Skip to main content

Tree Browser

With these characteristics: None

Falsecypress, Lawson or Port Orford Cedar

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana

Cupressaceae - Cypress

Description

Leaves: Very small; scale-like; attached in alternating pairs flattened along and clasping twig; dark green, with faint whitish markings underneath; evergreen; persist several years; aromatic when crushed.

Twigs/buds: Twigs slender; covered by foliage and horizontally flattened; drooping at the tips. Buds very small; indistinct; not useful for identification purposes.

Flowers/fruit: Monoecious. Fruit a leathery cone; 1/3" diameter; round; purple-green, maturing reddish-brown; 8 shield-shaped scales with a curved bump on each one; matures in one year.

Bark: Fibrous; silver-brown to reddish-brown; shredding; distinctive.

Wood: Important and very valuable; sapwood white to whitish-yellow, heartwood darker yellow to yellowish-brown; strong ginger-like odor; very decay-resistant; many specialty uses including arrow shafts.

General: Native near the Pacific coast in southwestern Oregon and northwestern California; not Utah.  Not a true cedar or cypress.  Prefers moist sites, but does fine on a wide variety of soils, including those with moderately high pH. Shade tolerant.

Landscape Use: A medium- to large-sized tree (40' to 65' tall and 15' to 25' wide); gets 200' tall in nature.  Many cultivars available. Uncommon in Utah, but I have seen it doing well at the UofU. Not as attractive as other Chamaecyparis species, but some of the cultivars may be worth growing. No notable insect and disease problems. Does well on a variety of sites, though avoid extreme heat. Zones 4-7(8?).

Cultivars: 'Columnaris', 'Stewartii'. 

Characteristics

General

Family:
Cupressaceae - Cypress
Cultivar Availability:
Yes
Hardiness Zone:
5-8
Type:
Conifer
Utah Native:
No

Growth

Growth Rate:
Medium
Mature Height:
High
Longevity:
High
Is Good Under Power Lines:
No
Crown Shape:
Pyramidal

Ornamental

Bark:
No
Fall Color:
No
Flowers:
No
Foliage:
Yes
Fruit:
No

Tolerence

Shade:
High
Salt:
Medium
Drought:
Medium
Poor Drainage:
Low
Alkalinity:
Medium
Transplanting:
Medium