Cypress trees

Assisting Your Staked Trees After Establishment

At first glance of the above featured image, it looks like a typical view of trees near a pond.

But these trees are bald cypress, which should be a lovely shade of green this time of year. Why would a hardy tree like cypress start to change colors in the summer? It is normal for them to turn brown in the fall as they go dormant, but not this early in Florida.

Girdled tree

Girdled tree

When planting trees, remember to remove the cables after the tree is established to prevent it from being girdled. Establishment usually takes about a year, depending on the species and size of the tree. Leaving the cables or guying straps can cause long-term damage, or even death of the tree. As your tree grows, the cables tighten and slowly cut off its ability to conduct water and nutrients, called girdling. As you can see in this photo, the cables are still attached, causing the tree to suffer. With invasive trees, sometimes we intentionally girdle them to promote a quick death. This cypress was declining, and already shedding its leaves as early as July because of the stress.

Do you need help with establishing trees? The winter season is ideal for planting deciduous trees like cypress, maples, ash and sycamores. Refer to Dr. Ed Gilman’s website for more tips on installation and establishment.