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Italian Cypress

:  Cupressus sempervirens  (koo-PRESS-us sem-per-VYE-renz) 

FAMILY:  Cupressaceae

TYPE:  Evergreen tree

HEIGHT:  40 to 60 feet

SPREAD:  3 to 6 feet

FINAL SPACING:  3-6 feet

HABIT:  Narrow columnar habit of growth forming tall, dark green columns normally no more than three feet wide. The scale-like leaves give a very fine texture to any setting. Planted three feet apart, they make a dense screen. It quickly grows much too tall for most residential landscapes, looking much like a green telephone pole.


FOLIAGE:  Trunk, bark and branches grow upright and will not droop, with a single leader; no thorns. Needs little pruning to develop a strong structure. Dark green foliage that is whorled and scale-like. No fall color change.


FLOWERS:  Inconspicuous and not showy


FRUIT:  Brown, oval, dry, hard, .5 to 1 inch.



CULTURE:  Grows in full sun. Tolerant of most soils. Drought tolerant and salt tolerant in various well-drained soils. Italian Cypress should not be pruned. Western United States in USDA hardiness zones: 7B through 11 



USES:  Italian Cypress is often used for framing, as a strong accent around large buildings, or in the formal landscape but does not lend itself well to many home landscapes. Screen or specimen.



PROBLEMS:  Verticillium wilt susceptibility. Root diseases related to being planted too deeply is far too common. It is very susceptible to mites and trees are often infested. Bagworms and mites are occasionally a problem. Root rot disease can be a problem in poorly-drained soil. Canker is a devastating disease that has killed many trees in California.


Fungal canker in early stages:




Bases of Italian cypress tree that is far too deep in the ground and needs to have the root flares exposed:



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