The 2018 Bald Cypress Harvest, Part 1

Special note to our BC wish list subscribers: once the BC we collect this year start budding, I’ll begin sending out advance photos of candidates per your requests.  For anyone not currently on our list who would like to be, just send me an email with the size you’re looking for and/or budget and I’ll add you.  We work the list in order, FCFS.  Thanks!

Here’s today’s haul, eleven trees of varying sizes.  Bald cypress is not hard to collect, but it does take some manpower.  I recommend a cordless reciprocating saw and a young, strong man to help.  This part took about an hour.






The bigger challenge is preparing the trees for container life.  BC in the swamps tend to grow in a mucky soil along with massive amounts of grass and weeds.  This all has to go.  Each of the trees I collected today will take about 30-45 minutes to clean up.  Once all the muck is gone, the base is sawed flat and the roots given a final trim.  Notice how close these are cut to the trunk.  This is all you need.

Nice specimen, eh?  The trunk is 4-5″ 4-5″ from the soil surface.  Really nice buttressing and flaring roots, and I love the movement!







Here’s a big, classic Bald cypress bonsai-to-be.  This one has a 6″ trunk, and is destined to be a formal upright.  I’m thinking any collection could benefit with this tree in it.













This one is even bigger than the previous one, trunk about 7″ 7″ above the soil (once I potted it).  The photo doesn’t do it justice.  This is your classic hunky masculine Bald cypress.  Isn’t the taper on this one and the one before it superb?

I’ll post updates as BC collecting season continues.  My next trip is scheduled for a couple weeks from now.

I’d love to hear what you think of these trees.

8 Replies to “The 2018 Bald Cypress Harvest, Part 1”

  1. Robert Gardner

    Please put me on your B.C.list mat not be able to afford your 6″ or bigger size but would like to try

    • Zach Smith Post author

      Thank you, Clem. I love collecting these trees, revealing all of their traits in the cleanup process, and then just looking at them while I have them. It never gets old.

  2. Robert

    What about your after collection care on these? Do you put outdoors even with the potential freezes we still get in south? Do you water like any otherbonsai? Do you water more? If outside do you shade for a few weeks? Do you place indoors or cold frame when a freeze is supposed to come?

    • Zach Smith Post author

      No special care unless the temps will get below about 25F. Then on the ground to about 15F. For temps below that, I’d only have prayers as I have far too many trees to protect and no massive greenhouse to put them in. I water like my other trees, as needed. No shade is needed, there’s no foliage to transpire moisture.


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