How to Take Care of a Bald Cypress Tree


Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) is commonly called southern cypress, swamp cypress, red cypress, gulf cypress, white cypress, tidewater red cypress and yellow cypress. This deciduous, long-lived tree often grows in swamps or wetlands of the South. Bald cypress trees can reach mature heights ranging from 60 to more than 100 feet tall with spreads up to 30 feet or more. Native to North America, bald cypress grows best in USDA zones 5 through 10 and caring begins at planting.

Step 1

Select a location for planting your bald cypress tree that provides enough space for the mature size in both height and width. Plant the bald cypress tree in the spring after the last chance of frost passes.

Step 2

Pick a planting site with partial to full sun along with moist, sandy loam that is acidic and has moderately good drainage, suggests the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Step 3

Dig a hole deep enough to plant the bald cypress tree at the same height it was previously grown. Place the tree in the hole and backfill with removed soil.

Step 4

Saturate the newly planted tree with water to settle the soil around the roots. Continue to saturate the growing bald cypress with water weekly throughout the growing season, if not planted in a flooded area.

Step 5

Prune dead, diseased or weak branches from the bald cypress as needed.

Step 6

Apply a basic fertilizer annually, as directed on the label, to maintain a healthy bald cypress.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Water
  • Pruning shears
  • Fertilizer


  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Baldcypress
  • University of Florida Fact Sheet: Taxodium Distichum (Baldcypress)
  • University of Florida: Planting Cypress
  • USDA Plant Guide: Bald Cypress

Who Can Help

  • Floridata:Taxodium Distichum
  • Arbor Day Foundation: Baldcypress Taxodium Distichum
Keywords: Taxodium distichum, planting bald cypress, growing bald cypress, baldcypress

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.