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The bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) originally comes from the swampy Everglades in the south of the USA and is botanically one of the sequoias. The tree, which grows up to 35 meters in height and is extremely long-lived, was already widespread in the Jura around 200 million years ago. The robust bald cypress is ideal for bonsai training.

The bald cypress is perfect as a bonsai

location and substrate

If possible, keep your bald cypress outdoors all year round, because the tree needs a lot of sun and air. In addition, this bonsai is quite hardy, but should be provided with a light winter protection (e.g. leaves, brushwood) and placed in a sheltered place. A moist, loamy soil that stores water well is suitable as a substrate. As a resident of the Everglades, waterlogging does not bother the bald cypress, quite the opposite: a spot directly on or even in the water, for example in the garden pond, is best.

watering and fertilizing

Bald cypresses should always be kept moist and must not dry out. The substrate should be covered with moss or mulch to prevent it from drying out. Therefore, the bonsai should always be watered abundantly and placed in a shallow bowl of water in summer. When watering, use rainwater with as little lime as possible and spray the whole plant. Otherwise, the tree is supplied with an organic-based liquid bonsai fertilizer during the growing season.

Cutting and Wiring/Shaping

For the typical bonsai shape, branches, twigs and shoots should be cut every six to eight weeks between May and September. The desired growth form is achieved by wiring with aluminum wire, although you should be quite careful with the bald cypress. The branches are quite brittle and can therefore not be worked on too much. Remove the wire by mid-May at the latest, otherwise unsightly marks will appear on the branches and twigs as the tree grows thicker.

repot

The bald cypress grows quite slowly and therefore only needs to be repotted about every three years. The roots should be pruned in order to maintain the balance between crown and root growth. The ideal planter is about two-thirds the size of the tree in terms of its circumference. The right time for repotting is spring, although you can still move the tree in September.

tips

Bald cypresses are not only suitable for bonsai because of their appearance, but also because of their robustness. Fungal diseases and pests are very rare.

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