Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)

The Bald Cypress, or Taxodium distichum, is a deciduous conifer native to the southeastern United States. It features short needles put in pairs along the branches, with a yellow-green color in the spring that turns soft green in summer or brown in the fall.

The cones almost look like small globes of approximately 1 inch in length and contain seeds that are very attractive to wildlife.

It Can Live for Centuries

The bald cypress tree can live for centuries, growing slowly through almost 200 years until it reaches maturity. These trees usually live for 600 years, though some specimens can exceed that and live until they’re 1000 years old.

The tree is an average height of 50-70 feet and a spread of 25 feet.

It Requires Plenty of Sun Exposure to Grow

The bald cypress thrives in areas with a lot of water, which is why it’s such a popular tree in Florida, especially along the canals or lakes of Central Florida.

The very wet soil it usually prefers also helps make the bald cypress a habitat in itself, becoming a home for many creatures. It’s also a species that requires plenty of sunlight. While it can withstand some shade, it usually needs around six hours a day of direct sun exposure.

Though they grow slowly, they are rather massive trees and need a lot of space to grow. They are not ideal in residential areas that are quite compact. But once you find a spacious location with enough sunlight exposure, the trees will require little maintenance, apart from watering in its first few years.

It's Not Really "Bald"

Nobody really knows why this tree is called "bald," but the first mention of it dates back to 1640 and has inspired many artists over the years in their writings, such Longfellow in his 1847 poem Evangeline.


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