All You Ever Need to Know About the Bald Cypress
At Above and Beyond Tree Service we have a deep-rooted passion, devotion, and respect for trees. We
are inspired by their beauty, strength, power, and their indelible role in our community and the
environment. We want to share our passion for trees with you through our educational blog series, Tree
Facts, to hopefully inspire you too. This series offers information we hope you’ll find useful on a
different species of tree each month, focusing on trees you might find in your own backyard and
neighborhood here in Northeast Florida.
Scientific name: Taxodium distichum
Also known as: Swamp cypress, gulf cypress, red cypress, tidewater red cypress
Size: 100-150 feet tall, 3-6 feet in diameter
Lifespan: Up to 600 years, but because the wood is rot resistant, the bald cypress has the potential to live for thousands of years.
Characteristics: The bald cypress has been described as a mysterious and even mythical tree in literature because of its distinctive and unique characteristics. It is a deciduous conifer, shedding its needle-like leaves in the fall. The bald cypress can develop knee roots, which grow from horizontal roots and protrude above the ground. The scientific name for knee roots is pneumatophore, which means air-bearing.
Blooming period: March and April
Habitat: Swamps, river channels, and flood plains, but can be adapted to different environments.
Location: Found in coastal areas from the Mid-Atlantic region to the Southeast, including the entire state of Florida, and west to Texas. It is also found in limited areas in Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky.
What you should know: The bald cypress is excellent at soaking up flood water and preventing erosion. It also traps pollutants and keeps them from spreading. It is an important habitat for a number of animals. It is a favorite nesting spot for bald eagles, ospreys, and herons.