Bald Cypress and Water Tupelo Swamps in the Low country
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Bald Cypress and Water Tupelo Swamps in the Low country or Why Henry Ford bought Spanish Moss for Model T’s. NTTI, Nov. 2002 Prepared by: Charlie Campbell. Bald Cypress and Water Tupelo Swamps.

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Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell
Bald Cypress and Water Tupelo Swamps in the Low country orWhy Henry Ford bought Spanish Moss for Model T’s

NTTI, Nov. 2002

Prepared by: Charlie Campbell


Bald cypress and water tupelo swamps
Bald Cypress and Water Tupelo Swamps

Bald Cypress and Water Tupelo are the predominant trees in swamps. Swamps are deep water areas that are flooded most of the time. They differ from marshes in that swamps have trees and marshes do not.

Range of swamps in the United States occur along the Atlantic Coastal Plain from Delaware to Florida and up the Mississippi River Valley northward to southern Illinois.

They are classified as bottomland, hardwood forests and can be found along river channels, ox-bow lakes, floodplains and low lying areas.


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Link to the website for SC water systems: http://map8.epa.gov/scripts/.esrimap?name=NHDMapper&Cmd=ZoomInByState&CmdOld=ZoomInByScalar&th=35&zf=2&lc=000010001&qc=-2&Nq=&Vw=&Nc=0&Pi=0&Pw=0&fipsCode=45&click.x=5&click.y=4&im=on&L=-90.1424560328664&B=25.7054681776295&R=-80.027717612787&T=33.2915219926891&am=&re=0&acl=&AL=0

(Press escape to access website at bottom of screen.)


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Additional information on wetlands can be found at the following websites:

http://wetlands2.nwi.fws.gov/sites/nwi/viewer.htm?Title=

http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/what/overview.pdf

http://www.fish.washington.edu/naturemapping/water/2cls5.html

http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/vital/what.html



Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Link to the website for Four Hole Swamp map: following websites:

http://cfpub.epa.gov/surf/huc.cfm?huc_code=03050206

For more information about swamps, see the following links:

http://www.pride-net.com/1997/july/environment/forest.htm

http://www.dcr.state.va.us/dnh/wcypress.htm

http://www.hatchie.com/cypress_tupelo.htm


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Cypress/Tupelo Swamp Conditions following websites:

  • There is little oxygen in the soil in swamps

  • Leaves decompose very slowly

  • Tannic acid discolors the water and reduces the potential for sunlight to get through and reduces primary productivity.

  • Soils become anaerobic and change from oxidizing to reducing atmosphere


Bald cypress and tupelo trees are common in lowcountry swamps
Bald Cypress and Tupelo Trees are Common in Lowcountry Swamps

Fluted base of

Bald Cypress

Tupelo Tree (non-fluted base)


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Link to baldcypress website. Play video segment: Swamps

http://cfmedia.scetv.org/naturescene/Tennessee/reelfoot-lake/index.html?wholives/trees/bald-cypress


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Bald Cypress on Edisto River Swamps

Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum):predominant tree in Lowcountry Swamps


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

“Frilly” leaves Swamps

Male cones hang downward

  • Only deciduous southern conifer, sheds all its leaves at once• Height to 150 feet with diameter to 12 feet


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Bald Cypress Swamps

Gets its name because

it loses its leaves in

the winter and looks “bald”.

Autumn

Summer

Winter



Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Link to another video clip about bald cypress trees: Swamps

http://cfmedia.scetv.org/naturescene/South-carolina/congaree/index.html?wholives/trees/bald-cypress


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

The Prothonotary Warbler sometimes nests in hollow Cypress knees.

Double click on the speaker to hear the Prothonotary Warbler’s song.


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Water Tupelo knees. (Nyssa aquatica): Common Tree in Lowcountry Swamps

Water Tupelo leaf

Tupelo is deciduous and polygamo-dioecious (male and female trees).

n


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell
The Water Tupelo knees.has a fruit enclosed in a reddish, purple drupe that is a favorite food of many animal species in the swamps.


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

For more information on the Water Tupelo, see the following sites:

http://www.fl-dof.com/Pubs/trees_of_florida/watertupelo.html

http://forestry.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.fw.vt.edu/dendro/dendrology/syllabus/naquatica.htm

http://forestry.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics%5Fmanual/volume%5F2/nyssa/aquatica.htm


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Products from Swamps sites:

Timber is produced out of swamps. Cypress is a major product.


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Cypress wood is used for a variety of uses including siding, shingles and other housing products, and the knees are used for decorative products.


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Pecky Wood shingles and other housing products, and the knees are used for decorative products.(Bald Cypress)

Pecky is prized as a decorative wood. Pecking is simply the result of a natural fungus (Polyporus amarus) entering older living trees through branch loss or fires that destroy the bark.


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Cypress sawmills generally produce about 100-120 million board feet of cypress annually.

Bald cypress is used principally for building construction, especially where resistance to decay was required. It was also used for caskets, sashes, doors, blinds, tanks, vats, ship and boat building, and crates. are used for flooring, fu



Additional value of swamps wetlands
Additional Value of Swamps/wetlands that are harvested out of swamps.

  • Swamps are aesthetic and provide economic value to local economies from ecotourism.

  • Provide buffer from flooding and wind and water in coastal areas.

  • Provides habitat to many bird and mammal species


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Pressures on Cypress-Tupelo Swamps that are harvested out of swamps.

  • Exotic species of plants and animals

  • Subsidence, (land sinking)

  • Alteration of the swamp ecosystem due to logging

  • Saltwater intrusion

  • Polluted runoff, agricultural runoff

  • Habitat destruction


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Nutria that are harvested out of swamps.

Myocaster coypus

Nutria eat the tender, young shoots of cypress trees. Over the long term this could prevent the cypress trees from regenerating.

Nutria is a species of rodent similar to the muskrat. The species is endemic to South America and was imported in the US by E. A. McIlhenny (Tabasco sauce maker). He thought it would be a source of revenue for fur trappers. However, the pelt of the Nutria is not prized as a valuable fur and has little commercial value.


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Example of Exotic plant species – that are harvested out of swamps.

Invasion of Chinese Tallow Tree:

http://www.floridata.com/ref/S/sapi_seb.cfm

http://www.tulane.edu/~mrbc/2001/MRB%20Project/chinese_tallow.htm


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

  • The forest tent caterpillar that are harvested out of swamps.(Malacosoma disstria) is a serious enemy of the Water Tupelo. More than 500,000 acres of trees along the gulf coast from Louisiana through Alabama have been defoliated by this insect in a single year.

Forest Tent Caterpillars eating

the buds of a Water tupelo tree


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Example of Subsidence: that are harvested out of swamps. Picture shows an area of San Joaquin Valley in CA where the land level has sunk due to removal of water from aquifers for irrigation.

Land elevation in 1925

Land elevation in 1977


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

For an explanation of the effect of that are harvested out of swamps.Saltwater Intrusion, see this website:

http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/climate/fs92_97.pdf


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Habitat Destruction that are harvested out of swamps.:

Link to website that shows future effects of habitat enchroachment due to development. (Follow the “click here” instructions on the site to see the predicted effects of human expansion in the Charleston, SC area.)

http://www.gddf.org/interest/lowcountry.asp?objectID=387


Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

Now, what is the story behind Henry Ford’s connection to Cypress-Tupelo Swamps?

Spanish Moss is a product of the southern states, primarily Louisiana and Florida.

A load of Spanish Moss harvested and ready for sale.




Ntti nov 2002 prepared by charlie campbell

He used the Cypress crating it was packed in as paneling for his trucks and dashboard material for the cars he made. Bald cypress wood is very weather resistant, resists rot, can be finished to a beautiful luster and it was free.