post  klusters on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:12 pm

I would be interesting in hearing from those who collect bald cypress trees regarding their experience as to what parts of the forest the trees with the most prominent buttressing are located. How tall are the trees with 16-20" bases? Are they flooded? Exposed to wind?

cheers

Frank

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  manosvince on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:17 pm

Why you keep it in water?

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  EdMerc on Mon Apr 09, 2012 5:58 pm

klusters wrote:I would be interesting in hearing from those who collect bald cypress trees regarding their experience as to what parts of the forest the trees with the most prominent buttressing are located. How tall are the trees with 16-20" bases? Are they flooded? Exposed to wind?

cheers

Frank

You don't have to collect BC's to know the answer to that. The answer it pretty clear when they grow all around you.

Trees grown in relatively dry areas don't produce the desired buttressing we all seem to like. Even trees that grow in areas that flood seasonally don't seem to produce this either.

I have found that the trees that develop this buttressing all live in or on the edge of standing water.

Now, I'm not claiming that trying to emulate this condition in a bonsai situation is going to give similar results. Iv'e know people who've tried it. The results where lack luster.

It seems to be one of those things, just like it's "knees", that cannot be replicated outside of nature.

If anyone has had different experiences, I'd love to hear about it.

Ed.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  JimLewis on Mon Apr 09, 2012 6:47 pm

These may answer both questions. I used to have a whole host of BC photos of my own, and posted them to the "old" IBC, but many computers later, they seem to be gone, too. Credit Google Images for these. Anyway:










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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  bucknbonsai on Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:53 am

zach. You just leave the cut horizontal? no carving? when ive tried this with other species they end up making a mushroom cloud type growth up and over that flat cut. Looks like bread that was baked and pores up over the rim. I can visualize a flat cut being made on a 2" diameter tree working but would a horizontal cut on a 5"diameter section work? The tree I plan on choping is about 5" diameter 36" high and 12 inches at the base. I thought an angled cut would give a more gentle transition, is there such thing as maybe leaving half the cut surface flat then the back 2.5" of it cut via a taper? thanks. I think gary marchall used to have some info on this on the internet and I once saw photos of worshops at his place carving cypress but cant find them anymore.

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Zach Smith on Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:07 pm

bucknbonsai wrote:zach. You just leave the cut horizontal? no carving? when ive tried this with other species they end up making a mushroom cloud type growth up and over that flat cut. Looks like bread that was baked and pores up over the rim. I can visualize a flat cut being made on a 2" diameter tree working but would a horizontal cut on a 5"diameter section work? The tree I plan on choping is about 5" diameter 36" high and 12 inches at the base. I thought an angled cut would give a more gentle transition, is there such thing as maybe leaving half the cut surface flat then the back 2.5" of it cut via a taper? thanks. I think gary marchall used to have some info on this on the internet and I once saw photos of worshops at his place carving cypress but cant find them anymore.
No, just in the beginning, until the callous reaches a certain point and then you carve to make the transition. By that time the swelling is lessening and you've avoided a potential reverse taper.

Zach

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:05 pm

Buck
I will post a pictoral on how to how to carve for taper

Mitch

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  Mitch Thomas on Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:27 pm

Buck
This is the technique taught to me by my teacher Guy Guidry, a pioneer in creating taper in Bald Cypress.
It will work for most apical dominate trees.

First is the initial chop and a advantageous sprout is chose to be the future leader this will become the front of the tree.
[img][/img]

The new top pushes on top of the flat chop due to the apical growth. Now is the time for its first carving[img][/img]

This is the side view of new carving. It is pear shaped dome.
[img][/img]

Back view[img][/img]

This is the front view showing the new taper. The carving will heal over in time with good technique. The scare will hidden and this can be used to your advantage. Hope this helps.
[img][/img]

Mitch

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Re: bald cypress question

Post  klusters on Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:35 pm

Hi Mitch,

What would your strategy be if the hump that develops in your diagram #2 from the leader does not absorb into the tree and remains prominent at the leader/main trunk junction? This is a problem I have on one of my trees.

thanks

Frank

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Re: bald cypress question

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