Bald Cypress

Bald Cypress Plant Fact Sheet (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service)
Bald cypress is a large, slow-growing but long-lived, deciduous conifer, which frequently reaches 100 to 120 feet in height and 3 to 6 feet in diameter. Its trunk is massive, tapered and buttressed.

Bald Cypress (National Wildlife Federation)
Although many conifers are evergreen, bald cypress trees are deciduous conifers that shed their needlelike leaves in the fall. In fact, they get the name “bald” cypress because they drop their leaves so early in the season.

North Carolina Bald Cypresses Are Among the World’s Oldest Trees (Smithsonian Magazine)
The value of the ancient bald cypresses in North Carolina goes beyond bragging rights at the old tree club. Tree rings offer a treasure trove of climate history going back thousands of years before the development of climate record keeping using science instruments (widespread use of rain gauges began in the late 19th century).

Protecting Ancient Bald Cypress (The Nature Conservancy)
North Carolina has lots of superlatives. Being home to the tallest mountain east of the Rockies (Mount Mitchell) and the tallest sand dune system on the East Coast (Jockey’s Ridge) are often the first that come to mind. Many are not aware that the Old North State boasts another natural history record of a similar degree. North Carolina is home to the oldest trees in eastern North America—the bald cypress on the Black River.

The Black River is Home to the Eastern Bald Cypress (The Nature Conservancy)
Bald cypress, gracefully draped with Spanish moss, are the classic embodiment of our southern swamps. The oldest bald cypress, the fifth oldest tree species in the world, can only be found alongside Black River’s meandering black waters in southeastern North Carolina.

Taxodium distichum (N.C. State Extension)
The bald cypress is a long-lived, pyramidal, deciduous conifer, and a cone-bearing tree that grows 50 to 70 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide. Old trees develop a wide, spreading base that narrows up the trunk with diameters as thick as 3 to 6 feet. A younger tree typically has a pyramidal habit.

Bald Cypress (Britannica)
The wood of the bald cypress is valued for its water-resistance and is known as pecky, or peggy, cypress in the lumber trade when it contains small, attactive holes caused by a fungus.