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Italian Cypress Alternatives

By Callie Barber ; Updated September 21, 2017
Evergreen trees like the Italian cypress retain their color all year long.
evergreen image by FFprod66 from Fotolia.com

Italian cypress trees are evergreen trees with an upright, vertical columnar shape. Tolerant of wide range of soil types, Italian cypress trees require full sun and well-drained soil to thrive. As an evergreen, the Italian cypress keeps its leaves and color all year long.

Alternatives for Italian cypress include evergreen shrubs and trees with a similar upright, columnar shape and a smaller width than height. Cedar and junipers, as well as other cypress varieties, are ideal alternatives.

Rubicon White Cedar

Similar to the Italian cypress, the rubicon white cedar is also an evergreen shrub with a dense, compact columnar form. Rubicon white cedars grow 15 to 25 feet tall and have short needle-like leaves that are blue-green in summer. Like the Italian cypress, the rubicon white cedar retains its leaves all year long. In fall, the needles turn plum for a rich look to the landscape. Rubicon white cedars have a moderate growth rate and require full sun to thrive. Planted in a wide range of soil types, including dry and moist soil, rubicon cedars make for an adaptable shrub. Rubicon cedars are ideal planted side-by-side as a privacy hedge along a backyard patio. The USDA hardiness zone for planting is 4 to 8.

Lawson False Cypress

Similar to the Italian cypress tree, Lawson false cypress is also an evergreen tree with a dense, conical form. The erect branches are slow to grow and have a blue to gray color. Highly adaptable, the Lawson false cypress is ideal nestled along a front bed for a focal point to the yard. Lawson false cypress remains with color all year long and grows 6 to 10 feet tall. They require full sun to part shade and a medium to wet moisture content. They thrive in well-drained soil that’s neutral to acidic, similar to the Italian cypress tree. The USDA hardiness zone for planting is 5 to 9.

Rocky Mountain Juniper

Rocky Mountain juniper is an evergreen tree with dark green to blue foliage that grows vertically and holds its color all year long. The upright habit, similar to the Italian cypress has a narrow pyramidal shape. Rocky Mountain juniper has a slow growth rate and grows 30 to 40 feet high and 3 to 15 feet wide. Rocky Mountain juniper trees are tolerant of a wide range of soil types, except overly wet conditions. They thrive in full sun and are tolerant of high humidity, making the rocky mountain juniper ideal in arid, warm climates. Easily transplanted, Rocky Mountain juniper is ideal along the home as a makeshift screen or used in large containers flanking a front yard walkway. The USDA hardiness zone for planting is 3 to 7.


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.