It’s hard to mistake the bald cypress for any other tree. These tall conifers with flared trunk bases are emblematic of the Florida everglades. If you are considering planting a bald cypress tree, you’ll want to read up on bald cypress information. Here are some tips on growing a bald cypress.
Bald Cypress Information
A bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) isn’t actually bald. Like every living tree, it grows foliage that helps it with photosynthesis. It’s a conifer, so its foliage consists of needles, not leaves. However, unlike many conifers, bald cypress is deciduous. That means that it loses its needles before winter. Bald cypress information suggests that the needles are flat and yellow-green in summer, turning rusty orange and falling in autumn.
The state tree of Louisiana, bald cypress is native to southern swamps and bayous from Maryland to Texas. If you’ve seen photos of this tree, they were likely taken in the Deep South when the tree grows in large stands in swamps, its branches draped with Spanish moss. The trunks of bald cypress flare at the base, developing knobby root growths. In swamps, these look like the tree’s knees just above the surface of the water.
Bald Cypress Growing
You don’t have to live in the Everglades to start bald cypress growing, however. Given appropriate bald cypress care, these trees can thrive in drier, upland soils. Before planting a bald cypress tree, note that the trees only thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. It’s also important to make sure you have the space for bald cypress growing.
These trees grow slowly, but they mature into giants. When you start planting a bald cypress tree in your backyard, try to imagine the tree several decades in the future at 120 feet (36.5 m.) tall with a trunk diameter of 6 (1.8 m.) feet or more. The other piece of bald cypress information to keep in mind involves their longevity. With appropriate bald cypress care, your tree may live 600 years.
Bald Cypress Care
It’s not difficult to provide your tree the best bald cypress care if you select an excellent planting location, starting with a spot in full sun.
When you are planting a bald cypress tree, ensure that the soil has good drainage but also retains some moisture. Ideally, the soil should be acidic, moist and sandy. Irrigate regularly. Do yourself a favor and don’t plant these trees in alkaline soil. Although bald cypress information may tell you that the tree has no serious insect or disease issues, it is likely to get chlorosis in alkaline soils.
You’ll make Mother Nature happy if you start bald cypress growing. These trees are important to wildlife and help hold soil in place. They prevent erosion of river banks by soaking up excess water. Their thirsty roots also prevent pollutants in the water from spreading. The trees are breeding grounds for a variety of reptiles and nesting grounds for wood ducks and raptors.