Hi Zach. Plus there’s trunk movement and taper. January 2003 Bald Cypress Development. Flat-tops are much faster to develop than the classic pyramidal style specimens, meaning you get to a showable state much sooner. It is occasionally planted in parks, where it rarely reaches its full height of 100 feet. You should repot young trees more often on this schedule, although old trees can be repotted every three to five years. When I got it in 1995 from a friend, Brian, who had grown it in the ground for seven years in San Diego, I decided to learn as much as I could about their cultivation. The Bald Cypress requires fertilizer to thrive and grow to its full extent. The story goes that it was in a chopped down 5 gallon nursery bucket and it grew into the ground, and the knees grew on the outside of the container almost swallowing the damn black plastic pot on that side of the tree. But that’s only the second worst blank canvas to start with when designing a bonsai. The main difference between the two? To be more precise, the bald Cypress bonsai is easier to grow as it requires less specific conditions. The wire helps keep it where you put it, so I always recommend wiring. But that’s only the second worst blank canvas to start with when designing a bonsai. Her writing interests cover everything from farming and gardening to education, health and wellness, and business. You can shape young twigs into a desirable form by wiring them up, but remove any older branches, as they can become brittle and stiff. Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) is a gorgeous plant with reddish-brown bark that is fibrous at first and later becomes furrowed and pale. So a little editing and I start at the bottom, two branches at a time. This long-lived deciduous tree is known by many names, including swamp cypress, bald cypress, tidewater red cypress, gulf cypress, red cypress, and white cypress. This specimen was collected in Winter 2019, specifically so I could create a flat-top style Bald cypress bonsai from it. There is only one type of Bald Cypress bonsai, as it’s a bonsai cultivar of the standard-sized Bald Cypress tree. It has needle-like foliage that is a soft, pale-green color. You really can’t overwater the Bald Cypress bonsai – this plant loves being wet! Not only can you get your Bald Cypress into better soil that is more balanced and well-draining (which it prefers) but you can also loosen up its compacted roots. Native to the southern portions of the United States as well as areas in Guatemala and Mexico, the Bald Cypress bonsai is one of the most illustrious bonsai specimens you can grow at home. Fertilize the tree once a week and taper the fertilizer at least once a … Designed by Cathy Smith, MBA ND LMT, ZBH | (c) 2000 - Today. Would love your thoughts, please comment. And because the Bald Cypress are so apically dominant most Bonsai I have seen from this website and many other photos, all you get is 2-3 foot of trunk with a smattering of tiny branches at the top of that. The base of this tree is 4″ measured 4" above the soil, and it’s chopped at 26″ above the soil surface. My bald cypress is one of my favorite trees. You don’t need to rely on synthetic fertilizers, either – a liquid compost tea or another organic option is also acceptable. Specific Bonsai care guidelines for the Bald Cypress. You will need to repot your Bald Cypress bonsai about once every two years. Bald Cypress bonsai can be propagated from both seeds and cuttings. This Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) came home in 2015, and I knew from the start that I was keeping it for my personal collection. I’ll simply choose one when it reaches a nice shoot stage and wire it. The design is unfolding very nicely. A hardy plant, it looks a lot like the Dawn Redwood but is a superior bonsai species. The thing to do now that it’s pushing roots out of the pot’s drain holes is to build an initial design. They grow very fast, even in a small container. You can use any kind of liquid fertilizer on your Bald Cypress bonsai. It is usually sold as a starter tree up to 10 years old. In the winter, you can get away with it once every few months, as the leaves will have fallen. Bald Cypress (purchased from Mike Rogers Nursery 2001) Orlando Bonsai Store . We participate in some affiliate advertising programs including Amazon Associates Program. It cannot tolerate low temperatures and will not do well with any amount of frost, even when grown in a container. While this is true, there’s also a risk and that’s when a bird or falling branch lands on your well-placed branch. Bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, is one of the best species for bonsai and one I believe every beginner should have. I then used a knob cutter to bite out the excess wood, and finally a carving knife to makes the edge of the cut clean. Thank you for your support! Also rewired tree. So this is a good one to work with, since I only have limited design choices (not to worry, it’s plenty). Specific Bonsai care guidelines for the Bald Cypress. It’s got a super nebari, plenty of radial roots with a good flare down into the soil. Fertilize any time from spring to autumn, ideally about once a week or once every two weeks. Bald Cypress need to be watered daily because of their need for full sun. This will save you time and money. This works exceptionally well with Bald cypress since it buds so freely on old wood. In addition to writing, she also co-manages a farm, where she grows a variety of plants and raises chickens, pigs, and sheep. The big collected Bald cypresses start out pretty much the same way. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases (at no extra cost to you). That will give me a head start on the tapering transition. Bald Cypress bonsai is immune to most diseases and pests. Watering Bald Cypress Bonsai. Young trees, in particular, are prone to become rootbound as the developing root ball pushes itself upward inside the pot. 2015. . Bald Cypress requires quite a bit of warmth and light, as you might expect by considering the plant’s native region. The leader needs to continue growing, and I’ll let it do just that, but I can also start getting callusing of the angle chop this year. Notice the additional branches and branch development compared to the picture above. A BC of this size, 6″ trunk (6″ above the soil), will invariably take about 10 years to reach a “finished,” showable state. Therefore, you will want to use a ready-mixed soil that is designed specifically for bald Cypress bonsai. When you’re working young BC branches, try to crack them gently as you position them after wiring. Here we go up the tree. Repotting serves several benefits. Full sun will dry the soil quickly, and this tree likes moist environments. Bald Cypress bonsai can be purchased from many nurseries and plant distributors, including common shops like Amazon. I literally made this design in under a year. However, if you experienced colder winters, keep the Bald Cypress inside. Now, looking at this specimen you might be wondering how it’s going to look like anything. Notice that things are starting to look up, because I’m putting (present and future) foliage masses in their necessary spots. Finally the coup de grace. What tool did you use to make that angled chop? She holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education degree. Whichever method you choose should yield good results. Well this one did. This is a bald cypress I purchased from Martin Sweeny last year at the Winter Silhouette Expo. It was brought up in another thread about whether or not Bald Cypress can develop knees in a pot. Ready to prune your Bald Cypress bonsai? Things To Contemplate There are a few things you got to consider first when beginning the bonsai hobby. To be sure, there’s a paucity of branches. However, you should make sure you never let the plant dry out at any point throughout the year. In fact, this plant likes the more confined conditions of bonsai growth, and as long as you provide it with the right care, it can live for hundreds of years. Fertilizing Your Bald Cypress Bonsai. Well-draining soil is a must for the Bald Cypress bonsai. The material was grown from a cutting. Now, looking at this specimen you might be wondering how it’s going to look like anything. Ideally, it should be a fertilizer that is well-balanced. Placement: The Bald Cypress needs a lot of light and warmth and should therefore be placed in full sun during the growing season.In a warm climate it can be kept outside all year round. Bald Cypress is native to North and Central America, while the former is found in the Mediterranean Region. Prune too soon, and your shoots will die back in the fall. I could have wired and man-handled it downward, but the fact is most of the energy of this tree is near the top so by simply cutting off the branch I’m sure to get a couple of buds in that same spot. However, if you prune in early spring, you’ll likely have good results.