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Baldcypress

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Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) -A unique, pyramidal deciduous conifer characteristic that is quite hardy; narrow bright green leaves turn golden brown in fall, a broad trunk and odd knee-like above ground roots at the base when grown in standing water; adaptable to a variety of soil and moisture conditions.

Characteristics

Average Landscape Height:
55 feet
Average Landscape Width:
30 feet
Growth Rate:
medium
Genus:
Taxodium
Species:
distichum
Summer Foliage Color:
lawn green
Fall Color:
orange
Minimum Light:
full sun
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Moisture:
dry
Maximum Moisture:
wet
Plant Form:
pyramidal
Canopy:
high
Pruning:
late winter pruning
Pollution Tolerance:
medium
Branching:
excurrent

Ornamental Features

Baldcypress is primarily valued in the landscape for its distinctively pyramidal habit of growth. It has emerald green deciduous foliage. The ferny bipinnately compound leaves turn an outstanding orange in the fall. The shaggy antique red bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Baldcypress is a deciduous tree with a strong central leader and a distinctive and refined pyramidal form. It lends an extremely fine and delicate texture to the landscape composition which can make it a great accent feature on this basis alone.

Planting & Growing

Baldcypress will grow to be about 55 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 30 feet. It has a high canopy with a typical clearance of 7 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. As it matures, the lower branches of this tree can be strategically removed to create a high enough canopy to support unobstructed human traffic underneath. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 80 years or more.

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It is an amazingly adaptable plant, tolerating both dry conditions and even some standing water. It is not particular as to soil type, but has a definite preference for acidic soils, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the foliage in alkaline soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.

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