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What’s The Best Fertilizer For Bald Cypress Trees?

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Figuring out how to take care of the trees in your garden can be tricky sometimes. Do you want to fertilize the bald cypress you have planted but do not know which kind to use? Well, we've done plenty of research and have all of the answers here for you. Let's check it out.

In general, you want to use a balanced 8-8-8 or 13-13-13 fertilizer on bald cypress trees. This species particularly likes fertilizer with nitrogen included in its formula, so that's an ingredient to watch out for. Bald cypress also enjoys phosphorus and potassium, so the more nutrient-rich the fertilizer you use, the better your tree will respond.

As we begin, we will cover all things bald cypress and discuss what fertilizer to use on one. Whether you're new to growing this tree species or need help with a slow grower, we're here to offer some tips and tricks. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!

Closeup of orang and green colors of Bald Cypress tree Taxodium distichum in a bright blue sky - What's The Best Fertilizer For Bald Cypress Trees

What Fertilizer Works Best For Bald Cypress Trees?

d Cypress Taxodium Distichum (swamp, white-cypress, gulf or tidewater red cypress) green tree in public landscape city Park Krasnodar or 'Galitsky park' in sunny autumn

Like we covered, bald cypress responds well to nutrient-rich, balanced fertilizer. In general, formulas with nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are best.

On top of that, 8-8-8 and 13-13-13 labeled plant foods will work perfectly for cypress trees, so that's what we recommend. You can also try using fresh manure to fertilize bald cypress, so that's another idea to consider.

Regardless, it's best to purchase a liquid fertilizing option, as this will reach the roots of your cypress faster than other options.

Lebanon Seaboard GreenView 13-13-13 Fertilizer

This balanced fertilizer works well on trees, has a nitrogen-rich formula, and comes in a 33-pound bag.

View this fertilizer on Amazon.

How Do You Fertilize A Bald Cypress Tree?

Fertilizing a bald cypress is very easy. To do this, all you need is your fertilizer and some water. Ideally, you will use a liquid or water-soluble fertilizing product near the base of your tree, as watering it right after will activate its feeding power.

You can sprinkle/pour your fertilizer around the base of your tree, making sure to follow its instructions carefully. Overusing fertilizer can harm your plant's roots, so try to use a moderate amount.

How Often Should You Fertilize Bald Cypress Trees?

You want to wait about 12 months after planting a bald cypress to fertilize it. Doing this will allow your tree's root system to become strong enough to handle the powerful effects of fertilizer.

Once the first year passes, this is when you can create a fertilizing schedule of every 12-24 months for your tree, which you can follow through its lifetime.

Generally, bald cypress doesn't need much fertilization, so once a year is more than enough. As we mentioned, using fresh manure is also a great fertilizer that you can apply periodically throughout the year, so that's a good alternative.

Do Bald Cypress Trees Have Deep Roots?

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) and multiple cypress knees sticking out from the ground in a wetland

No, bald cypress trees are not known to have very deep roots. Instead, this tree's root system tends to stay a few feet below the ground's surface, making them more prone to wind and weather damage.

Furthermore, cypress tree roots will grow horizontally, often spreading a few feet in every direction. This can make fertilizing your tree a bit easier, as there is a better chance of your plant food seeping into its root system.

However, because bald cypress has a shallower root system, using too much fertilizer can harm your tree, which is why we only recommend doing this every 1-2 years.

Too many nutrients can send your cypress into shock and, in some cases, even kill it.

How Invasive Are Cypress Tree Roots?

Overall, cypress tree roots are not invasive. This applies to bald cypress as well, meaning you don't have to worry about your tree's root system overlapping another plant.

That said, bald cypress and cypress, in general, have shallower root systems, which can be more prone to disease, damage, and overwatering.

Do Bald Cypress Trees Need Lots Of Water?

Depending on how old a bald cypress tree is, this can affect its water needs. For newer plants, you'll want to water a bald cypress about once per week.

Every 2-3 weeks should be sufficient if your tree is more mature. Ideally, a bald cypress tree should get about an inch of moisture each time you water it, so try to keep that in mind.

Again, this cypress species is common to wetter climates and ecosystems, so it won't be the end of the world if you overwater now and then.

Can You Overwater A Bald Cypress?

Yes, it is possible to overwater a bald cypress tree. Considering its shallow root system, bald cypress tends to absorb moisture quickly, thus needing less water than other plants.

On top of that, bald cypress prefers damp soil, not overly saturated, as this can cause their roots to "rot," which nobody wants to deal with.

As we covered above, giving your cypress about an inch of water every 1-2 weeks is better, so anything more won't always be helpful.

Are Cypress Trees Acid Loving?

Bald cypress trees full of seeds in autumn.

Yes! Cypress trees love acidic soil. Bald cypress, specifically, tends to grow best in soil with a pH of <6.8, so the more acidity, the better.

Furthermore, bald cypress does well in soil rich in iron, so you may want to fertilize with a product including some.

That said, cypress does not tolerate calcium carbonate, so that's something to avoid if possible.

Are Coffee Grounds Good For Bald Cypress?

Although your tree doesn't necessarily need coffee grounds, you can certainly use these to improve acidity. Especially for cypress trees lacking iron, increasing the amount of acid in their soil can help them access it, ultimately helping with their health and growth.

You can also try peat moss or sulfur instead of coffee grounds if you prefer something different, so those are ideas to consider.

Regardless, make sure that the coffee grounds you spread around the base of your tree are used, as fresh grounds will not work to increase acidity.

Where Do Bald Cypress Trees Grow?

Typically, bald cypress trees grow in the southeastern United States. Specifically, these beautiful trees thrive in the Mississippi Valley drainage basin.

This is a swamp-friendly species, so bald cypress can certainly handle its moisture. That said, if you're growing one in your garden, you want to make sure it has partial shade and doesn't sit in saturated soil.

Furthermore, you can expect a bald cypress to grow in USDA zones 4a-11, so as long as you're within those regions, you shouldn't run into any issues.

How Long Do Bald Cypress Live?

Bald cypress has an impressive lifespan and can get up to 600 years old. Of course, this won't usually happen in places like your backyard, but it isn't impossible.

The current oldest bald cypress tree is around 2,624 years old and currently lives along the Black River in  North Carolina. Again, this is very long for a tree, regardless of species, so this is a great long-term option.

Are Bald Cypress Trees Easy To Grow?

Closeup of orange and green colors of Bald Cypress tree (Taxodium distichum) in a bright blue sky.

In general, growing a bald cypress tree will be very easy. Considering this tree can survive in swamp conditions, a bald cypress won't need much attention, more than regular watering.

On top of that, a bald cypress will typically reach 40-50 feet in 15-25 years, so it's a pretty fast grower. You also don't need to fertilize a bald cypress more than every year, making its overall maintenance pretty minimal.

How Do You Know If A Cypress Tree Is Dying?

There are some signs to be mindful of for those wondering if their cypress tree is dying. Most commonly, a dying bald cypress will begin to lose its needles, so if your tree becomes bare during its prime growing season, something's wrong.

A dying or sick cypress tree will also start to discolor, turning brownish in its foliage. That said, your tree will naturally lose its needles and have branches die as time goes on, so this isn't always the end for your plant.

Furthermore, if you haven't watered in a while or used too much plant food for your cypress, this could also send it into shock, so it's best to keep a close eye on your tree for any irregularities.

To Wrap Things Up

Knowing what fertilizer to use is essential whether you have a newly planted bald cypress or a mature tree. From what we found, a balanced 8-8-8 or 13-13-13 fertilizer for bald cypress, although anything rich in nitrogen, will do.

You also want to use a fertilizer with phosphorous and potassium, so keep an eye out for those ingredients. Timeline-wise, try only to give your tree fertilizer every 12-24 months once it reaches one year old, as too many nutrients can shock its roots.

Regardless, make sure to check your tree for discoloring and needle loss periodically, and don't be afraid to water it every week or so.

Made it to the end? Check out these super helpful related plant posts below!

Why Is My Bald Cypress Tree Turning Yellow?

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