The cypress (Chamaecyparis) is a coniferous evergreen tree that belongs to the cypress family. This genus includes 7 species and there are several hundred cultivars. Under natural conditions, the height of these plants in some cases reaches 70 m. The cypress tree looks very similar to the cypress, so these plants are often confused. The cypress tree differs from the cypress in that its branches are smaller and flatter.
This tree also has a pyramid-shaped crown, which is very similar to the thuja. The cypress tree is native to North America and East Asia. It began to be cultivated at the end of the 18th century. Cypress trees are cultivated both in the garden and at home.
Peculiarities of the cypress tree
Native to North America are such species of this plant as: Nutcracker, Thuja and Lawson cypress.
Native to East Asia are species such as: blunt, mourning, pea-blossom and Formosa cypress. In the wild, these plants are very tall, and they have small, lush, scaly needles and round cones, which are much smaller than those of the cypress, and they contain fewer seeds. By the way, Japanese and North American species of this plant have a higher frost resistance compared to cypress. Thus, they can winter in the middle latitudes without sheltering. But they react more negatively to dry periods in summer than cypress.
This kind of tree has a cone-shaped crown, with long branches either drooping or prostrate. The surface of the trunk is covered with light brown or brown bark consisting of small scales. The pointed, tightly-pressed leaf laminae may be dark green, smoky blue, greenish yellow, or green. Young specimens have needle-like leaf laminae, while adults have scaly leaf laminae. The cones are 1.
2 centimeters in diameter and the seeds inside them germinate the very year the seedlings are planted. Recently, Japanese, European and American plant breeders have created more than two hundred cultivars, which differ from each other in size, shape, crown color, etc.
Excerpt on conifers. Cypress / Digression on ephedra. Cypress
Potting the cypress
When to plant
To plant the cypress, it is recommended to choose a site that is semi-shaded, but avoid low areas as cold air stagnates there.
Species with light blue or green need relatively less light than those with greenish-yellow need. The soil on the site should be rich in nutrients, well-drained is best if it is loamy and in any case not lime. Planting seedlings is usually made in the spring time in April, after the soil has warmed up well, but a hole for planting is recommended to prepare in the fall, so the soil will have time to properly settle. To do this, you need to make a hole, the depth of which should be 0.9 m, and width - 0.
6 m. At its bottom you should make a drainage layer 0.2 m thick, which should consist of sand and broken bricks. Then you should ½ fill the hole with a mixture of humus, sod, sand and peat (3:3:1:2). During the winter this soil mixture will overgrow and settle, and with the advent of the spring it warms up relatively quickly.
In the case that you will plant more than one cypress sapling, you should take into account that the distance between them should be not less than 100 centimeters, but better more. This is because this plant has a root system expanding horizontally.
How to plant
Basically the cypress saplings are planted ready-made, which you can buy at a garden nursery or a special store. Before planting the seedling, the planting hole should be well watered and the soil of the plant should be soaked using a solution of rooting agent (1 package of rooting agent per half a bucket of water). After that, the plant should be lowered to the center of the hole and gradually covered with the soil mixture (see its composition above), combined with 0.
3 kg of nitroammophoska. The root neck of the seedling after planting should be 10-20 centimeters above the soil surface, because the soil will definitely settle. The planted tree should be well watered. After the soil has settled, more soil will have to be added so that the root neck is at the same level as the surface of the ground in the plot. Then the planting soil should be covered with a layer of mulch and the plant should be tied to a pole.
Maintenance for the cypress tree
The first thing to note is that this plant needs systematic watering which should be done once a week, with about a bucket of water per plant. However, if there is a long dry and hot period, the frequency and abundance of watering should be increased. Mature plants must be sprinkled liberally once every 7 days, while young ones should be sprinkled every day. If the surface of the root zone is covered with a layer of mulch (peat or wood chips), watering should be done after the top layer of soil dries out. If the root stock is not covered with mulch, every time after the tree has been watered, weeding and loosening the soil surface by about 20 centimeters deep should be done.
A couple of months after planting the seedling should be fertilized with complex fertilizer, with the concentration of nutrient solution being half as much as recommended for an adult specimen. Fertilization of adult specimens is carried out 1 time in 2 weeks until the second half of July, and complex mineral fertilizer is used. Specialists advise to choose such fertilizer as Kemira for conifers, and before watering the plant, 100 to 150 grams of the substance should be sprinkled on the surface of the root circle and embedded into the soil. In the second half of summer feeding should be stopped, otherwise the tree will not properly prepare for winter.
Transplanting this tree is also recommended in spring.
The rules for transplanting a cypress tree are very similar to those used when planting a seedling in the open ground. When digging up the tree, take into account that it has a branched horizontal root system.
This plant also needs systematic pruning. In early spring the tips of frost damaged stems should be cut off and old, injured or dried out branches should be trimmed. Along with sanitary pruning in spring, it is recommended to make a formative pruning.
This is enough to maintain the natural cone-shaped or pyramidal shape of the crown of the tree. Remember that in one pruning should not be cut more than 1/3 of the green mass. When the season of active growth in autumn is over, you will need to cut 1/3 of the current year's growth, making sure to retain the existing shape of the crown. Bare branches should not be left on the tree, because they will dry out after some time anyway. You can start shaping the crown already 12 months after planting or replanting.
Diseases and pests
Hiparisks are highly resistant to diseases and harmful insects. However, sometimes such a tree may be infested with scabs and spider mites, and root rot may occur. If the plant is infested with spider mites, it will turn yellow and the needles will fall off. To get rid of such pests, it is recommended to treat the tree several times at intervals of 7 days with acaricide (Neoron, Apollo or Nissoran). Scabies suck the plant sap from the cypress tree, as a result of which it begins to dry out and its needles begin to fall off.
To kill these pests, you will need to treat the plant with nupride, and in most cases, several sprays are required to achieve a lasting effect. If the tree is very heavily infested, it is recommended to dig it up and burn it, otherwise the scabies can move on to other plants.
If water stagnation in the soil is observed, this will lead to the development of fungal diseases such as root rot. A good prevention against this disease is a thick drainage layer in the planting hole, which is done when the plant is planted. If the disease is not detected in time, it can cause the death of the tree.
It is recommended to dig up the affected plant, freeing its roots from the ground, it is necessary to cut them to healthy tissue. The root system should then be sprayed with a fungicide and the tree itself planted in a different location that suits it best in terms of agronomic requirements. In case the tree has the whole root system affected, it will have to be burned.
Retroduction of the cypress
The tree can be multiplied by seeds, cuttings and grafts. As a rule, only wild species of cypress are propagated by seeds.
The most reliable method of propagation is by cuttings and a simple one by grafts.
Growing from seed
If the seeds are gathered properly and dried well, they will keep their germination for 15 years. To increase the percentage of germination of the seeds, they must be stratified. You should sow the seeds in a container or a box filled with light soil, then you should take the container outside where it will be buried in the snow. There the seeds will remain until the spring.
If you want, you can put the box with the seeds in the refrigerator on the vegetable shelf. When the spring period comes, containers with seeds should be brought indoors, where they should be placed in a warm (18 to 23 degrees), lit place, which is protected from direct sunlight. If everything is done correctly, the first shoots will show up quite quickly. Seedlings should be provided with moderate watering, in case the sprouts will be dense, the plants should be pickled. Once the temperature outside is above zero, the seedlings should be transferred daily to fresh air, so they can harden up.
The hardened seedlings should be planted in the open soil, so choose a spot in the penumbra and with loose soil. There, the plants will spend the winter under cover. But with this method of propagation it is worth considering that seedlings very rarely retain the varietal characteristics of parent plants.
Preparing cuttings is done in the spring time. Cut apical cuttings are made from young lateral stems.
The length of the cuttings can vary from 5 to 15 centimeters. The lower part of the cuttings should be freed from the needles, and then they are planted for rooting in pots filled with a mixture of soil, which included perlite and sand (1:1), in this mixture is also recommended to sleep a little small coniferous bark. After that the container should be covered with a plastic bag. If you constantly keep the humidity close to 100 percent, then the cuttings will give root tips after 4-8 weeks. If you like, you can plant the cuttings straight into the open soil and cover them with plastic bottles that have been cut off the necks beforehand.
Cuttings planted in open soil can survive the winter without cover, but only if they develop normally. If the rooting is extremely slow, the cuttings will have to overwinter indoors.
How to propagate by grafts
Stemmed or prostrate forms of this plant can be propagated this way. Pick a stem which is very close to the ground. On its outer side you should make an incision, in which it is necessary to place a small stone.
This is necessary so that the cut does not close. Then the shoot should be placed on the surface of the ground with the incision downward and fixed with a staple. The upper part of the stem should be tied to the support, and the place of the incision should be covered with a layer of soil. During active growth, the graft should be watered regularly along with the parent tree. When the offshoot grows roots, it should be cut from the parent plant and planted in a permanent place.
Repotting is recommended in the spring, even though the roots of the offspring may already have grown in the autumn.
Preparing for wintering
Hypressed varieties and species that are winter-hardy should be covered for the first 3 or 4 years after planting in the open ground. Don't do this to protect the plant from frost but to protect it from excessive sun during the winter and spring. To cover the tree, it should be wrapped in acrylic, Kraft paper, burlap or lutrasil.
In Siberia, the Urals, and the Moscow suburbs, this plant is not cultivated in the open ground.
As a rule, it is planted in a large tub, which in the summer time is moved outside, and in the fall - brought back indoors. In areas where winters are not so harsh (Moldova, Ukraine, Crimea), the cypress tree is grown directly in the open ground, and is not covered for the winter.
Types and varieties of cypress with photos and names
The 7 species of cypress tree will be described below, as well as their cultivars that are most popular with gardeners.
The pea-fruit cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera)
Native to Japan this species is native. In the wild, this tree can reach about 30 m in height.
The brown bark has a reddish tint, and the openwork crown has a wide cone-like shape. The branches are spread out and arranged horizontally. The needles are bluish-blue in color and the cones are brownish-yellow and only 0.6 centimeters in diameter. Popular cultivars:
- Boulevard (correctly spelled Boulevard).
The tree can be as tall as 5 m or more. The shape of the crown is a skittle. The bluish-silver needles are bent inward, and they can reach 6 centimeters in length. Seedlings of this cultivar are extremely slow growing. But as the tree matures, it will grow faster, adding 10 centimeters of growth every year.
This plant is not very frost-resistant, so it is recommended to grow in regions with mild winters.
- Philifera. The height of this tree can be up to 5 m. The crown shape is broadly cone-shaped. The hanging or detached stems are strongly drooping toward the ends.
Grows not very fast. Scaly needles have dark greenish-gray color. It has been cultivated since 1861
- Nana. It is a stunted shrub characterized by slow growth. Its squat crown is cushion-shaped.
Such a tree, when it is 60 years old, may be as little as 0.6 m in height, but will reach 1.5 m in diameter. The scaly, small needles are blue in color. It has been cultivated since 1891.
Lawson's Cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)
Native to this species is North America. In the wild, the tree can reach a height of up to 70 m. The crown is narrow-conical and extends downward, usually with the crown bent sideways and the branches drooping to the ground. The brownish-red thick bark is not solid, it cracks into plates. The upper surface of the green needles is glossy.
The pale brown cones have a bluish patina and vary in diameter from 8 to 10 centimeters. Популярные сорта:
- Лавсон Элвуд. A cone-shaped crown tree, it can be up to 3 m high. The straight branches are slightly drooping. The blue-colored needles are thinner than in the original species.
There are various forms: Elwoody Gold, Elwoody Pijmi, Elwoody White, Elwoody Pillar.
- Blue Seprays. This dwarf tree can reach 3.5 m in height. The dense crown is narrowly pyramidal and reaches 1.
5 m in diameter. The red-brown bark is often cracked. The small needles are colored bluish-silvery.
- Lawson Flatbush. It can reach a height of eight meters.
The crown of this tree is column-shaped with the limbs pointing upward. Green or light blue branches turn purple in autumn. Cultivated since 1911.
Hypress blunt (Chamaecyparis obtusa)
Native to Japan. In natural conditions, it can reach a height of 50 m.
The girth of the trunk can reach a couple of meters. The smooth bark is pale brown in color. The stems branch repeatedly and very densely. The tops hang down slightly. The front surface of the needles is green or glossy green-yellow, while the underside has white stomatal stripes.
The leaflets are flattened against the stems. Cultivated since 1861. Popular varieties:
- Albopicta. This dwarf cultivar can be up to 200 centimeters tall. There are many twigs that are arranged horizontally.
The tips of the branches are whitish yellow and the needles are colored green.
- Sanderi. This dwarf form is characterized by very slow growth. The unevenly thick boughs are arranged horizontally, or may be straight. The branches are fork-shaped.
The greenish-blue needles change their color to purple-purple in winter.
- Contorta. This tree has a pinnate crown and reaches a height of 200 centimeters. The dense needles are pale green in color.
Thuecypress (Chamaecyparis thyoides)
Native of North America.
In the wild, such a tree can be up to 25 m tall. The trunk has a diameter of about 100 centimeters. The crown has a narrow cone shape. The bark is brownish-red in color. The needles are pale blue or dark green and if you rub them you can smell them.
Cultivated since 1736. Popular forms:
- Conica. This dwarf slow-growing tree is pinnately shaped. There are straight, blunt limbs. The spiky needles are bent down.
- Endelaiensis. This dwarf keeled tree can reach 2.5 m in height. The branches are short and dense. The boughs are straight and have slightly fan-shaped branches on them.
The pairs of supronate needles are colored greenish blue.
Nutkatensis cypress, or yellow (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis)
Wild can be found along the Pacific coast. Such a plant can reach a height of up to 40 m. There is a lush graceful crown. The tops of the branches create a fan-shaped pattern.
The brownish-gray bark is peeling. If you rub the dark green needles, you can feel a not very pleasant smell. The shape of the cones is globular. The forms most popular:
- Pendula (Pendula). This plant is about 15 m tall and is resistant to smoke and drought.
The tops of the stems are hanging. The glossy small needles are dark green in color.
- Glauca. The tree can range in height from 15 to 20 m. The crown is narrow-conical and reaches about 6 m in diameter.
The brownish-gray bark is prone to cracking. The scaly prickly needles are greenish-blue in color.
Gardeners also cultivate such species of cypress as Formosa and Mourning and their cultivars.
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