A New Bald Cypress In the Bonsai Garden

I’m a huge fan of Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) !  They are a deciduous conifers and when you see one they are awe inspiring and unmistakable.  The trees will share with you a sense of power and age…and the fact that they never give up.

Here’s is a few in winter:



Naturally they grow in the Southeastern U.S. as well as the Gulf Coastal Plains.  They are lowland trees and are not found at high elevations….they like swamps and wetlands.

Yesterday I picked up a new one from the nursery.  They are always sold out, so I had to grab one.  I have a tree buying problem.


This one has great potential and it is healthy so I’m happy with it!  Almost 7 feet tall and not grafted.  I stuck it right in the back of my Jeep.  Did I mention how much I love my Jeep?

These are very hardy trees, and you literally cannot over water them.  In good conditions they grow fast,  3 feet or more a year. As bonsai they are excellent as well and create an amazing composition when executed correctly.

You need low buds and branching when buying from a nursery.  As we know, this tree will need to be chopped and made much smaller.  If a tree is already budding low, it will make your life easier.

The good news is that Bald Cypress will bud all over the trunk constantly.  It’s a wonderful trait when developing it but once the tree is in refinement you will have to continuously remove them for purpose of the trees image and also energy direction.

Here, check this guy out…budding all the way down to within inches of the soil:


That little knob or nub you see in the middle of the trunk is called a “cypress knee” and is one of the unique features of this species.  They grow them to help support the tree.  In fact Bald Cypress rarely get overturned even buy hurricanes.

These knees create an mysterious and peaceful scene:


I could trunk chop this tree now, but I think I’m going to wait.  I want it to grow bigger and thicker.  Fastest way to do that is let the tree grow, and get tall.  The trunk will have to thicken to support the weight.

I want the tree a little bigger before I move it to it’s next phase of bonsai training.

For now it will go near one of my benches to make the area a little more inviting while the tree grows out.  They love full sun so it will planted with no protection and get sun from sun up to sundown.

It has been windy here lately and the pot is not stable on it’s own.  I will be putting this tree in a tub of water this coming week (when I have time to get the job done).

To solve the problem of it tipping over, I simply dug a hole the same width as the pot and buried the pot half way.  Much better, and easier than using cord and stakes, or putting rocks around it to keep it vertical.

It actually doesn’t look bad either (for now):


Some more views of it’s location:



For more great pictures of Bald Cypress in nature, you should definitely read Bill Valavanis post Visiting Ancient Florida Bald Cypress.  Lots of great pictures there.

I’ll write up a post once I finish giving this tree a permanent pot/home.

Hope you enjoyed it and Happy Monday!



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