Asked on Jul 3, 2020

Can cones be taken off?

CindyMogieChloe Crabtree


Our bald cypress tree is heavy with these cones. It is weighing the branches down so much that some are in the way of cars parking in our driveway. Can we cut the cones off on the branches that are hanging the lowest without damage to the tree?

5 answers
  • Yes. the pine cones are basically the trees "seeds" You can remove them and trim low hanging branches

  • Mogie
    on Jul 3, 2020

    Are they cones or nuts?

    The "nuts" you see are actually the cones of the bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), which is a deciduous conifer, and the "meats" are the seeds themselves. Under ideal conditions these seeds will produce a new tree. I must caution you, however, that it is hard to create these ideal conditions. Because the bald cypress is native to moist areas, the seeds only germinate in moist to wet soil. The caveat is that is cannot be moist to wet for too long. Here is one strategy you might try, which was posted on GardenWeb: "Plant lots of seeds in 5 gallon pots with heavy topsoil - January (this works in Z8). Place pots outside in washtub. Fill tub with water to level of topsoil in pots. About May-June begin to let water evaporate down to half-way mark of pots. Germination usually follows. Heavy topsoil needed here as some potting soils might float off if water level exceeds level of soil. Unlike most conifers, Bald Cypress do not need well draining potting soil. Once the seedlings have germinated, they can be transplanted into separate pots for continued grow." Obviously you may need to adjust the timing based on your zone and location. Since you have the trees (which are a favorite of mine, by the way) you have nothing to lose by trying. Good luck, and let us know how your experiment goes.

  • Cindy
    on Jul 4, 2020

    Hi Cathy. Yes, you can cut the cones off without damaging your tree. As far as pruning, I like to use the Old Farmers method which is: only prune during months that have an "R" in their name. For example, you can prune in April but not in May. April contains an R, but May does not. I like this method because it's easy to remember. Good luck Cathy.

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