This stately conifer, native to the Midwest, often is found in groupings in parks and larger spaces, along streets, and around lakes. Unlike most cone-bearing trees, bald-cypress loses its needles each winter and grows a new set in spring. The russet-red fall color of its lacy needles is one of its outstanding characteristics. Hardy and tough, this tree will adapt to a wide range of soil types, whether wet, dry, or even swampy.
- Chicago area
- North America
- City parkway
- Wide median
- Restricted sites
- Residential and parks
- Large tree (more than 40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Zone 8
- Zone 9
- Zone 10
- Zone 11
- Acid soil
- Wet soil
- Moderately Tolerant
- Moderately Tolerant
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Attractive bark
- Fall color
- Early fall
- Mid fall
- Small mammals
- Water birds
photo: John HagstromSize
50 to 70 feet high and 20 to 30 feet wide.
Tree & Plant Care
Best grown in full sun in wet, dry, and swampy locations.
Acid soils are best. Will show chlorosis symptoms (yellowing) in high pH (alkaline) soil.
Disease, pests, and problems
The bald cypress is susceptible to twig blight, spider mite, gall forming mite, and cypress moths.
Native geographic location and habitat
Southern US, especially wetlands and coastal areas.
Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife
Waterfowl are attracted the tree for seeds and shelter.
Bark color and texture
Attractive, fibrous, reddish-brown bark.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Soft, feathery needles turn russet-red in autumn before falling. This is one of the few conifers (cone-bearing trees) that loses its needles in winter and grows a new set in spring.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Male and female flowers in separate structures on the same tree; inconspicuous
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Small round cones stay on branches into the winter.
Cultivars and their differences
Casecade Falls (Taxodium distichum ‘Cascade Falls’) is a weeping form, 8 to 20 feet high
Monarch of Illinois (Taxodium distichum ‘Monarch of Illinois’) is broadly pyramidal in shape, wider than the species.
Pendens (Taxodium distichum ‘Pendens’) has a pyramidal form with drooping branches.
Shawnee Brave (Taxodium distichum ‘Shawnee Brave’) is narrowly pyramidal, 50 feet high and 20 feet wide, good for small urban spaces.