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How to Plant Cypress Trees in Canada

Cypress trees can be found growing in the wild all along the westernmost portion of the Canadian coastline. The most commonly found variety of cypress in Canada is the yellow cedar, but Lawson, Sawara and Bald cypress trees have also been introduced to Canada. These varieties of cypress are the few that thrive in the ample moisture and moderate temperatures offered by the Canadian coast. And, even if well cared for, other varieties of cypress are unlikely to survive the Canadian climate.

Choose the right planting location. The best sites are those where other cypress trees of the same variety are already growing wild. In general, Cypress trees need water-logged to permanently flooded soil like that found in swamps or near the edge or streams or rivers. However, each variety of cypress has specific needs.

Lawson cypress trees can tolerate partial shade or full sunlight but need plenty of water in the summer. Pond cypress trees need full sun to survive even in southernmost Canada and can survive in non-flooding conditions, but require standing water in poorly drained soil. And bald cypress trees need flood conditions in winter months to thrive. When choosing a variety of cypress to plant, follow the lead of other cypress trees growing in your area.

Dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of your cypress tree seedling's container. It is not necessary to add any soil amendments. Cypress trees grow well in western Canadian soil.

Remove the cypress tree seedling from its container carefully, taking care not to damage the roots.

Place the cypress tree in the hole. If the hole is not already filled with water, fill it with water and allow it to drain for 4 hours.

Fill the hole with soil so that it just covers the top of the seedling's root ball.

Spread a 3-inch layer of mulch over the planting site.

Water the soil again so that the planting site is saturated with water.


Cypress seedlings in containers can be planted at any time of the year. However, bare root cypress seedlings should be planted when they are dormant - in early spring, after all threat of frost has passed.

Cypress seedlings must be closely monitored and carefully watered during their first two years of growth.Cypress seedlings frequently die because they do not receive enough water. However, they cannot tolerate total submergence for more than one month while they are establishing themselves.

Keep your cypress seedling's root ball moist while it is waiting to be planted.

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