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Montezuma Cypress

Posted by willyt (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 17, 08 at 22:54

Lou in Midlothian,

I've read on this forum and Howard's forum of your interest in Montezuma Cypress. I share your interest in this tree. I bought two from a nursery in Frisco this fall and planted them. I was disappointed that the containerized trees were staked and very tall/frail/top heavy. I think they were 15 gal or so. Anywho, they seem to be struggling a bit this summer. My smaller BCs are doing better.

How are your trees doing in the heat? Have you found a source for NM trees or the Chinese hybrids? Has anyone tried the weeping variety Madrone sells? Any tips from those with more established trees? I'm starting to think the trees were taller than the root dev. and that I should just nurse them along.

I am in Cooke County and have planted specimen and fruit trees. Some are....Jujube, Persimmons, Peach, Mex. Plum, Pear, Apple, Walnut, Heartnut, Loquat, Lacebark Elm, Chin. Pistachio, Russian Olive. The Chinese trees are really suprising me with their vigor and drought resistance.

Thanks


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Montezuma Cypress

I'm sure Lou will chime in soon but I thought I would answer a few of your questions.

1) Source for Chinese hybrids - You can go to http://www.botanyshop.com/NanjingBeauty/NanjingBeauty.htm
for Nanjing Beauty. I'm not aware of others that are being commercially sold though SFA (Stephen F Austin)are doing studies on others I believe.
2) NMMC source : This has been an area of confusion I think. The seed/trees available recently are from NM are supposedly from a solitary cultivated tree in Las Cruces which "is only able to pollinate itself and therefore has a big problem with inbreeding suppression". There are reportedly 2 trees growing in the wild at elevation in the mountains of New Mexico that are able to cross pollinate but being able to get any seeds/trees from that source will probably be near impossible in the near future.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Hi willy,

I tend to stay away that's anything larger than 7g container size AND I also try to get anything under 6 feet with all the branches almost entirely the whole trunk. It's easier to fix any root problems and don't have to stake them. The low branches will stiffen and thicken up the trees quickly. The trees will establish pretty quickly.

How much and how often do you water your MC trees? It may take a couple years to establish them in that size so you probably would have to water deeply every week till the heat breaks. Did you provide mulch for them as well? If not, please mulch around them within 5 feet diameter. Spread compost on the ground thinly then use 3-4 inches layer of aged hardwood or cedar mulch. Also, sometimes it has to do with root system. If it was badly developed or had to be severely pruned to correct the problem, it may set them back severely. That's why I would like all the tree growers to start using Whitcomb system to develop superior system. My biggest beef is the trees growing in large containers. They tend to have terrible root system and very hard to fix because of thick hardened roots that have circled around and around. With Whitcomb system, the circling roots are prevented due to air root pruning or root constriction. I am growing about 50,60 seedlings (cypress, Mexico white oak and shantung maple) in the whitcomb rootmaker tray to get rid of annoying tap root and develop nice branched root system.

I planted 3 MCs (from Madrone Nursery) at the neighborhood park across from my house and they seem to be doing good, better than bald cypress trees in neighbors' lawns. We live on top of limestone rubbles and those BCs don't seem to like it much. Probably the seed source is from East, rather than Central Texas where there are BCs growing in limestone area along the rivers so they can handle high pH (alkaline) better than the eastern ones. I have NMMC in the 5g Rootmaker container right now and they were pretty small last year and didn't want to risk a chance of getting damaged by my dog or whatever. They have grown quite a bit. Chinese hybrid - you must be talking about Nanjing Beauty. It has nice green color to it. You can get it at Botany Garden Shop on the internet. For NMMC, you can get it at Woodlanders on the internet.

For the rest of the cypress trees at my other property, no idea but they looked really thirsty last month when I checked on them and I have no way of watering them. They're pretty much on their own but they were small to begin with and had all winter and spring to establish before summer came but it dried up too much unfortunately. I'm going back there in late august to do some weed trimming around them.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

My weeping MC from Madrone is doing quite well. It is well over 3" caliper after a 3/4" diameter start 3 years ago. I had to reset it once in 2006 when it was blown a little crooked.

Photobucket

Recent photo (never mind the large caucasion homo-sapien - he shows up in lots of my pictures) :-)

Montezuma Cypress


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

JD - How much was it for the weeping MC from Madrone? For some reason, I didn't think to ask for it when I was there. I may be driving through it on the way to Austin from Houston (I know big detour) if I can fit all the stuff with my dog in the back of SUV at the end of the month.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Lou,

I paid $13 for a (I believe) 2.5 gal tree - maybe 1 gal. It was just a little smaller than the NMMC I acquired from an unnamed source. The NMMC, btw, is growing extremely well, also. When my battery charges back up, I'll post a picture of that one, too. The leaf structure between these two trees is very different. The NNMC has larger leaves (longer and broader). It also kept its old leaves until, well, NOW. I can still find some leaves from last year (red/brown). It has grown at least 18" this year already.
J.D.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Hey Lou / willy,
Here's my NMMC. It has grown 19" since planted early this spring (maybe late winter - I can't remember when I got it now!)

NM Montezuma Cypress_with yardstick


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

J.D.-

That didn't take long for NMMC to get established before growing that much this year. Impressive. I noticed that mine are still keeping some of the older leaves too. I wonder just how cold it'd take for NMMC to completely drop all of the leaves.

I'm gonna give Madrone Nursery a call and see if they have weeping MC. I may also get Central Texas BC as well.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

I'm going past there this weekend myself, but I won't have room - 5 adults in my Grand Marquis with camping stuff. Maybe I could throw the camping stuff away on the way home and pick up some trees???
; - )

The Madrone MC loses its leaves every winter, but only after severe cold. I need to pay attention to that this winter.

J.D.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

*ahem* rent a uhaul small enclosed trailer! Hee hee...

Lou


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

I'll just make the folks in the back seat hold 2 each. That will get me home with 6 trees in good shape! LOL
J.D.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Thanks for the responses. Lou I'm watering twice a week and checking soil moisture before I do. They're mulched pretty well, nearly 3 feet. I think these trees just don't have the best root development and will need babying. Every tree I saw in this place was spindly an 6' tall. I would have much prefered smaller trees.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Im glad people are planting taxodium as ornamental trees. Have to say the weeping specimen above isn't impressing me with its weeping! Just a monstrous shrub. I still like it.

my only bc is a cultivated semi-dwarf called peve minaret. Its already grown more than 6 inches this year so it's not dwarf in the strictest sense. I think they really like our hot texas weather and long growing season.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

plants77,
I agree my 'weeping' form doesn't 'weep' like the BC weeping variety. Mature ones are shaped much like a live oak - very round. I've left most of the 'shrubby' limbs on it to help it build mass. I trimmed up about 18" last winter just to mow under it, but you can see it doesn't like being 'nekkid'. It just grew that 'fuzz'.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

J.D.,

Madrone Nursery doesn't have weeping MC! :( I am certainly very interested in Peve Minaret. I bet it'd grow here with MC or central texas BC root stock! Same goes for 'Shawnee Brave' that I've been wanting.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

I have been researching different varieties of trees for the last couple of days to plant in my yard the first of the year. I have a fairly large yard (3-4 acres) and a long driveway that I want to line with trees. My remaining 35 acre farm is bordered on two sides by rural roads. I am wanting to plant some larger, fast growing varieties along these areas to act as somewhat of a screen. Some of the property is gently sloping and well drained and other areas remain fairly wet (Crawdad ground) other than in Mid-Summer. The ground has quite a bit of slate and flint but in most areas the hardpan is 2' or greater below the surface. I have been particularly looking at the Dawn Redwood and several different types of Cypress. The Dawn Redwood and Bald Cypress are very similar in appearance and I am leaning towards the DR right now. I do like the Cypress though and really like the low profile and wider canopy of the Montezuma Cypress. From what I have read about this variety so far, it is primarily found in the southwestern U.S. Having read this, I am assuming that this tree would not do well in Kentucky (Zone 6) where I live. I just wanted to clarify this before I totally dismissed the idea. Even at that, I am not sure as to the availability of this variety. Thanks in advance for any responses.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

I think you should go with the Dawn Redwood. There is a beautiful one at Cave Hill cemetary? in Louisville. It is near the pond there. The Montezuma cypress would be very experimental for you and it did not did not do well in zone 5b. That MC was one of the hardier ones from New Mexico.

For the DFW folks, I don't think the Dawn Redwood does very well for us. I've seen a handful of them on the decline. They seem to do better if planted within a group of trees. It maybe that we are just too hot for them.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

dricha is right. It may be tough to grow MC esp the New Mexico source. I talked to someone from the arboretum in central Illinois and he told me that it didn't make it. You may have better luck with 'Nanjing Beauty'. I'm trying to remember what someone told me just how far it performed well. St. Louis? I would have to dig through thousands of emails for it. Dawn Redwood is nice. Go for it.

For DFW, Dawn Redwood may do just fine as long as it gets ample amount of moisture in low spot of area or by the pond/lake. I don't think it may do well in limestone soil if it doesn't get irrigated. They do best in southeastern area of USA where the soil and rainfall is better suited for them. Not only that, it actually is a lot better than the area where dawn redwood was found in China. Much faster growth in that southeastern area of USA.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

I tried a Dawn Redwood and it didn't make it a month in the hot weather of 2005 here in Justin, TX. I believe they would do better in less alkaline clay soil also. There is a 20' specimen around the corner that looks pitiful every summer. I can't believe it is hanging in there. I truly wish they would make it - they are beautiful trees.

Lou - I got a couple of little seed cones off of my MC from Madrone. I've got them stratifying right now. If I get them to germinate, I'll drop you a note.
J.D.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

J.D. - Don't you think it had more to do with highly sodic soil/water that led to demise of DR? So far 'Nanjing Beauty' seems to be doing pretty good over here. I think it is a very nice looking one. You should try that if you have room for it. Highly tolerant to high pH, sodium, calcium according to a professor who conducted this study... I will give you one next fall when I grow it out in 3g rootmaker if you're interested in trying one. They are still green right now over here so I would guess that they are at least semi-evergreen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nanjing Beauty


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Lou,
I'd love one. Keep me posted.

I'm sure the sodic soil/water played a major role in the DR demise along with the heat. The one growing in my neighborhood shows great stress above any watering lines also.

J.D.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

I am not to up on much but I believe these trees are the one I keep seeing DEAD the first year they plant them on the road sides in Freeport and some here in Richmond so they must need quite a bit of care more the the Cities provide.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

It does depend on how big they are to begin with. The larger they are, the more maintenance and longer period of time it takes to establish. If they aren't going to water them in the beginning then ANY trees will suffer.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Looking for some information. I live in Arizona between Phoenix and Tuscon. I bought 50 seeds. I want to plant. How do I germinate the seeds? Are they best planted rite into the ground? Also how fast or slow do they grow? My ground has caliche, but I have read that this tree does well in clay.
Trying to find something that does. I have two rosemerry bushed, one lived one died. Any grass out front has died. Grass out back does wonderful. No idea the difference. Anyway, love cypress and this one seems to have the least problems here with bugs n such. Thanks


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

While we're on the subject of MC's...

I few weeks back I bought one in a 4" pot for $1.99. It's about a foot tall. I figured it would make a fun science experiment if nothing else.

So-if I were to plant this little guy in the ground, what kind of growth rate could I expect, realistically. Would it be a 6' tree in a couple of years?


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Bjb, I would say around there but it really depends on how you maintain it. Plant right, water right and fertilze right and you get 3 to 8 feet a year.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

I've been looking at this old thread and something caught my eye as I was reading. Are there two different Montezuma Cypress' - a weeping one and a non-weeping one? I planted one (was it last Fall? Gosh I can't remember!!!) with the expectation that it would weep (after seeing pictures somewhere). It has done very well and grown quite a bit, see picture here:
Montezuma Cypress

HOWEVER, it doesn't appear (so far???) as very weepy. Is this something that would develop over time? I sure hope I have the weepy one so I don't! I have it planted in a prime spot by my driveway.

Also, since Dawn Redwoods are mentioned above also, I also bought one of those at the same time - a scrawny, rootbound tree in a 3 gallon pot. It was the only one at the nursery, at $19.99 instead of $69.99 for the large ones. I took a chance and planted it and it has astounded me with it's growth rate and healthiness. It is planted in full sun and gets lots of water (since it is in a bed with roses). I highly recommend this tree for those that have the right soil and climate (more acidy soil here and hot and humid). This is one of my favorite trees - it's just so lush and primeval looking!
Dawn Redwood


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Lynn,

MCs tend to look different from each other much like bald cypress. Short and wide, tall and skinny, etc, you get the idea. Some are just weepy. Some are just upright. Sometimes, it's just better to go with named cultivar if you're looking for specific growth habit. 'Sentindo' is a weepy type. Nanjing beauty is more of columnar type with upright branches. I have this one and so far, I like it.

Dawn Redwood is a great tree in right location. Apparently, it doesn't like growing in DFW area in calcareous soil except for rare sandy soil. Maybe deep clay soil? My brother grew a bunch of them from seeds. Growing rapidly this year in the container. He planted one at mom's house in Houston this year so we will see how it does compared to other cypress trees.

I need to go take pictures to show the difference between MCs. I'll be back later today to post pictures...


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Lou,
after reading this thread and your comments, I went hunting for a MC. I found one at enchanted gardens in Richmond. even though it is larger than you recommended, I think these guys took care of it. It was a 15 Gal. It is doing well. I will get pictures later. With the brutal heat and drought like conditions out here in Sugar Land, I have had to water the trees by hand a lot more. I watered it using a deep root feeder and also a garden hose, but still see a some of the needles that look brown. Any tips? I really don't want to loose this thing as I am the only one in my area that has one :). There are a lot of BC's here. But mine is probably the only MC.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

  • Posted by ltruett Zone, 9 Houston (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 26, 09 at 17:21

Icon,

When did you plant the tree? How often and how long do you water it?


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

I planted the tree in late February or March this year. I water it 2 times a week for about 5 minutes. If I am using the deep root feeder, I will water for about 10 minutes total on 4 sides.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

  • Posted by ltruett Zone, 9 Houston (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 26, 09 at 18:52

It is still getting established. It should do better next year. How are you watering it when you water 2x week for 5 min? At this point I would probably water less often but for longer depending on the rainfall.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

I would just use a regular sprinkler that would cover small area around the rootball (or dripline) for an hour once a week. The day is getting shorter so trees are putting more energy into root growth. I don't know about deep root feeder. Most roots are in the top 12 inches.

I think your ground may be a bit dry. My brother from Houston watered new trees for 20-30 minutes a week and it was still too dry. I found large cracks around one little cypress which may explain why it didn't grow much. I gave it a good soaking for 2-3 hours to get moisture deep into the ground for roots to grow into.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

My two MCs planted last year (spring before last) are struggling though the summer. They are in some kind of funk that I think mostly has to do with being heavily staked in the container and having horrible root development. These are 'Shades of Green' trees. My regular BC look much healthier than these guys. Hopefully they pull out of it next spring.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Lou thanks for the tips. I used just a garden hose. I let it soak around the base for about 15 minutes yesterday. I approximating the total water used to be about 50-60 Gals. I will check again in a few days too see if there are any issues. As I understand, Montezuma are very drought tolerant. In my area I have a mix of soils: sand/ Clay. Looking at the GIS map, my particular MPC is where 2 or 3 type of soils meet.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Icon,

MC is drought tolerant when established. Your 15g MC probably won't be fully established for another year. I like to water the entire area, not just one spot for optimal root growth. I use lawn sprinkler that spins water around for lawn but I also use it on trees at low flow so it covers 5 feet of circle if I don't want to water the whole lawn or want to encourage extra growth (Mine is only 5g size right now, just planted this past spring). MC loves water and will grow a lot when it gets a lot of water (with fertilizer). Once established, I would still water it during drought. Once a month of deep watering at least 5 feet beyond dripline where root feeders are. If MC goes too long without water, it will actually drop needles to conserve water.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Lou thanks for the information. I will do that. 2 times a week? I need to buy a sprinkler...I have a sprinkler system for the house.

I have a 7 gal Bald Cypress planted about 20 feet away that I will also start watering quite a bit more. too bad I cant fast forward 10 years...I cant wait to see how the backyard will look:
1- Live oak (builder planted 65 Gal)
1- Drummond red Maple (15 gal)
1- Montezuma Cypress (15 Gal)
1- Bald Cypress (7 Gal)
1- Bur Oak (7 Gal)
1- Pecan (bare root from Lowe's)
Plus several citrus trees


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Icon,

You can easily do it with the sprinkler system. Just have to figure out how long it takes to put out one inch of water. usually tuna cans are used to find out.

I have feeling that MC will outgrow all the trees you planted. I planted several 5g MC at the neighborhood park and the trunk at the base went from less than an inch to over 3 inches with in a year. They are in their 2nd year now but I'm not sure how thick the trunks are because they are covered in branches.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Lou,

It has been almost a year. the MC is looking good. One question: It is leaning towards one side slightly. I got a metal stake and staked and tied it back on the opposite side to try and get it to be more vertical. Do you see any issues with this setup? I have been using a soaker hose that I cut to about 12 feet in circumference and have been using that to water the MC and other trees when things are dry...Right now the ground is plenty wet, so no extra watering needs at the moment.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Icon,
Don't know where Lou is, but I thought I would chime in and bring this back to the top so maybe Lou would see it.

If the tree is crooked, you will probably need to dig it a little and straighten it from the roots up. I've never had luck trying to pull one over, and I've heard the "gurus" (on the radio) say you need to re-set it. I re-set the little one MC(3/4 inch) above and staked it until the roots could support the canopy and I had no trouble with it.
J.D.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

  • Posted by ltruett Zone, 9 Houston (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 28, 10 at 7:58

Icon,

One of my Nanjing Beauty hybrids was doing the same thing so I just put a stake up and pulled slightly to straighten it up. I figure they grow so fast in a season that in a few months it will be as straight as it will get but my tree is still fairly small. The only bad thing about digging is disturbing the roots some and then the tree having to get re-established. If the tree has already been in the ground for a year I would try staking it rather than digging. How big is your tree now?


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

ltruett,
that is what i am hoping for...it was in a 15 gal container...i staked it at the middle and lower trunk and it looks better... I don't want to try and dig it out and mess up the root system. We will see what it look like at the end of the summer.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

I tried pulling over the above small tree and after a full season of growth, it was still crooked. That's when I bit the bullet and dug around it and tried not to disturb the roots any more than I had to. It never really seemed to suffer, but then, it was still a very small tree. It doesn't require totally digging it up. Hope that works for you, though.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Three years ago, David Creech at SFASU gave me a flat of Montezuma Cypress and we planted them at a pinetum on the west side or Lufkin (about mid-east Tx.) They had a label NMX so I believe they were from New Mexico seed. They all have grown rapidly, occasionally deciduous or semi-deciduous in late winter or during drought. We also planted 23 of them in s.w. MO. (zone 6b)after they had a year in e. TX. Of these 23,12 are alive, having survived two winters here (the last one coldest in 25 years). They have struggled and a few have only small sprouts at the base But 8 have managed to maintain their size and (we hope) they are slowly adapting.

P.S. We also bought two "M.C." from ForestFarm and these have done exceptionally well and look as healthy as B.C. (which I believe they are).


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Robert- That's quite a collection of conifers at Angelia Unit.

Creech sure likes to give out cypress trees. I got quite a few of them from him... Past two years, I collected seeds from MC at SFA off Wilson street by the intramural field. So far, the seedlings seem to have superior form (straight trunk and neater form/branching) compared to other MCs that I see elsewhere.


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RE: Montezuma Cypress

Lou, I'm glad to hear from you. I have enjoyed many of your GardenWeb posts over the years.
There does seem to be considerable variation in the M.C.s. The ones we bought from Madrone Nursery and at a plant sale at the Heard Natural Science Museum several years ago have a more weeping, bush-like habitus, not like the ones I got from Creech and the one on Wilson Street. They all seem, once established, amazingly tough. The pinetum in Angelina Co. TX. had some along the edge of a pond and, initially unknown to us, a beaver moved in and selectively mowed the M.C.s to 4 to 8 inch stumps, but they all recovered. I must beg tolerance for our website We haven't updated anything but the database of the Angelina Unit for about 10 years. This will part of our work next winter.

If you are ever back in E. TX., we would enjoy your visit. Please call ahead because now we seem to be spending more time in MO. (where we have recently enlarged).rl


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