Shade Trees

The information below, gives shade tree descriptions, tree height growth, leaves, growing conditions, etc. These photos show the assortment of shade trees found at our farm.

Bald Cypress Trees

The bald cypress can grow from 50 to 70 feet high and provides a spread of around 30 feet. It is commonly used in landscaping. A tall deciduous tree that produces cones, the bald cypress belongs to the non-flowering group known botanically as gymnosperms. It has a pyramidal shape or plump column-like stature. The bald cypress tree has a straight trunk with horizontal branches extending from it. The bark of this tree is reddish-brown in color. The leaves of the bald cypress tree are a light green in the spring and gradually darken to a dark green in the summer. In the fall, the leaves turn brown. The trunk and root system of this tree is such that it rarely is blown down by strong winds or damaged in hurricanes.

The bald cypress tree grows naturally in the American Atlantic Coastal Plain from Delaware to southern Florida and westward along the Gulf Coast and lower Mississippi River valley to eastern Texas. This water-loving tree grows in moist woodland areas and along the edges of swamps.

Bald cypress trees should be grown in full sun to partial shade, ranging from four to over 10 hours of direct sunlight daily. The bald cypress tree grows well in a variety of soils, including wet soils, dry soils, chlorotic soils and soils with a high pH. This tree is tolerant of heat, humidity and winter cold as well as drier upland soils that are far from the water’s edge.

Sycamore Trees

Sycamore tree grow to be 70 to 100 feet tall with a spread between 60 and 80 feet. They are typically broad, round and some can have trunk diameters of more than 10 feet. It’s massive spread is why they make great shade trees. It has a notable bark that looks mottled or jigsaw-like in appearance with patches of tan, cream, gray and off-white shades.

The leaves of a sycamore tree are light green that turn golden in color in the fall. The leaves of the sycamore tree are very large with the common size being 4 to 8 inches across. The leaves have three to five shallow lobes, making them resemble enlarged maple leaves and toothed along the edges. The leaves are green on top, with a duller shade of green below. During summer, the color is bright green with a display of yellow foliage in the fall. The flowers are red, tiny and inconspicuous, appearing in the spring. The fruit is a hard, green, lumpy, round ball about 1 inch in diameter on the end of a 2- to 3-inch stem.

Sycamore trees are often used to line streets and thoroughfares in urban areas. The tree is also used in residential settings and parks for shade and as a landscape plant. They are also valuable for timber.

The sycamore tree favors a climate range between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit with extremes of -30 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The sycamore can grow in a variety of soils but prefers moist ground, especially in the northernmost portions of its native geographic range. They will often grow along rivers and streams. It is not very tolerant of flooding during growing season. The sycamore is also fairly drought tolerant and can handle salt well, making it a good choice for urban environments. Sycamore trees prefer full sun.

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