Monterey cypress: Cupressus macrocarpa

A member of the Cupressaceae, this cypress is native to California, hence its common name. It is fast growing and cone-shaped when young but develops a broad crown as it gets older. The golden yellow needle foliage becomes darker with age. ‘Goldcrest’ is one of the most famous varieties. The Italian cypress C. sempervivens is a very popular container plant. Cypresses grow best in bright, sunny positions.

They must be watered regularly and given weekly applications of fertilizer. If the tree is subjected to a period of prolonged drought, the foliage will turn brown. Cypresses do not mind being pruned but container-grown specimens usually do not need pruning to keep their shape. Although they will tolerate a light frost, it is recommended to keep them in a bright, well-ventilated, frost-free place (0° C/32° F).

They can be raised from fresh seeds or propagated from cuttings taken in spring or autumn. Cypresses are prone to coryneum canker, which can cause the whole tree to die.

01. July 2014 by Dave Pinkney
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