Cypress Stand in Big Cypress NP

This is a stand of cypress in Big Cypress National Preserve. Photo by Elizabeth A. VanderPutten. February 2001.
Photo by Elizabeth VanderPutten, February 2001

Cypress Trees

I was surprised and slightly disappointed by the dwarf pond cypress trees I saw in Big Cypress National Preserve. They were smaller than I'd expected (I didn't know until later that "Big" did not refer to the size of the cypress trees) and they were virtually leafless.

Cypress are conifers and I thought that all conifers are evergreens. I learned they are actually deciduous conifers and are related to the giant redwoods of california.

All trees, it seems, loose their leaves each year. Evergreens, such as the pine and spruce and hemlock with which I am most familiar, lose their leaves a few at a time throughout the year. Thus they always appear to be green. Cypress lose their leaves all at once in the winter. These were really pretty scraggly looking.