Cypress trees (Cupressus sempervirens) are tapering and have cone-like shapes. The trees are conifers and are part of the Cupressaceae family. Cypress trees are native to southern Europe (Italy). Below their branches, the stems are short and the trees rarely grow taller than 50 or 60 feet. The branches of these trees divide many times and their leaves are a yellowish-green color.
The wood of cypress trees is fine, hard and close-grained. It is highly durable and has a warm, reddish-brown tone. The wood is sweetly fragrant and has balsamic qualities.
Cypress trees can be grown in the United States Department of Agriculture's plant hardiness zones from 7 to 11. These zones encompass the entire Southern region of the country and the entire West Coast. In maturity, these trees tend to grow to be about 40 feet tall. Their mature width is about 5 feet. They require either partial or full sunlight and are drought tolerant. Cypress trees are also very adaptable to many different types of soil.
Cypress trees make attractive landscape plants and are very popular. They are appreciated because they are highly tolerant of different climates and weather. They are also very rapid-growing (they can grow as much as 3 feet per year). Cypress trees also grow in a narrow manner.
There are many varieties of cypress trees. Some well-known types of these trees include cypress pines and African, Patagonian, False, Cordilleran, Fujian, Siberian, Sargent, Chinese Swamp, Guaitecas and Montezuma cypresses.
Some symbolism is associated with cypress trees. In Greek mythology, the tree is considered to be a symbol of Artemis, who was an ancient Greek goddess that stood for wild animals, hunting, fertility, childbirth, virginity, female disease and motherhood.