Wednesday, January 10, 2018
The Pondcypress - Taxidium ascendens
The Pondcypress - Taxidium ascendens is a very large deciduous tree that can reach heights of over 100 feet and live to be over 500 years old. It is most commonly found growing in very moist areas, swamps or even shallow ponds. When growing in water the tree forms knee like structures around the base of the tree, this unique rooting habit makes the tree able to withstands high winds. The wood of the mature Pondcypress is highly prized for it's rot and termite resistant properties. When young the tree grows in a conical shape, with age it will begin losing it's lower limbs and the trunk will become deeply fluted.
Pondcypress leaves are in the form of 1/4 inch long needles that are lime green in color and loosely woven around thin soft center twigs that curve slightly out from the main branches. In the fall the lime green leaves change in color, first to yellow and then to a red-brown before falling off. To the untrained eye the Pondcypress may appear to be a dead evergreen tree during this time, this is not the case as the Pondcypress is deciduous in nature (meaning it loses it's leaves each fall/winter). The fruit balls of the Pondcypress are rounded in shape, rough on the surface and silver gray in color. The fruit balls appear in the Summer and in the Fall open to release their seeds before falling off. During the Winter season the Pondcypress and Baldcypress appear almost identical and can be easily confused for one another.