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The Wood Eternal:

Interesting facts about
BALDCYPRESS (Taxodium distchum):

baldcypress The natural range of baldcypress reaches from the southern U.S. into the southern tip of Illinois, however they have been commonly planted farther north. Distinctive characteristics of baldcypress are the buttressed roots (which help the tree stay up in swampy soil) and the ‘knees’ that are parts of the roots that grow above the water level; their function is unknown. Baldcypress has round cones that open in the winter to release their seeds.  The trees lose their needles in the winter, so are considered deciduous conifers.

The largest baldcypress tree in the state of Illinois is in Pulaski County in the Cache River State Natural Area. It stands 64 ft tall and is 34.5 feet around. The largest bald cypress tree in the U.S. is in Louisiana; it stands 83 ft tall and is 53.7 ft around. Baldcypress can live as long 1000 years.

Baldcypress is a favorite tree of the famed Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

Baldcypress wood is resistant to decay (and termites) and is sometimes called ‘wood eternal.’

For this reason it is prized for many commercial purposes including construction, fence posts, and even garden mulch.

Interesting facts about
EASTERN WHITE PINE (Pinus strobus)
eastern white pine

Eastern White Pines are economically one of the most important trees in North America.  Their wood is used for construction, millwork, trim and pulpwood.  Pine plantations have replaced most of the virgin pine forests in the northeast U.S.  In the colonial period, the tall straight trees were prized for use as ship masts.
Eastern White Pines are the tallest tree in eastern North America, growing as tall as 200 feet historically.  White pines can live over 200 years and some have been recorded as over 400 years old.

The tree in this image to is one of the largest white pines in Illinois.  Its trunk measures 12 feet around; it is 79 feet tall and was probably planted around the time the house was built (early 1900s).  The largest white pine tree in Illinois (located in Bureau County) measures 12.9 feet around and is 97 feet tall.  The largest white pine in the U.S. is located in Maine.  It is 19.1 feet around and 132 feet tall.

White pine needles contain more vitamin C than lemons and it is reported that Native Americans introduced pine needle tea to early colonists to prevent scurvy.

The Native Americans of the Iroquois Confederacy call this tree the “Tree of Great Peace.”


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