|Stormwater Landscaping with Cypress Trees|
Many here in Florida argue that stormwater ponds should be free and clear of vegetation. Some of their arguments include lines of reasoning such as;
- Stormwater ponds are polluted and plants attract wildlife that in turn could be harmed by the polluted water
- However regardless of plants or no plants, wildlife come to stormwater ponds anyway
- Here in Florida woodstorks and sandhill cranes are often seen fishing around stormwater ponds
Cypress, Taxodium spp., is especially a good tree to plant around stormwater facilities.
Reasons I choose Cypress as the number one Florida Stormwater species are;
- Cypress is a native Florida plant
- Cypress has a low leaf litter rate - THIS IS IMPORTANT
- other wetland species native to Florida, such as Blackgum, Nyssa spp. contribute enormous amounts of leaf litter to the stormwater pond, rapidly filling up the volume and requiring significant maintenance
- Cypress provides important habitat for wildlife including -
- Communal habitat, and
- Foraging habitat
- Cypress can be pruned easily for safety
- Refer to the above photo of the stormwater pond adjacent a heavily traveled intersection.
- The lower limbs of the Cypress can be pruned high enough to allow drivers to possess a safe range of view and see automobiles approaching in other directions.
- Cypress tolerates drought - long periods once established
- Cypress tolerates innundation
- Cypress grows well in modular wetlands
- Cypress contributes towards volume recovery - did you know the Florida water management districts allow for recovery efficiencies from evapotranspiration? See Chapter 40C-42 SJRWMD and others.