Here’s where we left off with this bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, a couple of weeks ago. I had made mention of the fact that defoliating a healthy bald cypress in early July leads to a new flush of fresh growth within two or three weeks. It’s common for BC to get ratty looking foliage in mid- to late summer. While this doesn’t cause any permanent harm, it’s pretty unattractive. So why not do something about it? So on this developing flat-top style tree, I went at it hard July 4th weekend. By August 1st the tree had thrown lots of new strong shoots, and was ready for its next round of work. So after some fine wiring and judicious trimming, we had this result.
This is where we are today. My new shoots are now four to six inches long, and it’s time to give them a final trim for 2015. As the remainder of the growing season winds down, this new growth will harden off in time for winter. Next year, we get into serious ramification.
I also had the opportunity to correct something that didn’t look quite right to me following the previous session. The main left-hand leader looked a little bit long relative to the right-hand leader and my plan for the overall silhouette of the tree. I hadn’t noticed this until I photographed the tree back on August 1st. Which brings up another good bit of advice on developing your trees: take photos of it in its various stages. The camera will often show you flaws you just can’t see standing in front of the tree.
In this shot, you can see I’ve brought in the left-hand leader enough to restore the crown’s balance. This bit of tough-love, done now, will yield great results down the road.