False Cypress Care: How To Grow A False Cypress Tree
What Is A False Cypress?
A false cypress tree is a type of evergreen shrub with small, round leaves. They are commonly found growing along streamsides or other moist areas. These trees have tiny branches which grow into the ground. The branches eventually become small, white cones. The cone is then covered with a thin layer of bark. These trees are often used as shade structures or ornamental plants.
The name “false” refers to their appearance – they look like little cedar trees but are actually related to the poplar family (Populus). Poplars do not produce true cones; instead, they use woody stalks called needles for their cones.
They are native to North America from Canada southward. They were introduced to Europe in the 16th century and became popular as hedges during the 17th century. However, they soon suffered deforestation due to their tendency to fall over when touched by humans. In fact, there was a time when only two species of false cypress existed in North America: the red and white variety.
By 1876, all three species had been completely wiped out! They were reintroduced to the U.S. in 1940.
The false cypress mostly grows in moist woodlands and swamps of North America, typically in partly shaded areas but not in heavy forests. The species vary from 3-80 feet (1-25 meters) high with trunk diameters of about 2-3 feet (60-100 centimeters). Its branches are slender and grow straight up. Its leaves are always needle-like, growing in clusters of 15-30 together and drooping downward.
Its bark is a tan color. It has many male flowers that grow on the same tree, but no female flowers.
These plants are evergreens; their leaves do not fall off or lose color during the winter. They have separate male and female plants. The male plants produce pollen in late winter or early spring. The female plants produce seed in late spring to summer.
The small, scaly cones are woody and fleshy at the same time. They are oval or egg-shaped and sit on a short woody stem. The scales of the cone look thin and flat and have a notch on their upper side. If you break one open, you will find one or two seeds inside.
The seeds have no shell and a light brown color. They are very small, only about 1/25 inch (1 millimeter) in diameter.
These shrubs are either male or female. The male plants do not produce berries and so do not grow berries. However, they can be identified by their flowers, which blooms in the spring. The flowers grow in clusters at the tip of each stem and are creamy-white in color.
The female plants do produce berries. They can be identified by their cone-like structures, which are fleshy and grow in the leaf axils of the branches. The berries are green when unripe but turn red when ripe. They contain one to four seeds each and have a hard shell.
This evergreen tree has no common diseases, however it can develop scale insect infestations, which can be treated with insecticides.
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This tree is very easy to grow from seeds or cuttings. It prefers acidic soil with lots of water. It can be grown in containers or in the ground. The wood is very soft and should not be used where durability is required.
The wood of the false cypress is not very strong, and it is soft and spongy. It has been used for plywood, packing cases, and railroad ties. However, it is not grown just for its wood; it is also grown for its beauty. It produces a gorgeous flower that can be found in shades of yellow, gold, and green.
It blooms off and on throughout the year. This tree also has a pleasant odor. It looks very similar to the Baldcypress but can be told apart because it has only one trunk.
The Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum), sometimes known as the Tulip Tree, is a beautiful and majestic tree that grows in swamps or along rivers. It is a large tree that grows very straight and tall with a long trunk and little branching until near the top. It develops a crown of slender, curving branches that form a narrow peak.
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This tree can grow over 100 feet in height with a diameter of 4-5 feet. It has tough, flexible branches that don’t break. Its leaves are large, glossy, and deep green. They remain on the tree for several years before falling to the ground.
The leaves are usually five lobed and grow in pairs. It has small, green flowers that are hidden in the tree’s foliage. They turn into fuzzy brown seeds that are carried by the wind.
The Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) is one of the largest trees on earth. It grows along the Pacific coast in North America, from Oregon to California. There are two species, the Coast Redwood and the Giant Sequoia.
The bark is thick, red-brown in color, and deeply grooved on the largest branches. The leaves are oval shaped, bright green, and a foot long. They turn yellow and fall off in the fall.
This tree can grow more than 250 feet tall with a diameter of 3-5 feet. It grows in wet soil or water. Its trunk has few branches until it reaches the crown where they widen out.
Sources & references used in this article:
Chamaecyparis obtusa (False Cypress-Hinoki) ID# 982 by D Larum – 2018
Chamaecyparis pisifera (Sawara Falsecypress) ID# 992 by T Deppert – 2020 – digitalcommons.salve.edu
Hinoki Falsecypress, Chamaecyparis obtusa by G Moen – 2020 – digitalcommons.salve.edu
Sawara Falsecypress (Japanese Falsecypress), Chamaecyparis pisifera by AX Niemiera – 2010 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
Selecting landscape plants: conifers by AX Niemiera – 2012 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
Growth Performance Assessment of Chamaecyparis obtusa Stand in Gyeongnam Province, S. Korea by D Relf, BL Appleton – 2000 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
Long-term carbon budget of the above-ground parts of a young hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) stand by MH Shik, KT Woon, T Solomon – Agriculture, Forestry and …, 2020 – article.affjournal.net
Land Suitability Evaluation for the Growth of Chamaecyparis obtusa Forest in Gyeongnam Province, South Korea by S Adu-Bredu, A Hagihara – Ecological Research, 2003 – Springer
The Growth Pattern of Chamaecyparis obtuse Stand along Longevity in Gyeongnam Province, South Korea by MH Shik, T Solomon – Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, 2020 – article.affjournal.net