Bald Cypress Is The Official State Tree Of Louisiana. Louisiana Adopted Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) as the official state tree in 1963. Bald Cypress is a characteristic plant of southern swamplands. It is the dominant tree in Florida‘s Big Cypress National Park. However, Louisiana State Tree cypress swamps may be found as far north as Maryland, Missouri, and Illinois.
In cultivation, the tree can tolerate a wide range of soils, but Bald Cypress is best known as a swamp tree, growing in flooded bottomlands, and forming wide buttressed trunks, together with woody “knees” projecting from the water. The knees are outgrowths from the tree’s roots. Louisiana’s abundant bottomland swamps once were home to immense forests of Bald Cypress trees, reaching 150 feet high, with bases 12 feet in diameter.
From 1890 to 1925, industrialized logging was a major part of the economy of Louisiana. State Tree Of Louisiana Bald Cypress old-growth timber proved to be one of our most decay-resistant woods. The wood of second-growth forests does not possess this quality, probably because sizeable heartwood will take centuries to develop. In addition to Bald Cypress, Louisiana State Tree is also known as Pond Cypress, cypress, white cypress, Gulf cypress, southern cypress, red cypress, swamp cypress, and yellow cypress.
Bald Cypress is a large, deciduous conifer, growing upright, frequently to 100 to 120 feet (30-37 m). In the forest, State Tree Of Louisiana Bald Cypress typically has a broad, irregular crown, often draped in curtains and streams of gray Spanish moss.
Height: up to 150 ft (46 m)
Diameter: 7-12 ft (2.2-3.7 m)
Bark: thin and fibrous with an interwoven pattern
Seed: spherical, fall into sections at maturity
Leaves: flat, soft needles with spreading blades ½ in long, fall in winter
Louisiana State Tree Bald Cypress grows in swamps and flooded bottomlands of the southern United States, and is also adaptable to dry conditions. “Cypress knees” occur only near water. This tree shares its habitat with longleaf, shortleaf, slash, and loblolly pine forests, as well as ash, hickory, gum, and oak forests.