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Old Growth Cypress

Designated the official state tree in 1963, the iconic bald cypress is one of the most recognized  natural resources in the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.  Unlike most conifers which are evergreens, the bald cypress is deciduous, meaning it loses its needles in the fall giving the tree a "bald" appearance. The bald cypress is a majestic tree that grows in many parts of Louisiana, particularly in swampy areas.  The shape of the bald cypress depends greatly on the amount and duration of flooding in the area. When located in swampy soils, the bald cypress forms "knees" with age that grow up from the roots, probably for stability.

Louisiana Purchase and Bicentennial Cypress Legacies

The purpose of this project is to inventory, landmark and promote the stewardship of cypress trees over 200 years of age in Louisiana. These trees were alive at the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 as well as Louisiana’s Statehood in 1812.



  • Increased awareness and appreciation of the presence of old growth cypress in Louisiana wetlands and other habitats
  • Conservation of old growth habitat
  • Encouragement of wetland and habitat stewardship that promotes a continued long-life for cypress trees
  • Promotion of interest in the outdoors and outdoor recreation
  • Education on the role of cypress in the state’s history, its ecological significance and the challenges facing old growth habitat


 Where are the Louisiana Bicentennial Trees? 

  1. Lake Verrett, Assumption Parish 
  2. Tickfaw State Park   "Grandma Tree", Tangipahoa Parish
  3. Buckhorn Wildlife Management Area, Brushy Lake Trail, Tensas Parish (see March 2012 Blog entry)
  4. Woodlands Conservancy Trail, Plaquemines Parish
  5. Chemin a Haute Bayou, Chemin a Haute State Park, Morehouse Parish  "Castle tree" (approximately 1000 years old)
  6. Jean Lafitte National Park, Jefferson Parish, Coquille Trail


Where are the Louisiana Purchase Trees?

  1. 1664 Robert Street at Baronne, Uptown New Orleans , Orleans Parish **FOUNDER'S TREE** (plaque)
  2. Sargent Lake Vicinity, Catahoula Parish **FOUNDER'S TREE** (plaque)
  3. Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge, **FOUNDER'S TREE** (plaque)
  4. Tickfaw State Park vicinity , Livingston Parish
  5. Jean Lafitte National Park, Jefferson Parish
  6. Saline Bayou, Big Cypress Preserve, Bienville Parish
  7. Black Bayou Area, Joyce Wildlife Management Area, Tangipahoa Parish
  8. Ernest Slough and Goat/Porter's Island, West Pearl River area, St. Tammany Parish
  9. Bear Bayou area, Atchafalaya Basin, St. Martin Parish
  10. Bayou Boeuf, Kisatchie National Forest, Rapides Parish
  11. Bayou Loutre-Phillips Lake, Union Parish

A map of tree locations can be viewed here. For additional maps, a detailed tree inventory and photos, click here.


Special thanks to Harvey Stern for research and management of this project.


Atchafalaya National Heritage Area

• National Park Service affiliate
• "Passport to Your National Parks" Program
• Member of Alliance of National Heritage Areas
National Park Service Affiliate Louisiana Travel - Pick Your Passion Alliance of National Heritage Areas