I love fast-developing trees. Some species and styles naturally lend themselves to rapid progress. The flat-top Bald cypress is a perfect example of this phenomenon.

This specimen was collected in Winter 2019, and here’s how it looked after the initial styling in early June. Not much to look at, but you can see where I’m going.

This is where you can take a flat-top BC in two summer months. The basic structure was established at the initial styling. From that point, there are two main chores that must be done. They aren’t hard to do, but sometimes they conflict with one another. Chore number one is vigilant control of the crown structure of the flat-top. What does this mean? BC is powerfully top-dominant. If you don’t keep a tight rein on the growth in the apex of the tree, the leaders will quickly overthicken and ruin your desired proportions. Following that initial wiring, if you don’t step in and wire the secondary branches while pruning (“cooling off”) the leaders, you won’t be happy with what happens next. The second chore is somewhat more passive: you let the lower branches run, and encourage any strong shoots that grow straight up (you can see this on the two lowest branches). These branches need to get thicker, but the top-dominance saps energy from them and there’s little you can (or should) do about it. All you can do is manage what’s going on. In year two, it gets easier to balance energy as the crown gets more finely developed and its growth rate slows.
This is the Dwarf yaupon I styled just last month. You probably remember where I started with it – essentially a hedge shrub that had been cut to some lines. So it got a big haircut and some wiring.
Yaupons grow very well in summer, so I knew this specimen would fill in quickly. This is just over a month later, and I had to trim away a lot of extra shoots before I snapped this photo. One thing to keep in mind about Yaupon, you need to wire the branches while they’re relatively tender. Once they get stiff, wiring and bending tends to produce broken rather than shaped branches. Not what you want. Summer can be one of the best times to make great strides with certain species. I hope this has given you a reason to brave the heat!