Cypress are deciduous and evergreen trees that grow in a variety of shapes and sizes. Their needles vary in color from bright green in the summer to golden and yellow colors in the fall. Some cypress like the Leyland cypress have bluish-green needles. Many cypress trees are tall with a column shape, while others have a more open, pyramidal form. Cypress trees are versatile and tolerate of most soil types, including moist soils.
Bald cypress is a deciduous trees with a moderate growth rate and fine texture. These hardy trees have a pyramidal shape when young that opens up as they mature. Bald cypress grows between 50 and 100 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide, creating a striking focal point to the landscape. During the summer, the small leaves are sage green; they change to a brownish orange in the fall. The cones on the bald cypress grow 1 to 2 inches wide and have seeds that are loved by birds. Bald cypress trees require full sun and a variety of different soils such as wet, dry or compacted. This versatile tree is heat and drought tolerant. The USDA hardiness zone is 4 to 9.
The Italian cypress is an evergreen tree with a moderate growth rate and medium to fine texture. The upright, columnar shape is slender when young. Italian cypress grows between 20 and 30 feet in height and 3 to 5 feet wide, ideal for flanking a backyard walkway or along the front of the house to provide light shade and privacy. The bluish-green leaves are striking and remain their color year-round, including winter. Italian cypress requires full sun and a range of soil types to grow. The USDA hardiness zone is 7 to 9.
Mexican Swamp Cypress
The Mexican swamp cypress is a deciduous tree with fine texture and a moderate growth rate. It has a spreading form with broad, slightly bowed branches that are long and arching, casting shade on the ground. Mexican swamp cypress grows 60 to 80 feet tall, making for a commanding presence to the landscape. The needles are light green and turn golden in the fall. Mexican swamp cypress prefers full sun and a wide range of soil types including wet soil. These hardy cypress varieties are also drought tolerant. The USDA hardiness zone is 6 to 9.