Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Grow Cypress Trees from Cypress Balls

By Kelsey Erin Shipman ; Updated September 21, 2017
Cypress trees are often home to wildlife such as whooping cranes.

Cypress trees are grown not only for their durable, decay-resistant wood but for their robust display as Christmas trees. As they are easy to grow in symmetrical rows, Leyland cypress trees are often grown in home lawns to create a sense of privacy from neighbors. Whatever the purpose, cypress trees are hardy plants that grow from dense root balls at the base of the trunk. It can take several years for trees planted from cypress balls to mature and become fully established.

Some of the oldest varieties of cypress thrive in standing water.

Look for an area with 8 or more hours of sunlight a day and a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Cypress trees can grow in all types of soil from sand to clay. Check with your local nursery about native varieties that grow best in your area.

Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Use your shovel to break up large clumps of dirt and remove rocks by hand while digging.

Place the root ball in the center of the hole and cover with 2 to 3 inches of soil. Stomp on the dirt around the base of the tree to eliminate air pockets.

Spread a 1-to-2-inch layer of high-quality mulch around the base of the tree. This will aid in soil moisture retention and prevent an onslaught of weeds. Be sure to leave a 6-inch space around the trunk free of mulch.

Douse the ground with an open hose immediately after planting. Continue to water your cypress tree once a week until fully established. Mature cypress trees only need watering during periods of little rainfall.


Things You Will Need

  • Shovel
  • pH Tester
  • Mulch


  • Test your soil pH periodically to ensure the proper growing conditions for your tree.


  • Watch your tree for pests such as the front tree caterpillar, whose larvae build webs and feed on needles.