Lemon cypress trees are excellent trees for the beginner gardener. Forgiving and hearty, they faithfully add lovely foliage to your home garden. There are things to consider when caring for a lemon cypress tree for the best foliage and health.
Incorporate mycorrhizal fungi into the soil annually beginning two planting seasons before planting the orange tree. Mycorrhizal fungi attaches to a plant's root system and enables the roots to gain more nutrients from the soil. This fungi tends to be absent from most urban soils.
Fertilize annually with an equal amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These nutrients can be found in a standard balanced, or 10-10-10, fertilizer. Slow releasing standard fertilizer is more beneficial for cypress because it ensures that the nitrogen does not wash below the root line. Standard fertilizer should be applied and watered in annually. For those desiring an organic alternative, incorporate fish-emulsion fertilizer into the soil biannually beginning one planting season before planting the tree. For best results, fertilize initially in the spring because the tree is budding, and again once its fruit has been harvested.
Supplement annually with additional nutrients including magnesium, boron, copper and zinc. These trace elements are found in turf fertilizers. Similar to the balanced fertilizer, these nutrients should be applied and watered in annually. Test the soil and if necessary, supplement annually with iron supplement tablets. If the tree's soil is above a pH of 7, then iron must be added to the soil. Fish-emulsion fertilizer already contains the most necessary trace nutrients. If the soil's pH is above 7, dissolve 6 tbs. black strap molasses into 3 cups of hot water and water in well. In addition, mix 5 cups of hot water with 1 lb. of coffee grounds and let sit overnight. Pour onto the tree's root system annually at the start of spring for added soil acidity. For best results, consider applying at night and watering in well.
Water new plants at least twice each week as the ground dries out.
Test the soil to verify that it has dried to at least 2 inches deep.
Fill the tree's well with water and allow the water to sink in completely. Repeat this step three more times for a deep watering.
Inspect the tree for sucker branches. These branches grow below the point where the tree was grafted. Remove these branches with pruning blades close to the trunk whenever discovered to avoid the risk of the entire tree being taken over.
Inspect the tree for errant branches. Errant branches are those that are growing in either the wrong direction and intercepting another branch or pressing against a building. Trim as few stalks as possible from these branches, and only what is necessary to correct the growth.
Trim away any branches that make it difficult to fertilize the plant. Trim the branches completely back to the stalk, as they will most likely not produce fruit after being trimmed and will ideally not regrow.
Allow the tree to heal itself from the trimming.
If trimming in spring to remove sucker or errant branches, whitewash the trimmed area to protect the tree's trunk. To create the whitewash, mix together one part white latex paint and nine parts water and brush the mixture over the trimmed area. Whitewashing will prevent the trunk from getting burnt.