Bald Cypress is a stately and long-lived deciduous conifer found throughout the swamps and riparian areas of the southeast, famous for its knobby “knees” and flared or buttressed trunks. It is important for most of us non-swamp dwellers, though, because Bald Cypress can also thrive in well drained upland soils. Since Bald Cypress relies on wetland conditions for seedling establishment, but thrives in upland soils once established, its cultivated range is much larger than its naturally occurring range. There is a lot of lore about this species. The trees are found in coastal riparian areas from southern Virginia down into Florida and over to East Texas, as well as in the southern Mississippi Valley. Floodwaters spread seeds along water courses, and germination occurs where soils are saturated but not flooded. It is commonly 70-80 feet tall and often taller, the tallest known being 145 feet tall (!) and the record DBH (diameter at breast height) being 17 feet!! (Wikipedia). These record measurements reflect the unusual longevity of the species, some of which are estimated to be more than 2,000 years old, as old as our Christian calendar! Normally, Bald Cypress tops out vertically at about 200 years, but continues to grow outward. The wood is valued for its natural resistance to rot, and of course Bald Cypress is a sought-after ornamental tree for its majestic form and its incredibly bright green, feathery spring foliage which shows coppery, rusty orange in fall.