Whether you’re interested in planting a tree or just eager to learn about trees, there are a number of differences between a pond cypress and a bald cypress. But what might some of these differences be, and how can you learn how to distinguish a bald cypress tree from a pond cypress tree?
In this article, we compare and contrast everything you need to know about both bald cypress and pond cypress so you can tell them apart. We’ll discuss their physical descriptions, as well as their favorite growing locations. That way you can learn which tree is best for you and your location in case you want a cypress in your own backyard! Let’s start.
Compare pond cypress with bald cypress
|pond cypress||bald cypress|
|Classification||Taxodium ascendens||Taxodium distichum|
|Description||Reaches an average of 45-60 feet tall. Short leaves or needles that grow upright along the branch rather than spreading out. The bark is pale gray and the trunk spreads out along the bottom, otherwise it maintains a very narrow profile.||Reaches 30-125 feet tall on average. Its unique root and trunk system allows this tree to grow in swamps or along riverbanks. Needles are lacy and long and color each winter before falling. Bark is grey-brown in color.|
|Applications||Great for fortifying watery shorelines, or ideally planted in extremely narrow locations||The heartwood of this particular tree can withstand many forms of decay, making it ideal for construction work|
|Hardiness Zones and Care||5-10; prefers moist soil and partial shade, although some sunlight is needed||4-10; likes moist but well-drained soil, but also adapts well to sandy or drier soil. Prefers full sun to shady conditions|
|Special Features||Often grown near standing water and lives for thousands of years!||Called “bald” because it sheds its needles in the fall!|
Key Differences Between Pond Cypress vs Bald Cypress
There are a number of important differences between pond cypress and bald cypress. While some argue that pond cypress is just a variety of bald cypress, these two trees have different species classifications. In addition, the bald cypress grows larger than the average pond cypress. Finally, the needles on the pond cypress grow differently than the needles on the bald cypress.
Now let’s look at these differences in more detail.
Pond Cypress vs Bald Cypress: Classification
While there has long been a debate as to whether these two trees are different species, pond cypress and bald cypress have different classifications. For example, the pond cypress is classified as: Taxodium ascendenswhile the bald cypress is classified as Taxodium distichum. This makes them closely related, but different species.
Pond Cypress vs Bald Cypress: Description:
It can be incredibly difficult to tell the difference between a pond cypress and a bald cypress at first glance. Both trees grow in an extremely unique way, with curved bottoms towards the end of their trunks, to grow in watery environments. However, there are some differences between these two trees.
For example, the bald cypress becomes much higher than the average pond cypress and also wider. The bark of the pond cypress is grayer than the bark of the bald cypress. These trees also have different needles from each other with the pond cypress generally having shorter leaves compared to the bald cypress. In addition, the needles on the pond cypress grow upwards, while the needles on the bald cypress spread out.
Pond Cypress vs Bald Cypress: Use
Both the pond cypress and the bald cypress have similar uses, given their interrelationship. Cypress wood is ideal for multiple building uses, and bald cypress heartwood is resistant to a number of diseases and decay. It is likely that the same can be said for the pond cypress, but it is used less than the bald cypress for construction work, probably because of its smaller size.
Both trees are ideal for growing along rivers and in swamps, although the pond cypress is perfect for narrow sites compared to the wider bald cypress. You can even grow both trees in a more traditional setting away from water, but they both like being close to rivers or swamps.
Pond Cypress vs Bald Cypress: Hardiness Zones and Care
Caring for both trees is strikingly similar, although there are a few key differences. For example, the bald cypress grows best in hardiness zones 4 through 10, while the pond cypress grows in hardiness zones 5 through 10. In addition, the bald cypress prefers direct sunlight most of the day, while the pond cypress prefers to partial shade. Both trees require a lot of water to survive, although bald cypresses require less care than pond cypresses.
Pond Cypress vs Bald Cypress: Special Features
While both trees are extremely special in the way they grow and adapt to water, there are some additional things to note. For example, the bald cypress is known as the bald cypress because it sheds its needles every year instead of maintaining them. In addition, the pond cypress is also known as the pond cypress because it likes to grow near standing water.
There is one special feature that both trees have in common: they both have an extremely long lifespan. These trees can live for thousands upon thousands of years, with some estimates reaching three thousand years or more. These are great trees to plant, especially when you consider how long they will last!