"Baldy" aka the Bald Cypress

If you live in a rather wet portion of the globe, you could do worse than select a bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) for your property. Native to seasonally flooded wetlands along rivers, it can survive many months of waterlogging, but can also grow very well on well-drained soils. Bald cypress is highly tolerant of wet conditions, saturated soils, and can even grow within ponds and lakes. The foliage is a bright yellow-green in spring and darkens to an orangish brown color in autumn. Unlike most conifers, this species loses its leaves in the winter, which is why it’s called “bald”.

A bonus of bald cypress is that it doesn't appear to seed or spread into the wider environment. A somewhat negative feature is that you can end up tripping over the large pneumatophores or “cypress knees” that can form at the base of these trees.

The cypress knees are funny looking roots that grow in knobs out of the ground around the tree. Cypress knees do not appear to act as snorkels, allowing oxygen to reach the submerged roots, as in other wetland and mangrove trees. Cypress knees brace the roots and catch mud, adding to the weight of the root system and help to stabilize the tree. As a result, bald cypress is very resistant to high winds, even hurricanes. Cypress knees occur only near water or in exceedingly moist soils. I have not seen them on trees planted under normal conditions in yards and gardens.

As water tolerant as a willow, the bald cypress is a welcome addition to any landscape. Bald cypress can grow to 50-70 feet high and in Zones 4-11. We should always be on the lookout for more species of desirable trees that are suitable to plant in our urban areas: species diversity brings resilience to our urban forests.

Interestingly the knees form in the shallow water at the lakes edge and seldom on the land side. 

A grand grove a bald cypress growing by a river in Austin TX.

The typical knees which develop in flooded areas, can be seen emerging from the water. 

There is something hauntingly beautiful about bald cypress with Spanish moss hanging from the branches. New Orleans, Louisiana 

The cheery bright green foliage of bald cypress in spring.

This tree was planted in a boulevard in NYC.

For more information on the bald cypress check out this YouTube link

Blueberry Bran Muffins

Wet Ingredients

6 eggs

1 ½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup molasses

¼ cup honey

4 cups buttermilk

1 ¼ cup canola oil

1 tsp vanilla

Dry Ingredients

2 ½ cups wheat bran

2 cups wheat germ

4 ¼ cup flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

4 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoon salt

1 ¾ cup chopped walnuts or pecans, divided

2 cups blueberries



Beat eggs with sugar and wet ingredients. Stir together dry ingredients, and 1 cup nuts. Add to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 375. Line jumbo muffin pan with liners. Add blueberries to batter. Fill two-thirds full. Top with reserved nuts. Bake 25-30 min.

Thanks for Reading
and Happy Planting!
Faith Appelquist
President & Founder