Baldcypress Taxodium distichum
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)Pricing Information
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Hardiness Zones 4 - 10The Baldcypress can be expected to grow in the zones shown in color in the arborday.org zone map. View Map
Type of treeShade Trees
Mature HeightThe Baldcypress grows to be 50' - 70' feet in height.
Mature SpreadThe Baldcypress has a spread of about 25' at full maturity.
SunThis Baldcypress does well in full sun.
SoilThe Baldcypress grows in acidic, drought tolerant, loamy, moist, sandy, silty loam, well drained, wet, clay soils.
ShapeThis Baldcypress has pyramidal, upright or erect shape.
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.
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)
Baldcypress form characteristic groves in swampy areas that support complex and variable ecosystems, and are used by many wildlife species.
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."
It is adaptable to wet or dry conditions, and can withstand flooding.
This tree's leaves alternate and are two-ranked, simple, semi-evergreen, and pale green color.
Brown, faded flower color. Not noteworthy.
The fruit is oval, 1 inch long, attractive to wildlife.
Rate of growth refers to the vertical increase in growth unless specified differently. Rate, as is true for size, is influenced by numerous variables such as soil, drainage, water, fertility, light, exposure, ad infinitum. The designation slow means the plant grows 12” or less per year; medium refers to 13 to 24” of growth per year; and fast to 25” or greater.Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, by Michael Dirr.