The tree shown in this slideshow is called a Bald Cypress. This particular tree that you see in most of the pictures (unless otherwise labeled) is located at the Achduth Vesholom Synagogue on Old Mill Road. When you look up into this tree, you can see the amazing architecture of the branches, which would make it a fantastic climbing tree! The Bald Cypress is a conifer tree; it grows cones just like a pine or a spruce, but it has one major difference from those evergreens: Though the Bald Cypress LOOKS like an evergreen, it is actually a deciduous tree! That makes it one of the few conifers to drop its needles in the fall.
The Bald Cypress tends to grow naturally in the southeastern part of the US, and it loves to grow in the water… in swamps and bogs. When it grows in water, its roots will branch out above the water line (creating “knees”), but here, in Fort Wayne, they just grow underground like what we’re accustomed to seeing.
Because the Bald Cypress is designed to live in water, its wood doesn’t rot! It is resistant to termites as well as decay (and it’s sometimes called “the wood eternal”!). That’s why many people use cypress mulch in their gardens.
We measured this tree and it had a circumference of 7.5 feet, or about 90 inches, however, the largest Bald Cypress in the US is about 54 feet around. That tree is located in Louisiana.
Jeff Ling is a Registered Consulting Arborist and Co-Founder of TreeMasters, Inc., a full service arbor-care company, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It services tree owners with scientific tree management services throughout Indiana, southern Michigan and western Ohio.