Bald Cypress: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts
Bald Cypress Plant Description
The bald cypress, Taxodium distichum, is most normally linked with Spanish moss-covered swamps and bayous in the South. The tree, on the other hand, has been found as a great specimen for gardeners and urban outdoor spaces.
Today, the conifer may be found giving gentle, scattered shade along city streets and driveways. The bald cypress is a huge deciduous conifer with needles that fall off in the fall.
Its fluffy, fragile needles, as well as the attractive bark and cones, make it an interesting asset to any landscape design. Mostly, people think of the renowned cypress knees, or pneumataphores, which grow around the flared base of the trunk, protruding out of the dark waters.
Woody extensions sprouting from the tree’s roots produce these unearthly growths. The knees are most commonly found on trees with standing water, although they can also be found in dry areas.
The strange growths, which appear around the age of ten, come in a variety of sizes but typically equal the average depth of the surrounding water. The knees, according to scientists, give mechanical stability to trees growing in moist, marshy soils.
The strange thing about these knees is that no one understands why they occur in the first place; they simply do.
In the spring and summer, the bald cypress has attractive jade needles grouped in two rows on either side of a slender stem that are light and fluffy to the touch. As the temperature drops, the needles turn a lovely coppery gold.
Autumn colour will fade quickly before dropping, leaving a lovely rust-colored mulch inches thick beneath the tree as a gift. The bald cypress provides horticultural and ecological qualities that tip the scales, regardless of whether you plant one tree or a grove, use it in a dry location, or use it as a featured tree in a rain garden.
The tree provides food for birds, rabbits, and a variety of invertebrates, as well as cover and shelter for deer and birds.
It’s a deciduous conifer that is native to the Southern United States. They can grow up to 50 to 70 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide.
How To Care Bald Cypress?
The bald cypress is a conifer that may provide a distinctive four-season element to your landscape. The tree may live for generations if it is planted in the appropriate spot. The majority of your tree-care activities will occur during the planning and planting stages.
Cultivating a tree that can grow to be as enormous as a bald cypress is a time and space investment. Consider the area carefully before planting a bald cypress.
Not only is the tree’s current size, but also how big it will be in 10 years or at maturity. If you want to build a patio, pergola, or pool in the future, the tree you just potted may cause problems.
Examine your home and its systems, such as plumbing, sewage, electricity, and foundation, to determine whether the tree will be an impediment or a hazard. Even trees in dry locations can grow cypress knees, which are difficult to mow.
If they grow, consider them ornamental and plant them in a mulched bed beneath the tree. Lastly, take a look at the dirt. It’s advisable to test the soil before planting your tree to check if the conditions are right for that species.
If they aren’t, you may be able to alter the site to make the circumstances ideal, or you may choose another tree entirely.
Planning and site preparation are the keys to the most effective planting efforts. These two steps will make caring for our tree easier and more convenient in the long run.
How To Grow Bald Cypress?
Because this tree does not fare well in the shade, it should be planted in a location that gets full sun to moderate shade. It won’t flourish in locations with less sunlight, and you’ll notice problems with growth and foliage as a consequence.
Bald cypress requires soil that drains well yet keeps moisture. The soil should also be acidic and damp, with a sandy consistency. If you test the pH of the soil during planting and find that it is excessively acidic, you may still amend the soil. Using peat moss on your soil before growing is a fast method to do this.
In nature, the bald cypress may be seen growing along the sides of streams, lakes, and rivers. It thrives in both stagnant water and well-drained soils. It tolerates moderate drought and thrives in well-draining environments, despite its preference for damp settings.
On the other hand, mites might be a problem in severely dry circumstances, causing early needle loss. Under moments of stress, irrigation will help to ease the problem.
iv. Temperature and Humidity
The bald cypress is a resilient tree that is often associated with the marshy south. Temperatures of between 20° and 29° Fahrenheit are not a problem for trees grown in the northeastern United States. The USDA zone for them is 4-9.
Supplemental fertiliser is not required for the bald cypress. However, if the tree is placed in a dry location away from rivers, slow-release all-purpose fertiliser can be used in the spring. To raise soil acidity, soil amendments may be required.
Varieties of Bald Cypress
One thing to think about before putting one in your yard is its size. When it matures, it may be too large for the location you intend to plant it in.
Fortunately, farmers have recognised the need to provide diverse colours, sizes, and shapes in various cultivars to those searching for bald cypress to utilise in small or oddly shaped locations or who simply want it to be more distinctive in recent years.
1. ‘Skyward’ is a dwarf cultivar with a columnar form that grows to a height of 25 to 30 feet and a spread of 5 to 10 feet, making it ideal for smaller settings. Before being shed, the dark green needles become golden copper, then bronze.
2. ‘Pendens’ is a weeping pyramidal shape with branches that are nearly horizontal.
3. ‘Mickelson’ is a pyramidal to columnar tree that grows to 50 to 75 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide with a thick crown.
4. “Monarch of Illinois” is a broad-spreading tree with no leaders and no knees.
5. ‘Peve Minaret’ is a dwarf cultivar that may reach a height of 20 feet and a width of 10 feet, but can be trimmed into a variety of forms.