En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - June 15, 2009

From: Moody, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Bald cypress with chlorosis in Texas
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a 6' tall Bald Cypress planted 2 years ago which just this year appears to be suffering from chlorosis. The tree was bought from a chain store. It receives some drainage water from my washing machine. Is it worth the effort to try to amend the soil etc. to help the existing Bald Cypress with its chlorosis or is it simply better in the long run to replace it with a more alkaline-tolerant tree? My soil is blackland clay with approx. 7.5 pH.

ANSWER:

Bald cypress Taxodium distichum (bald cypress) is a majestic tree with soft, ferny foliage that enhances many landscapes. It prefers acidic soils (pH <6.8 ) and has no tolerance for calcium carbonate. The alkalinity of your soil is affecting the availability of iron to the plant which causes the chlorosis. If you are using chlorine bleach in your washing machine, the the wash water may be raising the pH. I would suggest directing it away from the tree, or stop using it altogether.

There are two approaches to your problem; one is to change the pH of the soil, and the other is to increase the availability of iron for the tree. The websites below explain the methodology and the pros and cons of each method.

Kansas State University Research and Extension

 Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service

Taxodium distichum

 

 




 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Should you decide to replace the Bald Cypress, the Texas Red Oak Quercus buckleyi (Buckley oak)  is a beautiful tree that can tolerate your alkaline soil.

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Cover oak roots with a pond from Round Rock TX
December 22, 2012 - Hello! I have looked for this answer. We have 2 huge old beautiful live oaks. One is very close to the patio and house, and the other is about 20 feet of the house. Thus, part of their root systems ar...
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Mexican olive in Luling, TX
August 04, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants: we live in Luling, just south of Austin and have a 4 year old Mexican Olive tree; question: how do we propagate this 'hard to find' tree? Thank you so much.
view the full question and answer

Native plants for under a black walnut from Lansing MI
October 04, 2012 - What native plants can you recommend that will grow in Michigan under a mature black walnut tree?
view the full question and answer

Soapberry tree problems in North Richland Hills, TX
September 01, 2010 - We have a small grove of soapberry trees. The city recently reconstructed the street and added a side walk which now sets as close at 1 foot from the nearest tree. Everything seemed fine until they ...
view the full question and answer

Oak leaf hydrangeas from Edwardsville IL
August 13, 2012 - Hello, I live in West Central Illinois (across the river from St. Louis) and I am considering planting several Oak leaf Hydrangea's in my yard. The location where I would like to plant them is und...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center