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Baldcypress Taxodium distichum

Baldcypress - Taxodium distichum
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A stately deciduous conifer adaptable to wet or dry conditions. Best known in wet areas, does well in city conditions as far north as Milwaukee. "Cypress knees" occur only near water. Prefers acid soils. Grows to 50' - 70', 25'or more spread. (zones 4-10)

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Zones 4 - 10 Zones 4 - 10
Hardiness Zones 4 - 10
The Baldcypress can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Shade Tree Shade Tree
Type of tree
Shade Trees
50' - 70' High 50' - 70' High
Mature Height
The Baldcypress grows to be 50' - 70' feet in height.
25' Spread 25' Spread
Mature Spread
The Baldcypress has a spread of about 25' at full maturity.
Medium Growth Medium Growth
Growth Rate
This tree grows at a medium growth rate. More about this.
Full Sun Full Sun
Sun
This Baldcypress does well in full sun.
Various Soils Various Soils
Soil
The Baldcypress grows in acidic, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, sandy, silty loam, well drained, wet, clay soils.
Pyramidal Shape Pyramidal Shape
Shape
This Baldcypress has pyramidal, upright or erect shape.
Attributes

The Baldcypress tree is the classic tree of southern swamps. There, in its native habitat, it displays a peculiar habit of raising conical "knees" from its roots. The function of these growths is something of a mystery, although some believe it is a way to help the roots get oxygen. This tree dwells in swamps because it out-competes most other trees on such sites. To the surprise of some people, when the Baldcypress is planted on the right soil in yards or along streets, it does quite well and is a beautiful specimen tree. It has been grown successfully in cities as far north as Milwaukee and on dry Texas hills.

Description

A stately deciduous conifer adaptable to wet or dry conditions. Best known in wet areas, does well in city conditions as far north as Milwaukee. "Cypress knees" occur only near water. Prefers acid soils. Grows to 50' - 70', 25' or more spread. (zones 4-10)

Wildlife Value

Baldcypress form characteristic groves in swampy areas that support complex and variable ecosystems, and are used by many wildlife species.

History/Lore/Use

Baldcypress trees are native from Maryland along the eastern coast to Texas and as far west as the Mississippi valley. The first scientific reference to the species was made in 1640. This tree has inspired much poetry and prose over the centuries due to its melancholy and mysterious appearance. Longfellow refers to its "towering and tenebrous boughs" that " Waved like banners that hang on the walls of ancient cathedrals" in his 1847 poem, "Evangeline." Naturalist John Muir in his book "Thousand-Mile Walk" refers to "the dark, mysterious cypress woods which cover everything" and states that "Night is coming on and I am filled with indescribable loneliness."

Moisture

It is adaptable to wet or dry conditions, and can withstand flooding.

Leaves

This tree's leaves alternate and are two-ranked, simple, semi-evergreen, and pale green color.

Flower Color

Brown, faded flower color. Not noteworthy.

Bloom Time

April-May

Fruit Description

The fruit is oval, 1 inch long, attractive to wildlife.