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Lawson's cypress Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

Other Common Name(s):

Description

Port Orford cypress is a needled evergreen tree in the Cupressaceae (cypress) family. It is native to northern California and Oregon from sea level to 4900 feet. Port Orford cypress is a large tree up to 180 feet tall with ascending branches and tips that droop giving it a pendulous look. 

This tree prefers moist but well-drained soils in full sun with some wind protection.

This tree is large and rarely used as an ornamental but there are over 300 cultivars available that are more useful as a specimen tree

The aromatic wood is light and strong with rot resistance and is often exported to Japan for use in coffins, shrines and temples. The straight grain of the wood make it ideal for making arrows and stringed instruments.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Phytophthora lateralis is a big problem for this tree. There are now trees on resistant rootstock that are available.

VIDEO created by Ryan Contreras for “Landscape Plant Materials I:  Deciduous Hardwoods and Conifers or Landscape Plant Materials II:  Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#cultivars#wildlife plant#large tree#conifer#food source wildlife#needled evergreen#disease problems#sun#landscape plant sleuths course
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#cultivars#wildlife plant#large tree#conifer#food source wildlife#needled evergreen#disease problems#sun#landscape plant sleuths course
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Chamaecyparis
    Species:
    lawsoniana
    Family:
    Cupressaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used in making arrows and stringed instruments.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Pacific NW
    Distribution:
    CA, OR
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides protection and nesting sites for wildlife. Douglas squirrels harvest Port-Orford-cedar cones and eat the seed. Mountain beavers and rabbits occasionally eat the foliage of saplings, and woodrats and porcupines eat the bark.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Cover/Habitat
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Nesting
    Dimensions:
    Height: 110 ft. 0 in. - 180 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 57 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Cascading
    Erect
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Fine
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    more than 60 feet
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Blue
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The round female cones are 1/4-3/8 inches, woody and blue-green, maturing to brown with 8 scales. Seeds are winged. Male cones are smaller, brown, appearing at the tips of the branches.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    None
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Glaucous scale-like needles are closely pressed into the branch in opposite pairs, mostly 2-3 mm, apex acute to acuminate. The stomal bands on the underside form and x.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Ridges
    Bark Plate Shape:
    Round
    Bark Description:
    Reddish-brown bark divided into broad, rounded ridges.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Angular
    Stem Description:
    Flat brown twigs
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems