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Is my Weeping Cypress trying to tell me something?

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ridge blog
Joined: 10/19/2008
Location: zone5
Posts: 68
Posted: Jan/01/2009 10:02 AM PST

The weeping cypress was here when I bought my home in 2001.It is about 10 ft tall and very close to a lined pond.I called a gardening place and was told to feed Scotts tree and shrub in fall and spring and scratch/tickle the earth underneath the tree...which seams like its not loose under the tree like its planted shallow I dont know.This tree takes a horrible beating in the winter wind,ice....In the spring I clean it up take off what little brown and broken limbs....And I look for growth and there is always some new fresh growth ...a little.I have felt for some time now that the weeping cypress is trying to tell me "I really do like you..but I wish you knew what you're doing"...I would like to dig it up clean up the roots,back it off the pond 3 feet, prepare a better hole, maybe give it some support I know its a weeping cypress and all,it just seems a little gangly and it does want to live.I appreciate your help.
ga_girl photos
Joined: 8/02/2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1335
Posted: Jan/01/2009 11:43 AM PST

If it was already there in 2001 then it probably has a good root system and may be tough to dig up. But it also sounds like it is not a good spot for it. Since you suspect the winter conditions are hard on it, I'd suggest a more protected spot (such as adjacent to a building, but not too close! where it does not face the prevailing winter winds).

A few considerations:

- wait until late spring to move it
- research how big it will be at maturity to make sure you choose a suitable new location
- about a month before you dig it, do some light root pruning in roughly the area where you will be digging it up. This will allow the plant to recover a bit in place from the severing of the smaller roots. I am not familiar with how cypress roots spread, but perhaps you can research that ahead of time (that is, are they deep roots or widely spreading roots?).
- before you dig it up, dig the new hole first. Not too deep as a tree that is too deeply planted can suffer but certainly wide enough.
- after you move it to the new hole, you don't need soil amendments, but firmly press the soil back in place to eliminate air pockets and get good soil to root contact.
- top dress the area with compost (you can buy it in a bag) and a good layer of mulch (not too deep).
- this year, water regularly when it doesn't rain enough as if it were a newly planted tree.

I would not bother with commercial fertilizers. Compost provides nice slow release nutrients and can be added again each year.
tnjtrees photos
Joined: 6/07/2008
Location: Heyburn Idaho
Posts: 77
Posted: Jan/01/2009 12:50 PM PST

You could also try planting other plants, around it to protect it from the wind and ice. Make sure these shrubs or plants will tolerate this area. This might be an option rather than disturbing the already established roots.
Best of luck. Jared. T-N-J Trees.
ridge blog
Joined: 10/19/2008
Location: zone5
Posts: 68
Posted: Jan/02/2009 6:20 AM PST

Thanks ga girl and jared.I just thought maybe someone might have experience with this tree or could put up the link I need to go to.I did try to look up the tree imfo on this garden guide. Im not as good with the puter..getting better but not fluent.So that is what I was trying to figure out, I know some shrubs roots arent real deep,I was trying to figure out the characteristics of this tree. Theres a gazabo with a pond next to it,in the right hand corner of my fenced yard.The pond is surrounded by a lacy red maple,that cypress is close to the right hand corner but closer to the pond, a green lacy maple a wisteria and low growing evergreens, dotted in between.People dont take in account things grow. So to just move it back off the pond, closer to the corner,that gives it more room,and standing it up better, getting rid of the unhealthy lean The reason I called the,actually,it was a garden radio show is- down my street this house had a beautiful specimen in the front yard,I watched it go down hill the people had to remove it.I was told foundations/cement leaches bad stuff that could have been the demise.I want to really know specifics about this tree to provide the best care.
ga_girl photos
Joined: 8/02/2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1335
Posted: Jan/02/2009 6:59 AM PST

The first thing you have to do is to figure out the scientific name of your plant. "Weeping cypress" is a common name and might lead you to several botanically different plants. And keep in mind that the "weeping" habit might mean that this is a cultivar (cultivated variety) of a plant that doesn't normally weep. The cultivar name is always shown in quotes after the scientific name.

When I look up "weeping cypress", I find the following possibilities:

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula' (now called Xanthocyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula')
Taxodium distichum ‘Cascade Falls’
Chamaecyparis funebris

Frankly, most of the results seem to be for the first one (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula') so check that one out and see if it is what you have. Then you can search on the scientific name (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) to see how it grows.
ridge blog
Joined: 10/19/2008
Location: zone5
Posts: 68
Posted: Jan/08/2009 5:26 AM PST

I am sooooooo happy I was told to do a google search and I found everything!! I thank you... my cypress thanks you....I was having a hard time figuring out was how to get to the imformation.
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