The cypress tree is a North American species that is sure to fill a massive place in the landscape. There are two types of trees found in the US: bald cypress and pond cypress. Although it is an American tree, it is found throughout the world, with 25 genera and nearly 130 species. Let’s keep reading to find out more about:
How Does the Cypress Tree Look Like?
The cypress tree might be a good choice as an ornament in any landscape and there is a wide range of varieties. For example, Monterey cypress looks like an open umbrella and can grow up to 70 feet tall, while Arizona cypress has the appearance of a Christmas tree. Furthermore, this type can reach heights of 60 feet.
The cypress tree has varying shades of green including dark green and light bluish-green. The same thing happens with its leaves: they can have needle-shaped ones or they can look similar to braids.
Because the cypress tree is a conifer, it is common to see the small cones that can have different looks, similar to nuts or woody cones.
Where Cypress Trees Grow
The cypress tree has a reputation of loving the wet soil, but it has proven that it can resist in dry areas as well. Bald cypress grows near lake banks, springs, or in any water that flows at a slow or moderate rate.
On the opposite side, pond cypress prefers still water and doesn’t grow well on land. This tree is rarely cultivated in home landscapes because it needs a special type of boggy soil. However, cypress trees grow mainly along North America’s southern coastlines, where the soil is exactly what all types need and they can be exposed to full sunlight.
Cypress Tree Varieties
You can find almost 20 different varieties of cypress trees all over the world. Here are some of them, which originated in North America, because of their unique characteristics:
* The Leyland cypress can reach up to 50 feet, it has soft pine needles and is not picky about the type of soil it grows in.
* The Arizona cypress is a heat lover, growing in the southwestern United States and it grows into a dry soil. It also has a dense foliage and they are known as “windbreakers.
* The Bald cypress is recognized for its large roots and height. If it’s located in a wet area and has a moist soil, it can live for hundreds of years. They love coastal regions.
How to Take Care of Cypress Trees
A good life for a cypress tree depends mostly where it is planted. If you want to grow this type of tree in your backyard, make sure that it benefits from full sun or partial shade and rich, acid soil.
Furthermore, make sure that you water the tree after planting and cover the root zone with 3 inches of organic mulch. Also, ensure that you water the tree every week for the first few months. Because water is a very important factor for a long-lasting life, you need to be careful with this aspect especially in spring and fall when they go dormant.
If your tree is placed in a regularly fertilized ground, it won’t require additional fertilizer, so wait a year after planting it before fertilizing it for the first time.
Cypress Tree Uses
The cypress tree wood is popular globally, being the world’s most valuable wood. It is known for its durability, benefit that makes for a great building material. It is naturally colored in such a beautiful and unique dark honey shade that became so appealing for furniture designers, painters and more. The wood doesn’t generate sap, which means that it reacts very well to paint, stains and sealers.
It would be recommended for this cypress wood to be used for: tables, chests and boxes, bed frames, boats, cabinets, siding, roofing shingles, barns, bridges, greenhouses, porches, and firewood.
The cypress tree wood is also highly valued for its oil and as firewood. Additionally, you can easily split the wood and it gets dry quickly. It also burns clean.
Moreover, the oil provided by the tree can be used for shampoo, makeup, and cosmetics. It looks like this tree has a lot to offer.
Interesting Facts About Cypress Trees
The cypress tree has a fascinating history, starting with the Egyptians who used the wood provided from this tree to build mummy cases. The Greek used cypress wood to create urns to store the remnants of people who died in wars.
Did you know that Plato’s code of laws was initially put down onto cypress wood? This happened because they believed that cypress wood is more durable than brass. What is more, a botanical garden located in Berkeley County in South Carolina glorifies the specie of cypress trees, as its name suggests “Cypress Gardens.” It is a major travel attraction, being the home of hundreds of cypress trees. This is a historic garden and is remembered for how the dozen majestic cypress trees were lined on the Lake Eloise.
All in all, beside its variety, which permits you to grow it in the garden, or for you to admire it along a beautiful lake, it has more benefits. Starting with the wood properties that can be used to build barns, greenhouses, or even tables and finishing with its oil that can be included in beauty products. The cypress tree proved its durability and high quality, used even by Greeks and Egyptians. The cypress tree was transformed into items that helped history to be written.