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Kinds of Cypress Trees

By Callie Barber ; Updated September 21, 2017
Italian cypress trees
hofeinfahrt image by Monty Schumacher from Fotolia.com

Cypress trees are evergreen trees with needles that remain with color year-round. The foliage on cypress trees varies from deep emerald green to blue and they turn fiery colors like deep oranges and russet browns in fall. Grown in a wide range of shapes and sizes, cypress trees typically have an upright, pyramidal shape that makes for a showy display in the landscape.

Bald Cypress

Bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) is a deciduous cypress tree variety with a moderate growth rate and fine texture. Growing 50 to 100 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide, bald cypress trees create a commanding landscape presence. Adaptable, bald cypress trees are heat- and drought-tolerant, making for the ideal tree to grow in arid climates. The cones on bald cypress trees grow 1 to 2 inches long and the small leaves are sage green and turn a soft brown to orange in fall. The red to brown bark is fibrous and “knees” are produced when planted in or near water. Bald cypress trees require full sun and grow in a wide range of soil varieties including wet, compacted and dry soils. Plant bald cypress in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hardiness zones 4 to 9.

Italian Cypress

Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) is an evergreen conifer that has a moderate growth rate and medium to fine texture. Growing 20 to 30 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide, Italian cypress trees have dark green to blue foliage that remains vibrant all year long, including winter, and when crushed, are aromatic. The upright, slender columnar shape of Italian cypress trees makes for a striking accent plant lining an entrance or walkway. Italian cypress trees require full sun and grow in a wide range of soil types. Plant in USDA zones 7 to 9.

Leyland Cypress

Leyland cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii) is an evergreen tree with a rapid growth rate and blue to green needles that make up the flattened sprays. The slender branches of Leyland cypress hold the dark brown cones that grow 3/4 inches wide. Growing 60 to 90 feet tall and 12 to 15 feet wide, Leyland cypress has an upright, pyramidal shape. Leyland cypress trees are an ideal screening plant for their height and width and are an easy cypress tree variety to transplant. Salt-tolerant, Leyland cypress requires full sun and well-drained soils to thrive. Plant in USDA zones 6 to 10.


About the Author


Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on Travels.com and GardenGuides.com. Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.