Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 17, 2012

From: Winter Park, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Cypress trees near pool in Winter Park FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Winter Park (Orlando) Florida. I have been gifted two potted cypress trees that I need to get into the ground. The only place I can plant them is in my backyard in between a stand of non-invasive bamboo trees. I cannot plant them in my front yard as I have a septic tank and drainfield. My concern is that I have an in ground pool and if I planted the cypress out back they would be approx 20 feet from the edge of the pool. Is this safe? If not, how far should I plant the cypress from the pool, septic tank and drainfield? Thanks. Lisa

ANSWER:

Unless there is some compelling reason to do otherwise, we strongly suggest you hold off on removing from their pots and replanting those cypresses until cooler weather, like November to January. Put the pots in the appropriate amount of sunlight, make sure the pots have good drainage and water them.

Now, when you say "cypress" we can't seem to find any native cypresses that would be appropriate for potting. We are guessing you may have a Lemon Cypress. Lemon cypress is a cultivar of Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress), a native of California. These seem to be very popular in the U.K., at least on the Internet, where they would be indoor potted plants.

From our previous Mr. Smarty Plant answers, we found one on care of a lemon cypress tree, from Winter Springs, FL. There are some more links in that answer about outdoor gardening with this plant.

If you go to this USDA Plant Profile Map on Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress), you will see that it is native to California and introduced into Puerto Rico, but not Florida.

If you follow this link to Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress), you will find that is very NOT like the lemon cypress, but that is at close as we come to anything from our Native Plant Database.

So, after wandering around a bit, back to the subject of where to plant those trees. First, not in the front over the septic tank and drainfield. Woody plants will get their roots into that field, seeking moisture, quick as a wink.

We believe that because the cupressus roots tend to be somewhat fibrous, but also woody, that 20' from your pool would be sufficient.

 

More Planting Questions

Growing pecan and fruit trees near Canyon Lake, Texas
July 07, 2014 - I just bought a property on the north side of Canyon Lake in the Hill Country of Texas. Most of the trees around are cedar, and a few live oak. I know I have seen beautiful Pecan trees as well as seve...
view the full question and answer

Brown leaves on possumhaw holly in Grandview TX
July 02, 2009 - What would be likely causes for brown leaves on possumhaw holly? We have 2, one was planted in spring 2008, and a slightly larger one planted late winter/early spring this year. Most of the leaves a...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Sedona AZ
August 02, 2013 - I live In Sedona Az. A builder just built a house next to my house and the new house is ugly to look at. What plant or tree would grow fast and reach 18 foot in height fast. It can be about 5 to 6 foo...
view the full question and answer

Season to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle from Fallbrook CA
July 25, 2013 - Would like to know which season would be the best to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle in Fallbrook, CA area? I presently have invading bamboo, which I want to get rid of. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for a bird/small wildlife refuge in Wichita Co, TX.
August 26, 2011 - With our continuing drought in North Texas, I'm planning to transform my small backyard into a bird/small wildlife "refuge". What types of native plants and grasses can I plant in dry, hot Wichita ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.