I bought three bald cypress trees and when I planted them they all turned yellow. They lost all their leaves, but then started growing back again. Now, three months later, they’re turning yellow again. I don’t understand what’s going on.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Wanda: Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) is a medium growing deciduous tree that can reach 70 feet tall by 30 feet wide. Once established they are tolerable of drought conditions and are more commonly grown in wet areas, but like any other new addition to the garden it will need sufficient moisture to become established. Typically when we see yellow foliage it is moisture-related, especially with newly installed plants. That being said, the bald cypress foliage can be a yellow-green color in the spring, turning darker green in the summer, followed by a yellow-orange color in the fall. Because your trees were dropping their foliage I suspect your issue is moisture-related. For now make sure your trees are getting an inch of water per week. It is not necessary to water the actual foliage, only the root ball of the trees and the surrounding soil so they can get their roots settled before the winter arrives. A thin layer of mulch, no more than 2 inches, will help the roots retain moisture. Avoid fertilizing until the spring; doing so now would encourage new growth that would be too tender this late in the season; living in Florida you may not have to worry about freezing temperatures but for Kentucky gardeners this is certainly a reality.