Sales information at the end of the article.
Shape and Distribution
Bald cypress is a large tree, reaching heights of 100-150 feet.
It is also referred to as swamp cypress, southern cypress, and cypress.
The base of the trunk is enlarged, frequently buttressed and surrounded by woody knees
(cone-shaped structures that grow vertically from the lateral roots of the tree where the roots are at the soil/sediment surface). The crown is typically conical when the tree is young,
becoming flattened or more open by branching when older.
Mature specimens can live 1000 years and are 30-35 feet in circumference at shoulder height!
Bald Cypress in Illinois field- age 7 years
Bald Cypress occurs naturally in swamps and low, wet woods.
Mature Bald Cypress trees tolerate submergence, but the seedlings are killed by it.
The seedlings must therefore become established during dry periods.
Bald Cypress is a deciduous conifer - it has cones and sheds its needlelike foliage.
The leaves turn reddish-brown in the autumn when the twigs with the attached needles are shed.
Development of bald cypress knees was initially associated with the low oxygen environment in
which the trees grew. The knees were interpreted to be an adaptive strategy to provide
roots with oxygen under flooded circumstances.
Experiments eventually demonstrated little exchange of oxygen between roots and knees.
A more likely function of the knees is to provide stability in the swamp substrate.
Bald cypress trees are among the oldest in the state.
Individuals can live to be up to 1000 years old. It is the state tree of Louisiana.
Bald Cypress bark is reddish brown to gray, fibrous, and peels in long shreds.
The trunk is flared at the base and surrounded by knees on wet sites.
The terminal twigs are slender and the new growth is very light green, gradually darkening and becoming reddish brown late in the season. The lateral twigs are also green, becoming reddish brown, but unlike the terminal twigs, they are shed with needles still attached in the autumn.
The leaves are deciduous needles, alternate, and between 1/2 and 1 inch long.
They are green, turning brown before they are shed. The male flowers are borne in
branched clusters 5 inches in length and the female flowers are spherical and
occur near the ends of the twigs.
The fruits are cones with shield shaped scales, 1 to 2 inches in diameter, and occur on a 1/2 inch long stalk. They are green when newly formed, becoming purple with age, and eventually disintegrating.
Seeds are irregularly shaped wedges covered in a resinous coating which retards wetting
and resists insects. It has a very pleasant aroma.
Seeds kept in cool storage are viable for up to thirty months.
Seeds are planted in two ways.
Fall planting which is recommended for the southern range requires seeding
in a moist bed and overwintering for Spring germination.
Spring planting which is recommended for northern range requires 90 days of
soaking in water at a temperature between 32-40 degrees prior to seeding in a moist bed..
Viability of the seeds will depend upon planting practices and initial weather conditions.
They are generally easy to germinate when proper procedures are followed,
but that is no guarantee against a late frost or a dry summer.
Some practice soaking for 5 minutes in ethyl alcohol and refrigerate (cold stratification).
Bald cypress wood is durable and soft, lightweight, and close grained
It is used for general construction, railroad ties, fence posts, barrels, bridges, and shingles.
It is so resistant to degradation that my great uncle who used to drill oil wells in Louisiana
would hit old Cypress logs 2000 feet deep under the Delta mud.
When they brought up the rotary bit it would be clogged with wood!
The tree is planted as an ornamental.
All our seeds are this year's crop.
10 seeds (1 gram) = $2.00 + $.37 postage (USA)
100 seeds (10 grams) = $10.00 + $1.00 postage (USA)
One pound (approximately 2500 seeds) = $20.00 + $3.50 postage + $1.30 insurance
Ten pounds (approximately 25,000 seeds) = $100.00 + $11.00 postage + $1.30 insurance
Orders larger than ten pounds calculate at $10 per pound.
Orders larger than fifty pounds calculate at $9 per pound.
Orders larger than one hundred pounds calculate at $8 per pound.
On larger orders (one pound and greater) the seeds have the husks of the cone mixed in
and we adjust the seed-count to compensate for this.
Seed count based on a 4 gram cone yielding 3 grams (20+) of seeds
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