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Bald Cypress

This month we celebrate the adaptable and beautiful bald cypress tree, hardy in zones 4 to 11.

This North American native is a deciduous conifer.  Deciduous meaning it sheds and replaces its needles each year and conifer referring to the fact it produces cones. The soft feathery foliage of bald cypress turns a reddish brown in the fall. This stately tree can be used for screening, groupings and as accents near lakes and ponds.

Bald cypress is native to swamps, bayous and rivers. In wet areas, they tend to form knees that protrude above the water. These may provide a means for oxygen exchange, or structural support.  No one is certain despite several hundred years of research.

Although bald cypress is native to wet environments it also grows in drier upland locations.  This has led to its use as a street tree in some cities.

A bit more information: The Montezuma bald cypress, growing on the banks of an oxbow lake along the Rio Grande in San Benito, Texas is a U.S. champion tree. Hardy in zones 8b to 11 it has a trunk 7 feet thick. The Tule bald cypress tree located in Oaxaca Mexico is nearly 31 feet in diameter at 2000 years of age.


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