Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Bald Cypress

Derek and I went to Black Swamp Bird Observatory at Magee Marsh today. It's only about 5 miles from our house and I'd been wanting to go out there to see the marsh area again. It was too cold to walk the bird trail but we got to see 5 white tail deer, a gaggle of Canada geese and Derek saw a Cooper's hawk which I missed.

What struck me more than the fauna was the flora. There are some outstanding oaks throughout the marsh. And then there's the row of Bald Cypress trees growing in the stream next to the observation deck at the head of the bird trail. I noticed their uniform branching and deeply furrowed trunks. For such a tough tree they have a very fine texture.
I have been considering planting some Bald Cypress in our windbreak and now that I've seen their beautiful, red trunks and lovely pyramidal shape, I have made up my mind that I must plant some. Who could turn down such nice looking trees? The bonus is they can handle all sorts of soil conditions from dry to knee-deep water. Perfect for our windbreak!

I think the one negative aspect of Bald Cypress trees is they are deciduous. That means little to no windbreak protection in the winter, something that makes spruces and Arborvitaes preferred plantings for windbreak areas. I think deciduous conifers are oddballs, but I grew up with evergreens and I'm not used to seeing a conifer drop its needles completely. Still, I'd like to have some beautiful Bald Cypress trees like the ones I saw today. Come next spring when the soil and water conservation district offers tree seedlings for sale, I'll be sure to order some Bald Cypress babies for the windbreak.

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