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Bald Cypress

Louisiana State Tree

Bald cypress swamp with spanish moss in Louisiana bayou (Jean LaFitte National Historical Park and Preserve); photo by Vilseskogen on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / share alike). 

Bald Cypress

Louisiana designated bald cypress (Taxodium distichumas the official state tree in 1963. Unlike most conifers (which are evergreens), the bald cypress is deciduous (it loses its needles in the fall - giving the tree a "bald" appearance). A majestic tree that grows in many parts of Louisiana, particularly in swampy areas.

The shape of the bald cypress depends greatly on the amount and duration of flooding in the area. When located in swampy soils, the bald cypress forms "knees" with age that grow up from the roots, probably for stability.

Bald cypress prefer wet, swampy soils (on riverbanks, floodplains, or wet depressions) but are widely adaptable. Cypress wood is very resistant to decay and the wood is considered valuable for a variety of products.