Cryptomeria japonica

Common Name

Cupressaceae (Cypress) 

Tree or plant type / form
Slender, pyramidal, evergreen conifer.

Landscape Use
Relatively fast, upright growth makes it a prime candidate for screening purposes.  It can also be used a specimen tree or in naturalized or wooded areas due to moderate shade tolerance.

Season of interest and/or other ornamental feature(s)
Yearlong interest as an evergreen tree.  As the tree ages, the reddish-brown bark peels off in long strips, and is attractive in all seasons.

Size at Landscape Maturity
Medium to large tree reaching 20 to 30 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide in 20 years; eventually up to 50’ tall and 15 to 20 feet wide. 

Light exposure
Full sun to part shade

USDA Hardiness zones
5 – 9

Origin / Native locale
Japan and China

Wildlife Value (incl. pollinators)
Provides shelter for birds.

Soil Type & Drainage
Prefers rich, moist, well-drained, acidic soils but is adaptable to other soil types, provided they are not consistently wet.

Shows good resistance to deer browse.

Leaf Description
3/4 inch-long light green to blue-green needles are spirally arranged on longer branchlets, resulting in a soft-textured appearance.

Bloom Time in Northeast Ohio

Flower Description

Cone / Fruit
Globular female cones appear near the tips of branches and transition from green to brown at maturity.

Available at
Secrest Arboretum Plant Discovery Days and selected local nurseries.

Additional information  
‘Yoshino’ is the most common cultivated variety in the nursery trade, but ‘Radicans’ has also performed well at Secrest Arboretum.  The latter offers foliage that tends toward blue-green rather than brighter green. ‘Radicans’ is also more resistant to bronze winter coloration than ‘Yoshino’.  In addition, there are dozens of intermediate and dwarf varieties of Cryptomeria japonica that also perform well in our area.

Use the Secrest Aboretum Explorer to find locations where this plant is located on the Wooster campus.

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