Bald cypress trees are favorites among planters as they provide a calming presence. Their foliage provides shade and makes them an ideal fit within any backyard. But one common question about them is how fast will they grow? We did in-depth research on the topic, and here's what we learned.
A bald cypress tree will grow an average of two feet (24 inches) to three feet (36 inches) per year within most locations. Over time, bald cypress trees will reach a height of 60 to 80 feet and a spread of 25 to 30 feet when they mature.
But bald cypress trees will need the right conditions to reach these heights. The following sections will take you through how to grow one faster and various essential topics. You'll soon have everything needed to grow and care for one within your home's landscape.
How Can I Make My Bald Cypress Grow Faster?
Planters can help their bald cypress grow faster by planting it in fertile, moist soil. After all, growth is often much slower in dry conditions and nutritionally lacking soils. Bald cypress also should receive maximum sunlight to achieve a fast growth rate.
We have to avoid planting any lawn grasses underneath your bald cypress, though. It'll only create competition for moisture. Due to this, the tree's growth will likely become stunted and slower than you'd want.
Anyone with a newly planted bald cypress needs to pay close attention to its moisture levels, as well. Their young root system needs enough moisture to remain constantly moist for two to three months.
If there isn't enough rain during these months, irrigate the tree every two or three days deeply. You'll want to soak the soil out to the natural drip line. But one thing: you want to avoid is fertilizing a new bald cypress tree during its first year.
Instead, wait until its second year. You can then use a slow-release, high-nitrogen fertilizer to help increase its growth rate between years 2-10. The fertilization process should commence annually in the springtime.
But once the tree matures, it will develop a complex and deep root system. It won't need supplemental irrigation or fertilization to maintain a healthy growth rate. So you don't want to continue annual fertilizing after it gets past that ten-year mark.
Lastly, planters will want to maintain a 3-4 inch mulch layer around their tree's base. The material should be 12 inches out from the cypress's trunk. It'll help keep constant soil moisture while providing a slow release of organic components to your tree's root system.
Ideal conditions for bald cypress trees are between USDA hardiness zones 4-9. There have even been reports of these trees growing in zones lower than four or colder. It's not too shocking, as bald cypresses can withstand substantial snow, ice, and wind without significant damage.
So if you're living within those hardiness zones, there's no reason a bald cypress won't thrive. It could be the last piece to bring your yard together. But please, make sure you have enough room for them before planting.
Mature bald cypress trees will reach 60 to 80 feet and produce a spread of 25 to 30 feet. Therefore, planters will have to plan and account for these large measurements.
Potential Bald Cypress Tree Problems
Planters need to be aware of potential issues with their trees or plants. Thankfully, there isn't too much to worry about for the bald cypress tree from an issue standpoint. The main problem is often mites surfacing during dry summers without irrigation.
Mites are troublesome as their feeding can cause early needle-drop and leaf browning in the mid to late summer. These issues aren't what we want to see from any tree during those summer days.
Other notable issues are bagworms, fall webworms, and Cercospora needle blight. However, well-maintained bald cypress trees within proper growing conditions rarely have problems.
Is Bald Cypress Slow Growing?
Bald cypresses are considered slow-growing trees with long-lasting lifespans. These trees will reach up to 600 years in age, commonly. The growth will be 24-36 inches per year when in proper conditions, fitting with most other slow-growing trees.
In comparison, a fast-growing tree like a silver maple will exceed 36 inches of growth per year without issue. But it's also essential to note bald cypresses aren't the slowest growing trees out there. After all, trees like water gums will grow about 12 inches or less per year.
How Long Does It Take To Grow A Cypress Tree?
As we said, bald cypress trees will grow slowly over hundreds of years. But it should take them between 30 and 40 years (assuming they grow two feet per year) to reach their mature height. Of course, this growth rate will depend on the care and how well they're maintained.
But if you stick with what you've learned in our article, it shouldn't be too difficult. It also helps that bald cypress trees aren't high-maintenance plants. They do much of the work themselves, and planters reap the benefits of their beautiful foliage.
How To Plant A Bald Cypress Tree
Since you now have a handle on the ideal conditions to grow a bald cypress, we thought it'd be helpful to provide a quick guide on planting one.
Typically, planting a bald cypress shouldn't be too complicated. To begin:
1. Remove The Circling Roots
In most cases, Bald cypress trees are available as nursery-grown container plants. You can usually expect any tree grown in plastic pots to have circling roots. You will need to remove these roots before starting the planting process.
Some people might view this action as drastic, but it's necessary. Removing these circling roots will help the bald cypress tree's health long-term. After all, it'll prevent root girdling that puts unnecessary pressure on a tree's main trunk.
You can use a planting knife or sharp spade to shave off the tree's outer circling roots.
2. Locate The Root Flare
Once the circling roots are removed, look through the container's topsoil. You'll want to find the root flare where the cypress's tree trunk meets its roots. Most nurseries will plant trees a bit deep in their pots typically. It keeps them from blowing over when out in the field.
So if you plant the bald cypress at the same soil level as it has within its container, it'll be too deep. Proceed to look for the first woody roots shooting off the tree's stem. Use it to indicate where the soil surface needs to be level with the tree after planting.
3. Plant Your Tree
Your last step is digging a hole and planting the tree. We recommend using a hole with the same depth as the container and around 1.5 times its width. Once the hole's dug, carefully set your tree's root ball into it and backfill with soil.
Don't forget to crumble up any sticky, large clods pushing them around the tree's roots. Then, proceed to give your new bald cypress tree some water. You also want to spread a layer of weed below its canopy.
To Wrap It Up
Bald cypresses trees are known for being slow-growing trees. But if they're planted in fertile and wet soil with maximum sunlight, their growth rate can quicken significantly.
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