It’s no secret we like Taxodium at SFA Gardens, Nacogdoches, Texas. We’re home to a wide range of varieties, provenances, hybrids, and new forms – perhaps one of the finest collections in the world. Well, here’s a cool clone to think about; it’s a unique fairly easy-to-root dwarf bald cypress – plus it’s a Texas native. It was discovered on the edge of the main lake at JBerry Nursery, which was once Hawkins Nursery at Grand Saline, Texas. As Jim Berry is prone to do with a new plant, he rooted a few, tested them for a while but finally decided not to run with the plant in his product line. It just didn’t fit the mantra of his nursery. It was too slow, too small, no color, and enjoyed a market of maybe ten people, of which he knew I was one. When he asked if I wanted it I said, “let me think about it. Yes.” The image below is the original tree but, to be honest, it had accidentally been cut back a few years ago when the brush along the edge of the lake was being taken care of. This is the regrowth. If you peer through the foliage at the base, there’s a six-inch diameter trunk there.
I like this plant. I think it’s perfect for the small landscape – enjoying all the attributes of the species, except for size. From our original small start of one gallon plants, we’ve built up a good number of stock plants for cutting wood. It takes 12 weeks to build a decent root system on a cutting. Removed from mist and very lightly fertilized, the liners can be potted up into ones during the first winter. For the best cuttings, it’s best to cut the stock plant back hard to force strong vigorous shoots that root well. For my way of thinking, it’s all about the stock plant.
This clone is not available in the trade that I know of. We think it should be. For the last few years we have been offering the plant at the SFA Gardens two annual plant sales. We find it better than other dwarf balds because of it’s form and dense branching habit – and the fact that it can be rooted in good percentages.
Texas A & M University’s extension agent Laura Miller enjoying the shape and form of this dwarf bald cypress
November 17, 2019