Bald Cypress

The Cypress is one of my favorites, it is a native and does very well as bonsai. It is a rather quick grower so you can have a very nice tree in a few years.

 The two most common species are:

 Taxodium distichum Bald Cypress. It has flat leaves with opposing needles on a central stem. Its bark is reddish shredding into strips.

Taxodium distichum var. nutans Synonym- Taxodium ascendens Pond Cypress. It is less likely to have knees and somewhat smaller than the Bald Cypress. Its leaves tend to lie along the branchlet, looking like corded Juniper foliage. It has a gray bark, heavily furrowed.

 PRUNING... You can drastically prune back when the tree is repotted. It back buds quite readily and grows quick.

 TRAINING... As new green branches grow, to achieve downward growth, bend the branch down until you hear the cambium crack. Do this every few days until the branch is where you want it. You can wire, but being a quick grower, keep an eye on them. Pinch new branchlets back to promote branching. Allow green branches to harden off some before clipping back.

 WATERING... They like it, their natural habitat is by, or in water. I add more organic matter to my soil. When growing out you can place pot in a pan of water for a couple months during the summer.

 LIGHT... Full sun, it really cannot get too much, as long as you are watering it sufficiently.

 INSECT/DISEASE... Spider Mites, gall and Termites can sometimes be a problem. Root Mite can slowly kill a tree. If suspected, by a tree that doesn’t respond to normal care, treat with a systemic insecticide. Can also suffer root rot caused by a fungi, a systemic fungicide used twice a year will be a good preventative...

 FERTILIZE... A balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer during the growing season. Cypress prefer an acidic soil, so give an occasional dose of fish emulsion or other acidic fertilizer.

 REPOT... Only when dormant. I repot in January and February. If leaves are starting to emerge it is too late. A Cypress can literally bleed to death if its roots are cut when not dormant. Younger trees will probably need repotted every year, older every two to three years.

 SEASONAL... Cold hardy.

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