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Cypress Trees

The bald vypress grows in swamps and on land.

How to Prune Arizona Cypress

Arizona cypress trees are extremely drought tolerant and grow fast even in harsh climates. These low maintenance evergreens range from blue to gold. Always prune cypress trees in the fall when they are most dormant to ensure you'll see new growth and buds in the spring. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when pruning Arizona cypress trees.

Put on the gardening gloves to protect your hands and skin.

Removing any diseased branches back to the trunk. This is done to decrease the amount of branches the tree needs to feed by removing the weaker ones and leaving the stronger ones. It also increases sun exposure and circulation to the interior of the tree, and gets rid of any diseased or dead branches.

Use the pruning shears to cut no more than 1/3 of healthy branches down to where they meet the tree trunk.

Use hand shears to tailor the appearance of the cypress, especially if your cypress is shaped as a hedge or topiary. Skim along the surface to form the cypress as you wish in a desired shape or just trimmed neatly.

Pinch the stem tips with the pruning scissors as the final step of pruning the cypress. This means you are removing the stem tips to promote branching and new growth.This helps keep your pruning in check so you do not have a lot of work to do each fall.

Dispose of the sheared of branches, leaves and tips.

About the Bald Cypress Tree

Growing Conditions and Zones

The bald cypress grows best in acidic soil but is adaptable to other conditions, according to the Arbor Day Foundation. It grows well in full sun and can adapt to wet or dry conditions. The bald cypress tree grows in zones 4 through 10 on the U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone map.

Mature Height

This stately tree can reach between 50 and 70 feet when mature. A full grown bald cypress can have a spread up to 25 feet.

Physical Characteristics

The bald cypress is a deciduous, coniferous tree whose leaves are semi-evergreen. The tree grows in a pyramidal shape and is widely known for the "knees" that grow on its trunk.

Proper Care of Dwarf Cypress Plants

Plant your dwarf cypress in a location where it will be exposed to at least a half-day of sunlight.

Provide protection from the wind for the dwarf cypress by putting it near a wall or fence.

Amend the soil with 6 inches of sphagnum peat moss to provide an acidic environment for your dwarf cypress.

Fertilize the tree in the spring with a water-soluble, balanced (10-10-10), slow-release fertilizer developed for evergreen shrubs, using the dosage suggested on the label.

Water the plant when the soil becomes dry 1 inch below the surface.

The Height of a Dwarf Cypress Tree


Chamaecyparis are distinguished by their fine-textured evergreen foliage, which consists of flattened fans of needle-like leaves. Many popular dwarf varieties have rounded shapes.The foliage can be dark green, lighter green or even golden, as in the popular Gold Thread and Gold Mop varieties.


Many dwarf Chamaecyparis are offspring of either Chamaecyparis obtusa Nana or Nana Gracilis. Nana reaches a height of 3 feet. Nana Gracilis can reach up to 6 feet. Dwarf Chamaecyparis pisifera varieties reach 3 to 5 feet tall, with the popular ball-shaped cultivars topping out at 3 feet.


Dwarf chamaecyparis, which can be used for foundation planting or rock gardens, require consistently moist soil in full sun or light shade. Their rate of growth is slow, with some varieties taking 10 years to reach a maximum height of 2.5 to 3 feet.

Is Cypress Mulch Acidic?

Cypress mulch is acidic and is good for acid-loving plants like azaleas. Take care when using it around plants that need a neutral or alkaline soil.

How to Fertilize Italian Cypress

Rake the area around the base of the Italian cypress tree to a 3 foot radius. Remove any debris or weeds.

Scatter 10-8-6 granular fertilizer around the raked area. Use 1 pound of fertilizer per inch of diameter of the Italian cypress tree’s trunk.

Lightly rake the fertilizer into the top 1/2 inch of soil.

Water the fertilized area until the soil is moist to a depth of 8 inches.

How to Grow an Italian Cypress From Seeds

Place the Italian cypress seed in a bowl of room-temperature water and allow it to soak for 24 hours.

Remove the seed from the water and place it on a paper towel to drain.

Moisten a handful of peat moss and push the seed into it. Place the bundle in a plastic bag and place the bag in the refrigerator where it should remain for 30 days.

Fill the planting pot with a pre-moistened mixture of equal parts of sand and peat moss. Remove the Italian cypress seed from the refrigerator and lay it on the surface of the soil. Barely cover it with additional moist soil.

Place the planting pot in a well-ventilated area that remains at least 68 degrees F. and keep the soil moist until the seed germinates, which should occur from within one to three months.

Allow the Italian cypress seedling to remain indoors in a bright area over the first winter, but out of direct sun. Keep the soil moist. Plant it outdoors in late spring or early summer.

Are Bald Cypress Trees Deer Resistant?

Deer do not like bald cypress trees.

Deer rarely feast on bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum), although they will eat the bark or the foliage if other food is scarce or if the deer population is overcrowded.

What Will Grow Close to Cypress Trees?

Italian cypress trees crown a hill in Verona, Italy

Cypress trees are fast-growing, broad-rooted evergreens native to wetlands and Mediterranean areas with plenty of rainfall. They need full sun and will not grow well with taller shade trees. Plant ferns, hollies, sedges and other plants with shallow roots that prefer moist, well-drained soils near cypress windbreaks, hedges and specimens.