Bald Cypress tree in Cape May County


Dec 31, 1969
I'm not sure if this location is within the Pine Barrens,
or "Pinelands", but there is a place somewhere in Cape May County
called Timber Beaver Swamp, or Beaver Swamp. In this swamp there is a
single Bald Cypress tree in an apparently wild state. It is supposed
to be the only such tree in New Jersey that isn't planted. I read
about it in one of my Audubon field guides to natural areas in the
Mid Atlantic states. Witmer Stone (1910) says this about it:
"Search for it (Bald Cypress) in the swmaps of South Jersey failed
until Mr. H. Walker Hand pointed out a single tree on the edge of
Sluice Creek, not far from Dennisville, and informed me of another
that formerly grew further down stream toward the bay. The suggestion
has been made that these trees were brought from farther south and
planted here, but we can find no positive evidence of this, while
very old residents remember them as being large trees in their youth.
The locality is peculiarly suitable for Cypress, and, judging by the
number of southern plants that have been discovered on the bay side
of Cape May County, the occurrence of the Cypress is by no means
remarkable. Dr. Arthur Hollick mentions several trees on the salt
marsh near Newark, north of our limits, which were also alleged to
have been intruduced, but proof of the fact was not obtainable, while
conditions were just such as prevail in the natural habitat of the
species. This is the only other occurrence of the tree in an
apparently natural condition in the State."
I believe Delaware has an actuall Bald Cypress swamp, or possibly two
of them. It's the northernmost such swamp in the country, and of
course much of Delaware is West of New Jersey, so it's not
inconceivable that one would grow here.
Can you imagine walking through one of our White Cedar Swamps one day
and finding a Bald Cypress? I don't think I'd believe my eyes. :)
So this is one of those South Jersey places that I must see some day.