||trees|freeze deciduous|height 60-100'|spread 25-50'|sun/part shade|bronze color in Fall|wildlife food||
Montezuma Cypress (Taxodium mucronatum)
The southern sister species of the Bald Cypress, this conifer is more drought tolerant, has a bluish cast to its first longer leaves, and is freeze deciduous. Both species of cypress are remarkably free from insects and fungal problems and are trouble-free once established. They deserve much wider use in local landscapes.
In 1992, Dan Hosage introduced a weeping form of the Montezuma Cypress from outside of Hidalgo, Texas. This cultivar has a mature height of 30-40', with a width of 40-45'. It is an ideal lawn/street tree for Central Texas. The identifying characteristic of the weeping Montezuma Cypress form is that the tree does not create a vertical central leader. It will gracefully curve to one side, and then a new leader branch will form and curve to the other side. It is done uniformly and deliberately by the tree as it grows, and balances out the overall form. When the saplings are young, they tend to look floppy, but grow up to be spectacular trees.
"Weepers" do not ultimately form the tall box rectangle shape like a bald cypress. The profile is more in line with a Texas Live Oak which tends to be lower, curved, and broader in its look. Their drought tolerance and growth rate makes them ideal for providing extensive shade and windbreaks in pasture situations (as they have only a very short period of dormancy in the winter).
All young Montezuma Cypress trees need to be protected from deer who will relentlessly browse the new growth.