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Facts on Cypress Trees

Image by, courtesy of Luigi Torreggiani

The cypress is a vast and varied group of trees that includes both evergreen and deciduous trees. Species include the Leyland cypress, bald cypress, Italian cypress and Arizona cypress. Cypress trees can be grown in many parts of the United States and throughout the world. Each species is unique in its appearance and growing conditions.

Leyland Cypress

Leyland cypress are fast-growing and can add about 3 to 4 feet in height annually in their early years. Maximum height is usually 40 to 50 feet. Leyland cypress is an evergreen with soft needles on flat branches. These trees can grow in many soil conditions, but do not always grow well in climates with cold winters. The Leyland cypress is hardy in zones 6 to 10.

Bald Cypress

The bald cypress is a deciduous tree with needle-like leaves. They thrive in wet, swampy areas and are common in coastal regions in the South. However, they are hardy in zones 4 to 10 and grow well in many drier, cooler areas as well. Bald cypress can get quite tall--between 50 and 70 feet--and can live for hundreds of years.

Italian Cypress

The Italian cypress is an evergreen that grows tall but will remain very narrow. Although they can be as tall as 60 feet, they do not usually grow to be more than 6 feet wide. They do not grow well in cold climates and are hardy in zones 7 to 11.

Arizona Cypress

As the name implies, Arizona cypress trees grow in the Southwestern United States and do well in very dry and hot environments. They are evergreens and top out at about 50 feet tall. Because they are well-adapted for desert-like environments, they are only hardy in zones 7 to 9.

Pond Cypress

Pond cypress trees are also common in the United States. They are similar to bald cypress and also prefer a wet and swampy environment. They get their nutrients from slow-moving groundwater. Although similar to bald cypress, they grow more slowly and do not usually get as tall.

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