Patsy Roecker McElroy


Click here to learn more about Patsy Roecker McElroy’s life.

Bald Cypress

taxodium distichum

The bald cypress is a native conifer that looks like an evergreen tree in the summer, but changes color in the Fall and drops its leaves which are needle shaped.  In nature it can be found growing in standing water which is why we chose to plant this tree in a low spot near the parking lot in the back of the church.  The tree is planted in an area that regularly has a big puddle of water in it for several days after it rains.    Bald cypress trees grow 50-100 feet tall and form buttresses at the base of the trunk. When grown in or near water it forms “knees” that protrude from the ground along the tree roots.  Pyramidal in shape when young, the bald cypress can grow to a width of 20-30 feet.  It tolerates full sun and is adaptable to a variety of soils including dry, compacted, and wet soils.  The needles are soft and flat and grow on 3-6-inch branchlets.  The leaves turn from green in summer to orange then reddish brown in the Fall.  The seeds are eaten by birds.

This tree was about 5 feet tall when it was planted on 2-17-18.  It was donated by Shelley and Jim Williams in memory of Shelley’s beloved mother Patsy Roecker McElroy (1937-2017).  To learn more about Patsy click here.


Native plants of the Southeast:  A Comprehensive Guide to the Best 460 Species for the Garden.  Larry Mellichamp; photographs by Will Stuart-1st ed. 2014 Timber Press, Portland, Oregon, ISBN 978-1-60469-323-2.

NC State Extension Service online forestry resources.