If you’re a tree enthusiast, you might wonder about the kinds of cypress trees in Florida. Precisely how many there are, where they grow, if there are any non-native cypress trees, and how fast they grow. Keep reading if you want to learn more about cypress trees in Florida.
Native Cypress Trees in Florida
There are two types of Cypress trees in Florida. The Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) and the pond cypress (Taxodium ascendens).
The Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) is a staple in southern swamps. In their natural habitat, the trees have an interesting way of growing their roots. Whereas most trees are content to keep their roots belowground, the Bald Cypress has roots that emerge in conical knees. The exact reason this happens is unclear, but one possibility is increased oxygen supply to the roots.
The Pond Cypress (Taxodium ascendens) is a smaller variety of the bald cypress. In total, it can reach 75 feet and have a 20-foot girth. It’s slow growing and can take two decades to reach 35 feet. Like the Bald Cypress, the Pond Cypress has conical knees that emerge from the ground and is hardy in flood conditions.
Habitat of Cypress Trees in Florida
Cypress trees are flood resistant, maintaining their health even when exposed to water for prolonged periods.
Because of these qualities, they are more successful in surviving and thriving in the waterlogged sections of the Everglades than trees that are less robust in similar conditions.
The Cypress trees in Florida grow in wetlands, along streams, rivers, springs, ponds, and in places with slow-moving or even still water.
Their knobby “knees” contribute to their resilience in the marshlands of Florida, aiding in the tree’s respiration.
Other Cypress Trees in Florida
There are numerous non-native and invasive trees found in the state of Florida. But both varieties of Cypress found in marshes and swamps are native, naturally occurring trees that belong in that ecosystem.
How Fast Do Cypress Trees Grow?
It depends entirely on the kind of Cypress. When it comes to the two types of Cypress trees in Florida, the answers are easy to find.
The Bald Cypress is a medium-growing tree. It reaches 40 to 50 feet in height in about 15 to 25 years. After that, it can reach heights of 60 to 80 feet.
The Pond Cypress is a slow-growing tree. It can take 20 years to reach 35 feet. After 20 years, it can reach heights of 75 feet.
Benefits of Cypress Trees in Florida
There are many benefits to these robust trees.
The Cypress serves a vital function, providing shelter to the many animals of the Florida wetlands. All manner of creatures find their homes in the branches or hollows of these trees.
Trees are significant in situations where water might cause erosion. When water levels rise in the swamps during rainy seasons, the Cypress trees hold together the ground with their root system, helping the landscape endure.
The Cypress tree acts as a natural filtration system. The tree can absorb phosphorous and nitrogen from the water, cleaning it up and leaving the environment a cleaner place for more delicate creatures in the ponds and streams.
Cypress Trees in Florida: Conclusion
The Cypress trees in Florida are an essential part of the state’s ecosystem. They aid in preventing soil erosion and water filtration and providing sufficient habitat for local wildlife. Without these trees and their unique root system, the landscape of the swamps and marshlands would be a lot less rich, robust, and full of life. Cypress trees also provide privacy for homeowners.