Bald Cypress is a long-lived and wind-firm tree that is native to the South eastern United States. This deciduous conifer is very majestic in appearance and is rarely blown over, even in hurricane winds. Life expectancy is 200+ with 500 yr old specimens disgracefully cut down throughout the 1970s. The largest remaining stand of old-growth bald cypress trees are in Missouri, these majestic trees can be seen at the Allred Lake Natural Area where the trees range from 500 to 1000 years old. Usually 50-70 feet in height but can easily reach 130 ft with roughly a 30 foot spread. The Bald Cypress creates a heavy straight trunk, reaching up to 13 feet in diameter, and becomes flat topped in maturity. On wet sites, Cypress will likely forms knees with age. These are root protrusions from the soil and it is believed that these knees provided for gas exchange. A misconception with Bald cypress is that its assumed that it has to have wet soils in order to thrive. However it is very adaptable to wet or dry sites but is not tolerant to high pH soils. Because of its need of water to germinate, the bald cypress may not propagate well in every area planted directly into the ground. However, if keep moist and looked after in propagation pots they germinate very easily . The seed must be in a source of constant moisture for germination to occur and this is why they are most commonly found in swamps or damp soil areas.
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