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Japanese Cedar Cryptomeria japonica

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
krip-toh-MER-ee-uh juh-PON-ih-kuh
Description

Japanese Cedar is a medium evergreen tree that is easy to grow with a graceful habit. It reaches 50-70 feet tall and 20-30 feet wide with a conical to pyramidal shape.  It prefers rich, moist, well-drained, acidic soils but is adaptable to other soil types. It does well in conditions from sun to partial shade. This tree is resistant to damage by deer and is slightly salt tolerant. The reddish exfoliating bark is quite attractive.

Use this tree as a specimen or for screening purposes. Shorter cultivars are available. 

Family name previously Taxodiaceae

Quick ID Hints:

  • Leaves are saber shaped, turn in toward branch
  • Male cones are in terminal clusters, round, ½-1inch
  • Leaves vary in length on same branch

 Pest/disease problems include leaf spot, leaf blight, fungi. 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Ben Franklin’
    Good green winter color, is salt tolerant, 30-40' tall.
  • 'Black Dragon'
  • 'Compacta'
    40 ft. tall
  • ‘Dacrydioides’
    long snake-like branches ending in spray of smaller, similar branchlets.
  • 'Elegans'
    15-20 ft. tall
  • 'Elegans Aurea'
    15-20 ft. tall
  • 'Elegans Nana' Cryptomeria japonica 'Elegans Nana'
    'Globosa Nana' Cryptomeria japonica 'Globosa Nana'
  • ‘Radicans’
    Glaucous, blue-green leaves, tree-like habit.
  • 'Yoshino'
    30-50 ft. tall
Tags:
#evergreen#sun#partial shade#blue#conical#salt tolerant#barrier#cpp#deer resistant#screening#fantz#exfoliating bark
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • ‘Ben Franklin’
    Good green winter color, is salt tolerant, 30-40' tall.
  • 'Black Dragon'
  • 'Compacta'
    40 ft. tall
  • ‘Dacrydioides’
    long snake-like branches ending in spray of smaller, similar branchlets.
  • 'Elegans'
    15-20 ft. tall
  • 'Elegans Aurea'
    15-20 ft. tall
  • 'Elegans Nana' Cryptomeria japonica 'Elegans Nana'
    'Globosa Nana' Cryptomeria japonica 'Globosa Nana'
  • ‘Radicans’
    Glaucous, blue-green leaves, tree-like habit.
  • 'Yoshino'
    30-50 ft. tall
Tags:
#evergreen#sun#partial shade#blue#conical#salt tolerant#barrier#cpp#deer resistant#screening#fantz#exfoliating bark
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cryptomeria
    Species:
    japonica
    Family:
    Cupressaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Highly valued wood for building many different things
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & South Japan and China
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This tree is resistant to damage by deer and is slightly salt tolerant.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 50 ft. 0 in. - 70 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Conical
    Pyramidal
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Male (pollen) cones are in clusters near the apex of branches and are oblong and scaly. Female (seed) cones are round, brown, rosette looking on terminal branches singly or in groups.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    monoecious, with male and female cones
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Needled Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Smooth
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Leaf Type:
    Needles
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Whorled
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    3/4 inch evergreen bright or blue-green needles are spirally arranged and awl-shaped. They are 4-angled and curve inward with a slight twist. Needles persist for 4-5 years. May develop bronze tones in the winter. First needles produced each year are shorter than later produced needles.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Bark Description:
    Reddish-brown exfoliating bark- showy
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Smooth/Hairless
    Stem Description:
    Branches are whorled and horizontally spreading to slightly drooping. Branchlets are green the first year. Winter buds are small and non-scaly.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Design Feature:
    Barrier
    Screen/Privacy
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Salt