The bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) is a long-lived, deciduous variety of cypress trees that thrives in swamps or wetlands, and near rivers or creeks. It is known for an extensive root system and requirements for wet soils, so it's best to select companion trees with similar needs so they thrive in the conditions successfully. Make sure companion trees complement the bald cypress and blend well in the area instead of standing out.
Weeping willow trees grow up to 70 feet tall and wide, and feature low-lying branches that sweep the ground. These trees prefer full sun and moist soils, and look nice in swamps with upright, pyramid-shaped bald cypress trees. Space other trees considerably apart to provide plenty of sunlight to the branches of a weeping willow, and enrich the soil with organic mulch. Water soils infrequently but deeply. Keep the willow healthy so its growth habit in the form of sweeping branches complements the upright and densely growing bald cypress.
Botanically known as Acer rubrum, the red maple grows in areas of eastern North America. It cannot thrive in drier states located in the west because of its need for consistently moist soils. The red maple, as its name suggests, features a reddish bark, stems, branches and flowers comprised of four petals. A mature tree reaches heights of 60 to 80 feet, creating a large round shape that complements the vertical growth of a bald cypress.
Serviceberry ( Amelanchier canadaensis) is a small flowering landscape tree, often reaching heights of between 20 to 25 feet with a 10-foot wide spread, and features blooms comprised of masses of tiny white flowers in early to mid spring. The foliage turns a beautiful yellow, orange and then red in fall, forming a bright backdrop against the barrel bald cypress. The serviceberry grows naturally along streams and forests with dappled shade in north America. It grows in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 11. Plant the tree in moist soils enriched in organic matter, or in a container under a tall bald cypress. A serviceberry does well with a well-balanced perennial fertilizer every spring, before growth begins.
Nyssa sylvatica biflora, or swamp tupelo, grows up to 80 feet tall, and thrives in areas near standing water where its trunk swells up with moisture absorbed through its roots. It features a thick, deep brown bark and 4- to 5-inch long leaves with lateral veins through the middle. It produces 1/2-inch long oval summer fruit that attracts different types of mammals and birds. Grow this ornamental tree near a bald cypress so it complements it with its shapely crown and straight bole.