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Bald Cypress; Taxodium distichum

Go to - Landscape Trees
Landscape Shrubs

Family - Taxodiaceae

Natural Habitat - Sloughs, Freshwater swamps, Floodplains and margins of rivers & lakes. Perpetually or seasonally flooded soils rich in organic content.

U.S.D.A. Zones 5 - 10.

A long lived Florida native deciduous conifer, Bald Cypress can grow 100 to 150 feet tall with stong buttressed trunks to 6 + feet in diameter with a straight trunk. Once heavily logged in Florida for the decay resistant properties of its wood & more recently for the production of Cypress mulch, this practice is now restricted.

Cone/pyramid shaped canopy when young, becoming flat topped and often "windswept" in older trees. The bark is rough and scaly with a reddish brown to light grey coloration.

Leaves are light green & fine textured with a feathery appearance, turning coppery brown in fall.

Bald Cypress is noted for its "knees" or pneumatophores which project upward from the lateral roots. These are believed to aid the tree in getting oxygen to the roots in flooded or anaerobic soils and/or to help stabilize the tree.

Landscape Use -  Specimen, shade, or accent tree on wet soils, groups of trees with varied heights planted on pond, lake or stream banks. As a truly deciduous tree, Florida's Bald Cypress can be used for shade in summer while allowing warming sunlight to shine through in winter.

Culture - Propagated from seeds in moist soil, Bald Cypress needs full sun. Tolerates moderately alkaline to acidic soils. Can be grown in fairly dry soils if watered during periods of drought.

A Cypress knee protruding upward from lateral roots

Image - Mature Cypress tree on a Florida river bank.

Image - Close-up picture of Cypress leaves

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