Cypress trees are a great way to add greenery and color to your garden.
Cypress trees are amazing because they provide shade, beauty, and lots of green foliage to your garden. They are perfect for any size garden and their low-maintenance requirements make them an excellent choice for any yard owner.
Cypress Trees are very easy to manage because they can handle weak soil conditions or when there is a shortage of water. Some Cypress species need additional support in terms of water access- so do your research before investing in one!
The Cypress is a very common tree that almost everyone has heard of; some have even cultivated it. But did you know, cypress family (Cupressaceae) has a diverse array of over 140 species of these cone-bearing trees?
Some of the cypress family members’ do not even include the name Cypress. You might even be surprised to hear that some Cypress trees aren’t even related to this group.
Cypress trees, fast-growing North American natives deserve a prominent spot in any landscape. To most people, Cypress trees grow in wet, boggy soil. But even though their native environment stays wet constantly, an established Cypress tree can grow quite well on dry land and withstand occasional drought.
Read more to find out the most popular types of Cypress trees you can cultivate.
How to Care for Cypress Trees
Cypress grow the best in full sun; they need it for eight hours a day. They also need nutrient-rich soils, moist and well-drained. However, there is a notable exception, the famous swamp dweller and bald Cypress. They survive flooded conditions even for extended periods.
Cypress can be grafter using grafting techniques for quick and efficient propagation of slow-growing cypress trees. You can buy a newly grown Cypress tree from a local nursery-grown in containers before you can plant. You can also get a grafted Cypress from a Professional.
It involves cutting a young branch from a desired fast-growing cypress variety and joint it to a cypress root cutting. When the graft joint heals, it grows like a clone of the parent tree. Like a nursery tree, it has to be grown in a container for a season before you can plant it.
Caring for Cypress trees is easy. All you need is to give the young Cypress proper sitting and planting. Your planting location must have enough sunshine. The spot also has to be away from well-established trees that can shade the place.
Give your young Cypress some boost with fertilization at the season start. Keep the water moisture consistent – water the plant during the dry spells.
And even though enough sun and air circulation work as best pest control, there are some pests such as bagworms, aphids, and scale that you’ve to watch out for.
13 Types of Cypress Trees
Here are the most popular Cypress trees in the Cupressaceae family:
#1. Nootka cypress (Cupressus Nootkatensis)
Nootka cypress, also known as Alaskan Cypress or Yellow Cypress, is native to the North American West Coast, from Northern California to Alaska. It grows well in cold regions and ideally in Zone 9, but it can also do well in USDA Zone 5.
Even though there multiple Nootka varieties, the most popular garden culture is the Green Arrow. It has a narrow structure rich in deep green leaves. It does also feature a small footprint, even though it’s a tall tree.
It can grow up to 20 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. That makes it a perfect tree if you’re looking to grow Cypress in a small garden.
#2. Monterey Cypress (Cupressus Macrocarpa)
Monterey cypress or Lemon Cypress is what you will come across in most gardens. It has bright, golden yellow leaves that maintain the color throughout the winter season; it has a scaly bark that flakes during maturity. It produces small, spherical cones.
This fast-growing tree also has a narrow columnar design, and its branches grow upward. What’s more, it’s a Monterey cultivator with irregular growth habits, like other tree species.
Monterey Cypress has a rapid growth; it can grow for about 10 inches per year. It can reach a height between 10-16 feet in ten years, while its total height is around 30-40 feet in 20 years.
It grows well in zones 7 to 11, with full sun required for the best part of the year. You can cultivate it as an elegant specimen tree. It’s perfect for cultivating in Mediterranean and coastal gardens.
#3. Bald Cypress (Taxodium Distichum)
Bald Cypress, the natives of the Florida swampy marshes, are deciduous conifer trees that shed their foliage in winter. They thrive better in wet conditions, but they can also survive dry soil. That’s why they are known as the ‘bald’ Cypress.
The Bald Cypress can grow between 50 and 70 feet tall. They have upright growth with a triangular shape. You can plant them in your sizeable residential garden so long as the soil is sandy and moist.
The tree’s roots grow around it, with some growing up to 6-feet tall. The variety grows well in zone 4-9, with full sun required.
#4. Arizona Cypress (Cupressus Arizonica)
Arizona Cypress is mainly grown in Arizona, with some cultivated in Southern California and Western Texas. It’s a heat and drought-tolerant Cypress native to Southern USA and Northern Mexico. It has grayish-green foliage and a cone shape.
It matures with a height of 40-50 feet, and it can spread up to 25-30 feet at maturity. The tree grows at a medium rate with an average height of 13-24 inches per year.
It requires full sun for at least 6-hours each day. For the soil preference, the tree requires loamy, well-drained soil with regular moisture. It does also develop rough, shredding bark.
Its pyramidal shape makes it excellent for Christmas trees, windbreaks, and ornamental specimens. Arizona Cypress also produces gray-green and scale-like needles that overlap each other and also encircle the small branches.
#5. Chinese Weeping Cypress (Cupressus Funebris)
Another popular type of Cypress Tress is the Chinese Weeping Cypress that grows with medium-sized conifers and light-green foliage. It’s also known as the Mourning Cypress because of its weeping appearance.
Its drooping branches hang off the tree, creating a mourning appearance. The growth habit makes the tree an excellent ornamental evergreen tree.
It’s primarily planted in extensive gardens and public parks. Chinese Weeping or Mourning Cypress grows well in zone 7-10. It requires full sun for at least half a day and partial shade for the rest of the day. It can grow up to 20 -30 feet tall at maturity.
#6. MacNab Cypress (Cupressus Macnabiana)
MacNab Cypress is native to the foothills that surround Northern California Sacramento Valley. It has light-green foliage, tiny cones, and horn-like projections on the scale covers; it does also have red-brown bark with a purplish sheen.
And even though the MacNab Cypress can grow up to 40 feet tall, it’s more shrub-like in nature.
It grows relatively fast up to 12 feet tall and then reduces speed as it nears 40 feet. It’s an evergreen tree with branching that starts to grow neat the base. It has a nice, fragrant look in cultivation but relatively rare in the wild.
The tree thrives with one year of watering and tolerates sand/clay soil, and it grows well in zones 6-10.
#7. Gowen Cypress (Cupressus Goveniana)
Gowen Cypress is a species that’s native to California, Monterey Peninsula in coastal Monterey County, Western United States. It’s found in small and scattered populations. The tree is an evergreen type with a conic.
It varies in size, with some mature trees starting from 3.5 feet tall in some sites and 160 feet tall in its ideal conditions. It features dense, dark-green foliage that sprays out.
Some types, though, have yellow-green foliage. This was the famous Cypress variety burn by Morse Fire back in 1987. Fortunately, it still exists from the regenerated trees after the fire.
The type grows relatively slowly, which explains its scarcity. In some areas, the tree only forms a prostrate shrub cover.
#8. Mendocino Cypress (Cupressus Pigmaea)
Mendocino Cypress or Pygmy Cypress is a native of coastal terraces and mountain ranges of Sonoma and Mendocino counties in North-West California. It’s a highly variable variety closely related to other Cypress trees such as Cupressus Goveniana, often considered subspecies of it.
It has a dull dark-light green foliage with long scale-like leaves. The leaf tips don’t spread, and the seedlings have needle-like leaves. It has tiny, spherical-like cones with scales arranged in opposite pairs.
The cones stay closed when the tree is dead – that’s when they open to release the seeds, mainly after getting burnt. The tree can grow up to 145 feet tall and 7 feet wide.
#9. Lawson Cypress (Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana)
The tree is a tall evergreen variety with green or bluish-green foliage. It does also have flat, feathery scale-like and spray leaves. The tree can grow up to 200 feet tall – and that’s why you won’t find it in most gardens. It’s mostly a wild tree.
However, it does have a variety EllWoodii Lawson Cypress’ ColumnaCypress’ shrub that grows around 20 feet tall, the perfect height for a garden tree. It has dense foliage with soft and feathery silver-blue leaves.
It’s ideal for use as a privacy hedge or a specimen tree. It grows in zones 5 – 8, and it requires full sun and loamy soil.
There is also the Silver Thread Lawson Cypress. It’s a dwarf false Cypress with a narrow growth habit and a triangular shape. It’s best grown for privacy and as a specimen tree, and it thrives well in zones 5 to 8. It requires full sun and loamy soil. It can grow up to 20 feet tall at maturity.
Lastly, there is the Minima Glauca Lawson cypress. It’s a tiny, mini Cypress shrub ideal for cultivating a foundation plant, border plant, low-growing hedge, or specimen plant. It has a rounded growth habit, bluish-green foliage, and densely growing leaves. It grows to a height of 3 feet only.
#10. Leyland Cypress (Cupressus Leylandii)
Cupressus Leylandii tree had dense foliage and a broad columnar with a pyramid shape. It does overgrow with a speed of 18-inches in a year. Its distinctive features make it perfect for privacy screens.
You can also use it for evergreen hedges. It requires full sun for it to grow right and provide the natural living hedge.
It can grow to 22 feet at maturity, but without pruning, the tree can reach 70 feet. And with Leyland being a hybrid of two Cypress species, Monterey Cypress (Cupressus Macrocarpa) and Nootka cypress (Cupressus Nootkatensis), it does well in zones 6 to 10.
#11. Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis Obtusa)
Reddish bark that peels when the tree matures describes Hinoki Cypress, a species that grows slowly. It grows to a height of between 3-6 feet tall. As an evergreen conifer with a pyramid shape, it’s an excellent variety for gardens and landscapes.
It has dark green foliage perfect for residential evergreen gardens. Its dwarf variety makes perfect privacy hedges, foundation plants, contains plants, or a specimen plant. It grows well in zones 4 to 8 and requires full sun.
#12. Mediterranean Cypress (Cupressus Sempervirens)
Mediterranean Cypress or the Italian Cypress is a tall, skinny conifer featuring feathery soft, evergreen foliage sprays. The green leaves of the European Cypress are scale-like and have rounded shoots.
Its seed cones are brownish, oval balls that can grow up to 1.5 inches long. It grows in zones 7 to 9 and under full sun.
When it’s fully mature, the Italian Cypress has a tall green column appearance tapering to a point. It’s perfect for use as a specimen plant or uses it to add a vertical height to your garden. Even though it’s a drought-tolerant columnar tree, it needs planting in well-drained soil with plenty of sunshine.
#13. Kashmir Cypress (Cupressus Cashmeriana)
Despite its name, this graceful Cypress species is native to Bhutan and not Kashmir. Kashmir Cypress is ideal for almost any landscape, thanks to its dwarf growth. However, it can get quite broad, and it grows well in zone 9 only.
But if you have enough room in your landscape and live in a mild climate, then Kashmir Cypress can work for you. It has weeping branches that undulate during the breeze. It also has blue-green leaves. It requires loamy, sandy, and well-drained soil.
And those are the 13 most popular types of cypress trees you can cultivate. Be sure to check the zones and the sizes if you plan to get yourself a Cypress tree for your landscape.
Hi, my name’s Elena Coolidge. I’m a DIY enthusiast who loves building fun woodworking plans. These DIY plans are fun hobby projects for enthusiasts or even more advanced builders that want to build things like bunk beds, end tables or even a duck box!