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

How to Plant Cypress Trees

By Laura Wallace Henderson ; Updated September 21, 2017

Landowners grow cypress trees for multiple purposes. These trees provide quick growth for fuel and can provide tall screens for windbreaks and habitat for wildlife. All types of cypress trees fall into one of two categories. The pond cypress reaches a smaller height than the bald cypress and produces thicker bark. Bald cypress trees grow as high as 150 feet and live for hundreds of years. Correctly planting cypress trees ensures optimum opportunity for healthy growth.

Select a suitable location for planting your cypress trees. Cypress trees prefer wet locations. Many types grow in swampy areas. Choose an area that stays slightly moist but provides drainage. Avoid low areas that show evidence of prolonged flooding, as cypress trees seldom survive more than a month of submergence. Choose a location that receives full sunlight. Avoid planting young trees over shallow areas of underlying lime rock.

Prepare the soil for your new cypress trees. Cypress trees grow in a variety of soil compositions, but prefer ones that contain sandy loam. Add compost to packed soil to provide loose texture for maturing roots. Use a garden shovel to loosen the soil and remove any existing vegetation found growing in the planting area.

Plant your cypress trees upon delivery. Keep the root ball moist until you set it in the ground. Place your holes far enough apart to allow adequate room for future growth. For lumber production, place seedling approximately 8 feet apart. A distance of 10 feet or more provides adequate space for cypress trees used as wildlife forage and landscape enhancements. Allow twice the width of the root ball when digging holes. Place the root ball level with the surface of the soil and fill in with backfill soil.

Water your cypress trees regularly during the establishment period. Extended drought is a common cause of death in young cypress trees, especially during the first couple of years after planting. Give each tree a good soaking during dry spells to ensure adequate moisture near the roots.


Things You Will Need

  • Compost
  • Garden shovel

About the Author


Laura Wallace Henderson, a professional freelance writer, began writing in 1989. Her articles appear online at Biz Mojo, Walden University and various other websites. She has served as the co-editor for "Kansas Women: Focus on Health." She continues to empower and encourage women everywhere by promoting health, career growth and business management skills.