Deciduous conifers of great size with shaggy, cinnamon-colored bark and graceful sprays of short, narrow, flat, needlelike leaves. Female flowers are followed by round, fragrant cones about 1 in. across. All are very tough, tolerant trees. Need acid soil. Both of the following species are native to the southeastern U.S.
T. ascendens. POND CYPRESS. Somewhat narrower, more erect than T. distichum; trunk not as strongly buttressed. Awl-shaped leaves stand erect on branchlets; those of T. distichum are spirally arranged. Can grow 7080 ft. tall, 20 ft. wide. Leafs out late in spring. In the wild, found on higher ground around ponds, but will grow in standing water, as T. distichum does. 'Nutans' is widely grown; it has somewhat pendent branchlets. 'Prairie Sentinel' is very narrow, reaching only about 10 ft. wide.
T. distichum. BALD CYPRESS. From southeastern U.S. Can grow into 100-ft.-tall, broad-topped tree in the wild, but young and middle-aged garden trees are pyramidal to 5070 ft. high, 2030 ft. wide. Feathery foliage sprays with narrow, 12-in.-long leaves in a pale, delicate, yellow-tinged green. Foliage turns orange-toned brown before dropping. Interesting winter silhouette.
When growing in moist or wet soil, develops knobby growths (called knees) around the base. Bagworms may be troublesome in some years, but otherwise this tree is not much bothered by pests or diseases. Requires only corrective pruning to remove dead wood and unwanted branches. An outstanding tree for stream bank or edge of lake or pond. 'Cascade Falls' is a strongly weeping form usually grafted onto understock trunk; can eventually reach 20 ft. high and wide. 'Green Whisper' has very soft-textured, bright green foliage. 'Peve Minaret' is dwarf, forming a dense pyramid just 6 ft. tall and 23 ft. wide after 10 years. 'Shawnee Brave' grows into a dense, narrow pyramid just 1520 ft. wide.