Taxodium distichum and mucronatum

Bald Cypress and Montezuma Cypress

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Custom Plant Information By Wilson Landscape Nursery & Florist


Native Range: Hill Country stream banks;  Rio Grande valley stream banks; wet areas of East Texas to Florida


 Bald Cypress is a majestic, large tree, up to 160 feet tall.  This is the large tree that lines the Guadalupe, Medina, Frio  and Nueces  rivers of the  Hill Country.  Montezuma is native along the Rio Grande  and tributaries in deep South Texas as well as along Mexican rivers.   The foliage of Bald and Montezuma looks the same, the major difference being that  Bald Cypress trees grow more upright and pyramidal; whereas Montezuma branches tends to drupe creating a more weeping effect. Montezuma, left alone, will grow foliage all over its main  trunk which which can be a plus or minus, depending upon the look you want. Both trees can easily be cleaned of unwanted sprouts and  both  are beautiful in their own way and grow well in our area. Bald Cypress is a tough survivor but does need a good drink to stay alive in our worst droughts, when little rainfall is received for over a month. Montezuma is more drought tolerant, though it will lose it leaves in the worst droughts and is more apt to survive with most of its limbs putting  on new leaves when rainfall or irrigation resumes.

Landscape Use: Use as you would any large shade tree, as long as you have a sprinkler system, water occasionally, or have an aerobic septic system. If everyone who has a sprinkler system or aerobic septic system would plant a Bald or Montezuma Cypress, our area would be dotted with these majestic trees. In areas with numerous aerobic septic systems, we could have a well spaced forest of Cypress. Homeowner Associations should consider encouraging or requiring residents to plant a Bald Cypress which would beautify their neighborhoods and help replace native plants destroyed by soggy soil created by aerobic system sprayed areas.

Size: Up to 160 feet tall and about 30 feet wide.

Type: Deciduous shade tree with rust colored fall foliage.  Montezuma tends to be more evergreen

Drought Tolerance: Surprisingly drought tolerant, but will suffer, or perhaps die, in severe drought conditions, without supplemental irrigation. However, will survive drought as long as it is watered well at least once every 30 days when rainfall stops. Will grow larger and lush with more water. Develops knees or trunk knobs in areas with standing water.  

Soil: Prefers lower areas with deeper soil but does just fine in the rocky Hill Country, as long as it gets water.

Water: Smart Watering Principle=Water well when first planted then allow to dry slightly, without wilting, then water deeply again, etc. Following this general watering principle is enough water for a Bald Cypress to look healthy. However, unlike many other native trees, you may water Bald Cypress as much as you like. If planting by a stream or pond, plant close to the water line but not in the water.