cyprus bald 2This iconic tree of southern swamps, is found from Delaware to Texas and Missouri, and is the state tree of Louisiana. It is alternatively called swamp cypress for its habitat, but is called bald cypress because it looses its leaves in winter. When growing in water it produces aerial roots known as pneumatophores which provide oxygen to the roots and allow the tree to survive. The bark is dull reddish brown with vertical fissures and the linear leaves are soft, flattened and arise alternately along the shoot. The male and female strobili are produced on the same tree but are different in size and shape. The female cones are green at first, maturing to brown.

Type: Deciduous tree

Outstanding Features: Architectural quality of trunks and aerial roots (knees); fall coloration

Form: Broadly conical

Growth Rate: Slow to mediumCypress bald lvs

Bloom: Male and female flowers on same tree; pollen shed in spring

Size: 50-130’ H x 20-45’W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Medium moist to wet, acidic; tolerates drier soil

Hardiness: Zones 4-9

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: Spider mites, gall mites, bagworms and blight can be a problem; chlorosis may occur in alkaline soils.

Propagation: Seed (60 days of stratification).

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By Karen