Cryptomeria Japonica, a variety of cryptomeria native to Japan.
image by Loz Flowers/flickr.com
Cryptomeria, also known as Japanese cedar, is native to Japan and China. It is used mainly in home gardens as an ornamental tree. Cryptomeria are hardy through zones 6 to 9, although they may be able to stand winters in zone 5 if they are protected. Many varieties of cryptomeria grow to be about 30 feet tall with a spread of about 10 feet. However, there are some small varieties of cryptomeria as well used only as bonsai plants.
Choose a spot for your cryptomeria. They prefer full sun to partial shade and well drained soil.
Improve your soil. Add compost or manure and a high-quality top soil and work it into a depth of three to four feet with a four feet diameter.
Plant your cryptomeria in the spring after the last frost. Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and wide enough to accommodate it, about two to three feet deep and two feet wide. Place the tree in the hole and fill it with soil half way. Water the cryptomeria and allow the soil to soak up the water. Finish filling the hole with soil and pat it down firmly.
Water the cryptomeria regularly, about two times a week for 10 minutes each watering. The soil around the tree should be moist, but not sopping wet.
Fertilize your cryptomeria with compost or manure in the fall and spring. Apply mulch over the compost or manure.
Prune your cryptomeria in the spring, summer and fall. Remove any dead or damaged branches. Trim back any over-reaching branches. Keep your cryptomeria well shaped. Remove any branches that inhibit the inner leaves from receiving sunlight.