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Baldcypress

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SCIENTIFIC NAME: Taxodium distichum
FAMILY: Taxodiaceae

USDA Hardiness Zone: Zones 4 to 11

Origin: Native American tree from Texas eastward to the Atlantic coast and as far north as the southern part of New York.

Growth Habit: Height 50-80′ Spread 30′. Pyramidal-shaped crown when it is young that gradually becomes flat-topped with age with a broad crown.

Leaves:  Leaves are deciduous, linear, and spreading 2-ranked like a feather; 1/2″ to 3/4″ long; alternate leaf arrangement; green to light yellow-green in the summer turning orange to rust-red in the fall.

Twigs: light brown when young, gray brown as they mature

Flowers: non-showy, drooping 4 inch panicles in spring

Fruit: Round cone, 3/4″ to 1″ in diameter. They are wrinkled, green, and leathery. Upon maturity the cones become woody and dark gray in color.

Bark: Fibrous, reddish brown to ashy gray; thin and peels in narrow vertical strips

Landscape Value:  The Bald-cypress makes a fine specimen tree for very large landscapes. Very majestic tree with a fine textured appearance. It is very adaptable to wet or dry sites, however it can become chlorotic in high pH soils. Bald-cypress has been called the eternal wood because it is extremely resistant to decay. Uncommon in Colorado, but there are large specimens growing in many communities on both sides of the mountains.

Insects and Diseases:  Relatively pest and disease free.

Cultivars: Several cultivars listed in the reference books and on the internet; Apache Chief, ‘Fastigiata’, Monarch of Illinois, ‘Pendens’, and Shawnee Brave

Site requirements Full sun; best suited to wet areas, however very adaptable to a variety of soils (wet, dry, compacted); can become chlorotic in high pH soils

Information sources
Michael Dirr, Manual of Woody Landscape Plants (University of Georgia, 1990)
Virginia Tech — College of Natural Resources
Plant Fact Sheet, USDA NRCS