Bald Cypress is State Tree of Louisiana

Bald Cypress Tree

Bald Cypress Tree
Bald Cypress Tree | Source

Interesting Tree with Knees!

We have many bald cypress trees that grow in eastern areas of Texas including Houston and all along the upper Gulf Coast for that matter. Generally speaking they grow best in temperate regions in areas of high humidity and places where the soils are often moist or even seasonally flooded.

They thrive in swampy areas.Officially labeled as Taxodium distichum these trees can grow in other more northern regions if planted and tended but they prefer locales where it is hot and moist.

This deciduous conifer tree from the cypress family Cupressaceae sheds its light feathery foliage during the winter months first turning a burnt orange or rusty color.

State Tree of Louisiana


As mentioned in the title of this article, the Bald Cypress has been chosen by the State of Louisiana to be its official State Tree.

The southern border of Louisiana is situated along the Gulf of Mexico and the mighty Mississippi River also disgorges its flow at Baton Rough, Louisiana after a 2,320 mile journey from its origin way up in Minnesota.

There are many swampy and wetland areas in Louisiana and the bald cypress tree does well there. Not only can it survive being in water, but it thrives in that type environment as well as also being able to live on land above water as long as conditions are right.

It is easy to see just how swampy and marsh-like the southern border of Louisiana is by viewing the map below. Estuaries and marshes punctuate that southern region and those marshes are important not only for the sea creatures and other birds and animals calling it home, but also important to maintain stability of grounds further north.

Location of Louisiana in the United States

A markerLouisiana, USA -
Louisiana, USA
[get directions]

Bald Cypress Tree Knees in swampy area near Houston

Source

Man verses Nature

Most people are aware that over time much of the City of New Orleans now depends upon man made levees to keep city residents from having their homes and businesses flooded when waters rise such as occurred with recent hurricanes or flooding waters of the Mississippi River.

That is because a significant portion of New Orleans is actually now below sea level.

Most people are aware of the horrific effects of those levees breaking when Hurricane Katrina zeroed in on New Orleans and made southern Louisiana its target.

We have many people now living permanently in Houston as well as other places when they lost everything they owned due to the ravages of that particular storm. Lives were also lost as most people are aware.

Anchoring types of trees like the bald cypress which can live in marshes can be important sources of stabilizing the land and holding it in place possibly preventing further erosion.

It is no wonder that the State of Louisiana prizes this hardy as well as beautiful tree.



Cypress tree knees in water

Source

Swamp Cypress

The bald cypress is also called numerous other descriptive names many of which are appropriate and include southern cypress and swamp cypress.

On one of our vacation trips my mother and I saw numerous bald cypress trees growing in the swampy areas around Caddo Lake in eastern Texas near the Louisiana border.

One interesting feature of this tree is its knees. These protuberances which tend to grow around the tree and pictured here are thought to buttress the tree and possibly keep it upright.

Man has learned from nature how to use architectural buttresses to help support many buildings which otherwise may not stand. It is the same idea!

Bald Cypress tree knees

Bald Cypress tree knees
Bald Cypress tree knees | Source

Cypress Tree Facts

Many of these trees have been proven to be long lived dating back to 364AD according to what I have read.

They can get quite tall up to 100 feet or more.

When fully leafed out as shown in the photo at the top, they can provide dense shade and sanctuaries for birds, squirrels and other creatures.

We see quite a few bald cypress trees planted in yards and also in our subdivision greenbelt area of Houston.

This photo that I took of the tree knees was taken in nearby Bear Creek Park in Houston near a water pond area.

Learn more about the Bald Cypress tree here:

The Bald Cypress

Were you familiar with the Bald Cypress Tree?

See results without voting

Caddo Lake Art Print Photo

Living Room Wall Art Nature Photography Print Caddo Lake Cypress Bayou Texas 10x20
Living Room Wall Art Nature Photography Print Caddo Lake Cypress Bayou Texas 10x20

The beauty of bald cypress and spanish moss make a picturesque scene in a bayou at Caddo Lake State Park in Texas.

 

© 2016 Peggy Woods

More by this Author


24 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 weeks ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Patricia,

We have many bald cypress trees that thrive in and around Houston. In fact we have numerous ones planted right here in our subdivision. I love their feathery foliage when leafed out. In the wintertime they lose all their leaves...thus the "bald" name is deserved.

Understandable that your eyes would have been more on the water when driving though Louisiana...especially on Interstate 10 which is right along the water in so many places.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 2 weeks ago from sunny Florida

O these are a favorite of mine in my adopted home state (I grew up my first 18 years in Virginia so still claim it as my HOME state but FL is high on my list too :D). There are many locations near where I live where I can go to enjoy these beauties.

I was so busy looking at all of the water and bridges as I traveled through LA last year that I missed these beauties there.

As always your articles always fill in the gaps in my knowledge. Thanks for helping to keep me in the know. Once again our little winged friends are headed your way ps


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Au fait,

I am sure that cypress tree knees can be made into beautiful pieces of art. My website is up and operating. After fooling around for an entire year I finally went with a professional and had it up and operating in no time. It will be added to continually. As to my experience...my advice is to hire a professional! Stay safe up there! We have a 20 to 30% chance of rain daily but it goes up significantly on Friday of this week then tapers off. Thanks for the shares.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 6 months ago from North Texas

Lots of information and great photos! As always. :) Yes cypress trees are a staple in the deep South. I first learned about them in high school when a friend showed me pictures and actually had some of the cypress knees in his possession. I think some people carve them into art forms and use them to make natural arrangements for decoration. Going to share this article with followers and pin it to Awesome HubPages.

Excellent article as always. Wondering how your website is going? You really need to write about your experience with that so we can all learn from your adventure.

We have had way too much rain this year. We're warned well ahead again that this coming weekend, Thurs. through Monday, we're to have severe storms.

Hope all is well down there. Take care . . .


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Dolores,

When leafed out they do have an evergreen appearance but we both know that they are not...thus the 'bald' name for at least a portion of the year. Nice that you are enjoying them up in your area. We have loads of them down here.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 8 months ago from East Coast, United States

I love bald cypress trees. They look so archaic! We have them growing in a few spots up here in Maryland. It looks like people still have a problem understanding that they are not evergreens. But they do look like evergreens, much like Dawn Redwoods. Maybe it's because they are coniferous.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi DDE,

I assumed as much. Hope you have a good day today! :)


DDE profile image

DDE 8 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Hi Peggy Woods that is exactly what I meant!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi DDE,

We have those tall slender growing cypress trees like those grown in Italy and elsewhere also growing in Houston. Those are probably the ones you meant? They are very different from the bald cypress trees.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Frank,

We certainly do need our trees to keep producing oxygen into the air not to mention their beauty and haven for wildlife, etc. Nice to know you enjoyed this.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Alicia,

The bald cypress tree can actually survive growing in swampy water all the time as well as growing in places that are not water logged. So glad you found this informative enough to share. Thanks!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Nell,

Yes...the knees certainly make the bald cypress trees distinctive. Glad you liked learning about them.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi emge,

Glad you enjoyed the information about these trees.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

FlourishAnyway,

I can understand why you would remember this type of tree with the "knees" even if a long time ago. Most distinctive!


DDE profile image

DDE 8 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

We have tall Cyprus trees and so different from the Bald Cypress


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton

I didn't really know anything about this tree, but your hub bridges that gap for me.. enjoy them now all trees.. while they are still here :( great share Peggy W


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 8 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

I've learned some very interesting facts about the bald cypress tree by reading this article. I didn't know that it grew in such wet soil and that it had knees! Thanks for sharing the information, Peggy. I'll share this hub.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 8 months ago from England

A tree with knees! lol! well I learned something new! what a great hub!


emge profile image

emge 8 months ago from Abu Dhabi

Hi Peggy, lots of information. Thank you


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 8 months ago from USA

I used to live in Louisiana and remember tree like this. It's been a long time, however. Good article! You're on fire with productivity! Way to go!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Jackie,

Happy to be able to inform you as to what those protuberances or "knees" were as related to the bald cypress. It is an interesting tree to be sure.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 8 months ago from The Beautiful South

I have some knee photos I took near a lake and wondered what on earth they were! So now I know. Thank you!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 8 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Perspycacious,

The Bald Cypress looks like it is evergreen but it is a deciduous tree so it does lose all its leaves here in the Houston area...thus the "bald" moniker. You are smart to be growing fruit and nut trees which supply your family with all their needs. We have a small orange tree in our yard and it is loaded with blossoms. Hopefully we will have our first big crop this year. Looking forward to it.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 8 months ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

I wouldn't have imagined any evergreen tree being "bald"! Good article and I see you have some others on landscaping. I, for one, prefer to plant fruit and nut trees. Ours now give us a "year's supply" of those each year.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working