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Taxodium

Taxodiaceae
Deciduous, Evergreen, Trees

Very tough, tolerant conifers of great size, with shaggy, cinnamon-colored bark and graceful sprays of short, narrow, flat, needlelike leaves. Small, roundish cones.

Taxodium distichum ‘Cascade Falls’ (photo courtesy of Doreen L. Wynja)
Taxodium distichum ‘Cascade Falls’ (photo courtesy of Doreen L. Wynja)

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Taxodium distichum

Deciduous, from southeastern U.S. Can grow into a 100-ft.-tall, broad-topped tree in the wild, but young and middle-aged garden trees are pyramidal to 50–70 ft. tall and 20–30 ft. wide. Feathery, delicate foliage sprays with narrow leaves in a pale, delicate, yellow-tinged green. Foliage turns orange-toned brown before dropping. Interesting winter silhouette. Takes any soil except strongly alkaline. Tolerates extremely wet conditions (even grows in swamps) but also takes rather dry soil. Trunk is buttressed near the base. When growing in water-logged soil, develops knobby growths called knees. No particular pests or diseases bother it. Requires only corrective pruning to remove dead wood and unwanted branches. Outstanding tree for a stream bank or edge of a lake or pond. ‘CascadeFalls’ is a weeping form; grows quickly to 20 ft. tall and wide. ‘Shawnee Brave’ grows into a narrow pyramid just 15–20 ft. wide. ‘Green Whisper’ has very soft-textured, bright green foliage. ‘Peve Minaret’ is a dwarf to 5 ft. tall forming a compact spire with tiered branches.

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