Taxodium distichum - Bald Cypress
Family - Taxodiaceae
Size - 50 to 70 feet in height with roughly 30 foot spread. Pyramidal in habit, heavy straight trunk, branches are distinctly horizontal. Becomes flat topped in maturity.
Bark - Reddish-brown and fibrous.
Pests and Diseases - Have noticed a scale which appears to be female globose scale. It clusters up and down the twigs in the late Spring. A horticultural oil spray generally eliminates them.
Landscape Use - Possible street tree use. One of the biggest misconceptions with Bald Cypress is it's assumed that it has to have "wet" soils. In actuality seed must be in a source of constant moisture for germination to occur and this is most commonly found in a Cypress swamp. It is very adapatable to wet or dry sites, however it can become chlorotic in high pH soils. Very majestic tree with a fine textured appearance. Could be used as a specimen. It is a worthwhile tree for the large property and smaller property. Forms "knees" with age when located in swampy soils. It was (and to an extent still) believed that these knees provided for gas exchange. My feeling is that they provide support for the tree in swampy ground more than anything Bald Cypress are very windfirm and longlived. Rarely blown over, even in hurricane winds.
Performance - 10 Native to the Southeastern United States west to southern Illinois. Has so much adaptability that there are almost no sites in which this tree couldn't grow well except for high pH soils. There are some cultivars, one being 'Shawnee Brave' which is narrower in habit, about 70 feet tall with a 18 to 20 foot spread. It could be a excellent tree for street tree use. Zones 4 - 9. Has been used as far north as Minnesota and southern Canada.
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