Trees That Compliment the Bald Cypress

Bald cypress tolerates conditions from well-drained soil to swamp. This large specimen grows slowly to reach 60 to 150 feet tall, and enjoys a very long life. The deciduous conifer produces a leaf with the appearance of a needle. These leaves turn red in the fall, providing seasonal interest. The tree's main trunk branches into a broad crown with a flat top. The bark peels slightly, revealing layers of color that also add to the tree's visual statement in winter months.

Red Oak

Red oak has the same general form and size of bald cypress. Both trees are straight, with one main trunk, but red oak develop a rounded crown and average a height of 60 to 100 feet. The smooth grey bark becomes grooved as the tree matures. Red oak retains its acorns during their first winter, bringing another form of beauty to the tree in winter months. Mature trees generally have been shown to help red oak seedlings to perform better, a role bald cypress can fulfill. The Land Owner Resource Centre/Ontario Extension mentions wind among the environmental stressors for oak. Bald cypress withstands wind well, with few breakage issues. The tree can act as a protector for more delicate oaks.

White Pine

White pine can grow to 100 feet and greater. It also features the straight trunk form, but with layers of branches. The tree produces long, thin pine cones. The delicate needles, in a blue-green shade, may be up to 4 inches long. White pine lives up to 200 years and grows rapidly. While bald cypress can tolerate dry soil, this tree does not. The pairing would be a beneficial match in other soils. Pine is another good windbreak tree, making it a good partner for red oak. According to the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, white pine can have extensive pest management issues in the northwest. If planted with a tree like bald cypress, which is relatively undisturbed by pests, should the tree succumb to pest pressures or damage, the location would not be left denuded.

Colorado Blue Spruce

The Colorado blue spruce grows slowly, but reaches heights from 60 to 100 feet tall. In some areas, the tree may have a more limited height of 30 to 50 feet, depending on conditions. This spruce tree's cones are long and cylindrical and the trunk has a scaly, silver bark. Short, thick needles with a blue tinge provide a more dense form of foliage and take up visual space closer to the ground, where bald cypress has little to offer. With many cultivars available, the tree can take several forms and range from upright to pyramidal. Colorado blue spruce can help shade out weed competition for smaller trees trying to establish themselves. While it can tolerate wet soil, the tree prefers a well-drained spot, making it a match for bald cypress.

Keywords: bald cypress trees, red oak trees, Colorado blue spruce

About this Author

Alice Moon is a freelance writer with more than 10 years' experience. She was chosen as a Smithsonian Institute intern, working for the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and has traveled throughout Asia. Moon holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Ball State University.