Cupress arizonica 2Arizona cypress is a coniferous evergreen tree native to western US from Texas west to Utah and California, south to central Mexico where it grows in woodland edges, clearings, and rock outcroppings. It is a member of the cypress family Cupressaceae that also includes arborvitae, juniper, and redwoods. The reddish-brown bark is shaggy or exfoliating to reveal gray or reddish patches. The scale-like leaves are aromatic, gray-green to bright blue-green, and encircle the branches to produce fine textured dense sprays. Small egg-shaped male and female cones are yellowish green and produced at the tips of the branches on the same tree. They open only after being subjected to fire. Its drought tolerance makes it a good choice for inclusion in a xeriscape, and makes an excellent hedge, screen, or windbreak. Greens are valuable in Christmas arrangements. Several cultivars are available including fastigated and weeping forms.

Type: Coniferous, evergreen tree

Outstanding Features: Foliage; drought resistance

Form: Upright, pyramidal

Growth Rate: Rapid to moderate

Bloom: Small egg-shaped male and female yellowish green cones produced at the tips of the branches on the same tree

Size: 30-82’ H x 25-30’ W

Light: Full sun

Soil: Average, moderately moist to dry, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 7-9

Care: Low maintenance; can prune if desired.

Pests and Diseases: Canker, spider mites, juniper scale, branch blight

: Seed, cuttings

By Karen