New trees on the Holcomb tree trail

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Volunteers (l to r) Barry Avery, Eric Lukingbeal, Sue Canavan, Walt Zultowski, and Peggy Lareau planting the bald cypress grove in North Field at Holcomb Farm.

Come see the latest addition to the Holcomb Tree Trail, the bald cypress grove. These trees were generously donated by Granby nurseryman John O’Brien. Bald cypress, commonly found in the southeastern United States, grow in damp or even swampy conditions.

There are several boggy areas on the tree trail, and we chose to plant these trees at the north end of the Holcomb Farm fields, known as the North Field. This area is quite damp and in spring can have standing water. The Friends planted nine of these trees in a cluster, or grove, which is how they would grow in the wild. We also planted a single plant with more room to grow to show the full width of the tree when given the space.

Bald cypress are deciduous conifers, which means that they have needles which fall off every fall. The needles turn an orange brown color in fall that will be a nice contrast with the White Pines nearby.

The newly planted tree is one of the ten Pendens Bald Cypress trees donated by O’Brien Nurserymen of Granby

These trees are all a cultivar called Pendens, which means that the branches are nearly horizontal, but nodding at the tips with branchlets drooping. They also are fast growers, reaching 50 to 70 feet in 30–50 years and in the wild, they may reach 100 feet or more. While native from Delaware to Florida and West to Texas and Louisiana, they have proved hardy in Minnesota, Southern Canada, and upstate New York. Some have survived -20° to -30°F temperatures. There are several very large bald cypresses in Bushnell Park in Hartford.

This is the largest gift of trees that the tree trail has received, and we are grateful to O’Brien Nurserymen for supporting the Friends of Holcomb Farm’s Holcomb Tree Trail.