Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - October 03, 2009

From: Lakeland, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Dirt around bald cypress in Lakeland FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dirt around trunk of cypress.. Our tree is a Bald Cypress. We dug a hole to install a jacuzzi and put the dirt/clay around the trunk of the cypress to level the area out. I also laid several flag stones around it to make it a patio area. I have now removed all the stones and all the dirt. Is there anything else I can do? Help.

ANSWER:

That fact that your tree is a bald cypress makes it possible that the tree will survive. Because the bald cypress often grows in swamp areas with water over portions of the tree, it is less susceptible to suffocation. Beyond that, we have no idea. The tree is deciduous, the only cypress that is (thus, the word "bald" in its common name) so it should now go into a semi-dormant stage and hopefully begin to recover. We're just gardeners and volunteers, not plant pathologists, and this was the first time we had been asked a question about putting 3 feet of the trunk of a tree under soil. The message here is that plants should be allowed to grow where they are native, and in conditions that are normal for them. They have evolved over millions of years to that environment and those conditions, and cannot change overnight to adjust to changed conditions. But plants also are programmed to survive, so hopefully your bald cypress will recover and go on for many more years.

 

More Trees Questions

Failure to thrive of desert willow in Wimberley TX
August 10, 2010 - I have a desert willow. It is always, whether I water it or leave it alone, yellow/ brown leaves, dark spots on the leaves, losing leaves. now it looks sad and not very healthy. Can you please tell m...
view the full question and answer

Sticky stuff dripping from non-native crape myrtle in Austin
August 01, 2012 - There is sticky sap-like stuff dropping from the very large crepe myrtle in my yard. The tree has quit blooming. This didn't happen last year when it was so dry; it started after we had all the rain ...
view the full question and answer

Growing live oaks from acorns
January 25, 2010 - What is the best way to grow Live Oaks from acorns?
view the full question and answer

Plants for streambank area in Oregon
September 14, 2012 - I am ready to replant a streambank area with native plants..what do you recommend for the Willamette Valley in Oregon? Thanks much!
view the full question and answer

What caused purple heartwood in my Tuliptree?
June 15, 2009 - My Tulip tree was hit by lightning and all bark from the base of the tree up to 50 feet was blown off. The tree also sustained a significant crack through the trunk. When the tree was cut down, we...
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.