Soak Up the Facts on Cypress Tree Care
It’s often assumed that cypress trees require wetter environments with a great deal of moisture in the soil to thrive. However, some varieties do fare well on dry land and can withstand occasional periods of drought without suffering too greatly. The two species found in the United States – bald cypress and pond cypress – do, however, require different environments, making certain areas of the country more welcoming to one than the other. Regardless of where these two varieties grow, cypress tree care always requires keeping them thoroughly watered.
Cypress trees have a straight trunk that tapers at the base. In cultivated landscapes, they grow between heights reaching from 50 to 80 feet tall, with a spread that spans from 20 to 30 feet. These conifers shed their leaves annually and have short needles with a feather-like appearance. While most varieties have needles that turn brown during the winter months, a few varieties of cypress turn shades of yellow or gold in fall.
Knobby Kneed Trees
Bald cypress trees have the tendency of forming “knees,” which are pieces of root that grow above-ground in strange, mysterious-looking shapes. These “knees” are most common to cypress trees growing in water, rather than on land. The deeper the water around them, the taller the knees grow, and some knees even reach a height of up to six feet. These roots are beneficial in supplying the tree with the necessary amount of oxygen.
Both bald and pond cypress trees grow well in areas with lots of water, though bald cypress grow naturally in swamplands, along lakes, near springs and in bodies of water such as rivers and streams. In properly cultivated landscapes, bald cypress, the variety preferred by homeowners and landscape designers, trees grow in almost any soil and care of established trees is minimal.
Pond cypress trees, by contrast, prefer areas with still, non-moving water and do not grow well on land – even with a great amount of attention and meticulous care. Because they need swampy soil with low levels of nutrients and oxygen, pond cypress trees are very rarely used in home landscapes. They grow naturally in wetlands throughout the Southeast such as the Florida Everglades.
Water-logged and Loving It
Cypress tree care is mostly dependent on planting them in the right location. It’s important to select a site with either full sun or partial shade and rich, acidic soil – ideally in zones 5 through 10. Once the trees are planted, drench the soil around them and cover the root area with three to four inches of organic mulch. For the first few months after planting, soak the trees with water every week. It’s important to note that watering cypress trees is most crucial in spring – when they enter a growth spurt – and again in fall, just before they enter their period of dormancy. Once the trees have established themselves, they can withstand the occasional drought, but experts recommend that cypress tree care include watering them if more than a month passes without rain. Wait a year after planting before fertilizing for the first time, and then only fertilize the tree every year or two with a balanced fertilizer or a thin layer of compost in fall.
At Executive Landscaping, Inc., we see the uniqueness of cypress trees and use them in landscape designs for properties where areas of extreme moisture might otherwise cause issues with creating visual appeal. In our years of working in the various types of landscapes in conditions found all along the Gulf Coast, we’ve gained a reputation for our stunningly beautiful masterpieces and the quality of our work is one our clients trust.
Call the landscaping experts at Executive Landscaping, Inc. to learn more about cypress tree care and the other landscaping services we offer today!