Baldcypress

Taxodium distichum
(Cypress, Swamp-Cypress. Wood Eternal. Pond Cypress)

The baldcypress is a symbol for swamps in the deep South. This is a deciduous tree with feathery, light green needles which turn brown and fall off in autumn. The trees grow rapidly on moist, fertile soil and may live for 1,000 years. The roots of the cypress seem to need much exposure to air. Look around this tree to find how the roots have sent up projections to the surface. When the cypress grows in the watery swamps, the roots send up "knees" several feet above the water. The wood is valued for construction of bridges, docks, pilings, stadium seats, and caskets because it can tolerate moisture. In the deep South, the knees are often fashioned into novelties like lamp bases and solid in souvenir shops.