Monday, July 12, 2010

Bald Cypress's

Taxodium

While most people think of giant trees in the bayou full of Water Moccasins when they think of Bald Cypress - this is however also a top rated landscape tree thriving in many regions on all continents ( except Antarctica ). The hardy Taxodiums grow well on wet sites but also thrive on drier upland soils whether sandy or clay. They are tolerant of salt and also easily propagated from seed sown during autumn except for some cultivars which have to be grafted or grown from cuttings taken during early summer.

There are 3 species of Taxodiums - all listed below...

* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


Taxodium ascendens ( Pond Cypress )
Native to the southeast U.S. Very fast growing and generally tall and narrow to 80 feet in height. The largest trees on record are long gone due to the previous 2 centuries worth of destruction of the south's swamp forests however they reached up to 140 x 80 feet with trunk diameters up to 9.1 feet. One giant tree of 115 x 54 x 6.5 feet is reported to grow in Jefferson County, Georgia. The largest tree in the Philly area grows at Westtown School.
Some growth rates recorded are: 7 years - 22 feet; 8 years - 23 x 15 feet; 10 years - 30 feet; 20 years - 40 x 15 feet. Fastest recorded growth rate is 4 feet.
This tree generally have a narrow pyramidal shape and a widened trunk base.
The feathery foliage is bright green in spring turning to medium green in summer then to rusty red-brown in fall. The actually leaves are tiny and linear up to 0.5 inches long and are upright and closly pressed against deciduous shoots of the same color ( that look like leaves ) up to 6 inches long.
The cones are tiny up to o.25 inches.
The branches are upright and spreading.
Hardy zones 4 to 10 tolerating as cold as -30 F. Wind & ice resistant.
The Pond Cypress makes a tough good city street tree however unlike the Bald Cypress it should not be planted where it will get salt runoff.
Reported to grow in Washington, D.C. at the National Arboretum and at the Mall ( Department of Agriculture ).
'Nutans'
older trees have pendulous branch tips

* photos taken on May 6 2010 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 in Washington, D.C.


* photo taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA

* photos taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD




* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore, PA



* photo taken on Aug 17 2012 in Baltimore Co., MD

* photos taken on Oct 31 2013 @ Hampton Ntl. Historic Site, Towson, MD

* photo taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD


* photo taken on June 1 2014 @ Maryland Horticulturalist Society garden tour, Ellicott City

* photo taken on Aug 3 2014 @ National Zoo, Washington, DC

* photos taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014
* photo of unknown internet source

* historic archive photo


'Debonair'
Fast growing and narrowly-pyramidal in habit, reaching up to 60 x 20 feet in 30 years, eventually more. It has a strong central leader and is very structurally strong.
The bright green foliage turns to glowing deep orange during autumn.
Hardy zones 4 to 9.

* photos taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Fox Red'
Fast growing and columnar in habit, reaching up to 60 x 15 feet in 30 years, eventually more. It was developed by Bartlett Tree Experts in North Carolina.
The bright green foliage turns to intense bronzy-red during autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 8.

* photo taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Landry'
A dense, broadly-columnar large tree form.

* photos taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Prairie Sentinal'
Vigorous and narrow in habit, reaching up to 46 x 10 feet with a trunk diameter of 8.3 inches in 12 years. While eventually growing much taller, it remains columnar, rarely exceeding 15 feet in width even at maturity.

* photos taken on May 16 2010 @ Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD



* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Taxodium distichum
A native of the famous cypress swamps of the southeast U.S.( Oklahoma to Illinois to Maryland, south to the Gulf Coast but excluding the entire Appalatian Region ) the Bald Cypress is actually hardy over most of North America and fast growing in most places. When first discovered the old grown wooded swamp in the deep south contained such trees up to 200 feet tall, 100 feet in width and 20 feet in trunk diameter. Some were also up to 35oo years old. Most of these trees have been looged long ago as our ecosystem been trashed over the past 200+ years however Bald Cypress over 100 feet are still common today. Growth rates up to 5 feet are known. Other recorded growth rates include: 12 feet in 3 years, 28 feet in 9 years @ Wichita, Kansas, 60 x 17 feet in 20 years, 100 x 22 x 1.5 feet in 30 years, and 120 feet in 60 years; 166 years - trunk diameter of 7 feet. Far outside its native range it still grows large ( 95 x 55 x 3 feet in Detroit and similarily large on heavy upland clay in Dayton, OH ) and success has been reported in cold climates such as Minneaplis, MN & Ottawa, Canada & in the extreme summer heat of Dallas ,Texas. Large trees can be seen in the Philly at Woodlands Cemetary and Friends Hospital, as well as Longwood Gardens nearby. A large Cypress swamp once stood in Delaware between Frankford and Selbyville. In the first year; the Bald Cypress can reach 24 inches in height from seed.
This relative of the Redwoods has also been planted in Europe since 1640. It is hardy from zone 3 - 10 ( tolerance of -42 F are reported while it also grows in Miami, Florida ). This may actually be the worlds hardiest tree. Like most Redwoods, it existed for millions of years and is not bothered by pests and diseases.
Its canopy is very dense, shaped pyramidal when young and more spreading with age. The Bald Cypress can withstand very high wind including hurricanes. On dry soil it has a deep taproot to anchor it. On wet soil it forms cypress knees or woody protrusions to help it breathe. It grows best on deep rich soil in areas of hot humid summers.
It is salt, wind, lightning, hail, ice, deer, clay, compaction and pollution tolerant. Lawns grow well underneath it. Unfortunately it hates to be transplanted so it should be moved while very small. Should also be pruned to a single leader when young.
It's 1" linear lush green leaves emerge late in spring and turn red in November before falling. This tree is not an evergreen.
* USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken by F. Burns @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

* photo taken in Washington, D.C. on July 1987

* photo taken @ Longwood Gardens near Philly, PA on March 1994

* photos of unknown internet origin



* photo taken on May 1 2010 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on May 16 2010 @ Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD

* photos taken on 4th of July 2010 in Washington, D.C.






* photo taken on August 3 2010 @ University of Guelph Arboretum, Ontario

* photos taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD




* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore, PA

* photos of unknown internet source


* native Cypress swamp in Harford Co, MD on Oct 30 2011

* photo taken on Nov 14 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on July 11 2014 in Washington, DC

* photos taken on Aug 3 2014 @ National Zoo, Washington, DC

* photos taken on Nov 4 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

* photos of unknown internet source

* photos taken on Feb 8 2015 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* historical archive photos

* photos taken on Apr 11 2015 @ Belmont Mansion, Elkridge, MD

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on June 26 2017 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on Jul 18 2017 @ Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON

* photo taken on Aug 13 2017 @ Howard Comm. College, Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Aug 30 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Cascade Falls'
Dwarf strongly weeping form, reaching up to only 20 x 20 feet ( lower with pruning ) at maturity. Some records include: 10 years - 12 x 6 ( rarely over 10 ) feet.
It requires staking when young to develop height.
The foliage is bright green.

* photo taken on October 15 2010 in Howard County, MD

* photos taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


* photo taken on Sep 1 2011 in Clarksville, MD

* photo taken on June 17 2011 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 7 2012 in Columbia, MD
* photo taken on July 7 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Mar 7 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photo taken on June 1 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Sep 9 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Nov 14 2016 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Fastigiata'
Columnar and very tall, reaching up to 150 feet in height.
Some records include: 10 years - 14 x 6 feet.
The scale-like foliage is bright green.

'Monarch'
faster growing and more weeping.

'Nelson'
Extremely vigorous with deeper green foliage color than typical Bald Cypress.
Some records include: cuttings first season - 5 feet; 24 years - 45 x 36 feet with a trunk diameter of 21 inches.
Exceptionally hardy, tolerating ice and winds up to 80 mph or more.
Hardy zones 4b to 9, tolerating -28 F with no damage.

'Novum Pendulum'
A weeping form with a strong central leader that grows very tall while the side shoots are strongly weeping. It does not need to be staked.
Hardy zones 6 to 9.

'Peve Minaret'
Dwarf and upright in habit, reaching up to 15 x 6 feet in 10 years, eventually to 25 x 9 feet.
The dense, feathery bright green foliage turns to orangish-yellow during autumn.
Hardy zones 4 to 9.

* photo taken on Jun 24 2016 in Ellicott City, MD

* photo taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Sep 3 2017 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.


'Pendula'
Graceful weeping form.

'Secrest'
A dwarf form that is a dense, spreading shrub, reaching up to 2 x 4 feet in 10 years, eventually to 3 x 10 feet.
The foliage is bright green.

Taxodium mucronulatum ( Montezuma Bald Cypress )
Native to southern Texas and Mexico; the Montezuma Bald Cypress is one of the worlds largest trees having the potential of reaching up to 300 feet in height; 120 feet in width and 38 feet in trunk diameter over its 2000 years of life ( unconfirmed claims of ages up to 5000 years ). The tree has massive limbs and a broad crown.
Some growth records include: 10 years - 20 x 17 feet; 14 years - 40 feet; growth rate - 4 feet per year.
One famous Montezuma Bald Cypress is also the largest tree in Mexico and is known as Arbol_del_Tule
Another large tree of 96 x 71 x 5 feet grows in Sacramento Capital Park in Sacramento, California. It has been planted in California since 1905 especially in Sacramento & Pasadena.
Evergreen in milder climates; the foliage is pendulous and very similar to Taxodium distichum
however the cones are larger.
Red brown bark is shredded.
A very strong wooded tree and typically growing with a strong central leader when young - the only major pruning is generally removing the lower branches for clearance whether for street traffic or in a park setting.
This tree is generally immune to pests and diseases and though the seedlings need moist soil, established trees are moderately drought tolerant. It is tolerant of clay and extended flooding. An excellent street tree it does not generally produce surface roots or "knees" on upland sites ( does NOT lift sidewalks )
Reliably hardy zones 8 to 10 with reports of zone 6 and even hardiness of -22 F ( with clone originating in wild at Las Cruces, New Mexico only - other clones hardy to around 0 F ). Anywhere colder than zone 8 it is likely to be deciduous. A 37 foot tree is reported to grow in North Carolina and it is also known to thrive in Norfolk, Virginia.
Seed remains viable for up to 3 years refrigerated and then needs no pretreatment. They are faster growing than Bald Cypress ( Taxodium distichum ). They take 6 months to grow to 5 gallon size and a year to grow to 15 gallon size. Shear sides when young.

* photos of unknown source on internet


* historical archive photos


Taxodium 'Nanjing Beauty'
The hybrid between Taxodium distichum & T. mucronatum, it makes an excellent street tree. Pyramidal in habit, reaching well over 100 feet. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 8 feet; 8 years - 25 x 8 feet. Unlike its parent Taxodium distichum, this one does not develop knees and its semi-evergreen foliage persists very late in autumn.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( possibly 6 ), it is very easy to root from cuttings.
Very tolerant of wet, salty and alkaline soils. Like one of its parents Taxodium mucrodium, it may loose its foliage during severe drought, then releaf after.

* ADDITIONAL PHOTOS OF BALD CYPRESS @ Druid Hill Park, Baltimore, MD

4 comments:

  1. The Monteczuma cypress looks amazing! I guess that to grow it in Florida would be foolhardy considering our cloud to ground lightning, but I'm sure if someone found a large enough site it would be pretty cool...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Agree! What a spectacular tree!!! Actually might be a good choice in Florida considering it is extremely strong wooded and likely no more prone to lightning than the native Bald Cypress in the Everglades. I would recommend lightning protection on any extremely large or historic trees of any kind however.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting Entree from this Site...

    http://www.nyu.edu/projects/julian/treetalk.html

    Date: Tue, 25 Nov 1997 22:55:11 -0500 (EST)
    To: jj68@nyu.edu
    Subject: Taxodium mucronatum in New Mexico

    After reading the information on the Tule tree of Mexico I must inform you of
    my work in New Mexico. Some years ago, on my travels in the high country of
    southern New Mexico I discovered two relict trees of Taxodium mucronatum
    growing uncultivated.
    There is a third tree growing in the lower valley near Las Cruces that is of
    unknown orgin and may be over 400 years old. I have collected seed from all
    three trees and grown them out into young trees which are proving to be more
    cold hardy then their Mexican relatives. One plant has survived outplanting
    in central Illinois at a zone 5 site for two winters and minus 25 degrees F.
    Progeny of the Mexican trees that I've propagated at my Arboretum Tome
    location have not been hardy at temperatures below plus 5 degrees F.

    Best Regards, Michael Martin Melendrez

    * I think this tree deserves to be much more widely planted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. would it be possible to procure some seeds of your Taxodium mucronulatum from Las Cruces it sounds very promising as a plant for the Mid Atlantic.

      Delete