This is a classic Italian tree that will grace your garden with its distinct form and evoke images of a European winery. It will transform any landscape into something more. The unique form lends itself to wind break duties and strategic shading with its aromatic wood and foliage.
Success for this species requires proper water management in well drained soils (as the case with most evergreens). Generous watering during establishment period helps the tree in the short and long term (most trees), but backing off the watering after the fact is most important for growing deep tap roots that help the tree deal with drought and high winds. There are no drip emitters in nature.
Common name: Italian Cypress
Botanical name: Cupressus sempervirens
Type: Evergreen Tree
Scarification/Stratification: Soak seed in non-clorinated water overnight then put in fridge in bag of damp 50/50 peat moss/sterile sand for 60 days then sow warm. Better yet, sow in the fall.
Hardiness: 5 F
Sow temp/season: 40 F in the Fall.
Sow depth/spacing: 1/8 inch deep then top with ¼ of perlite or chopped pinestraw.
Germination time: In spring as ground warms.
Final spacing: Minimum of 3 feet.
Final height/spread: 50 foot height and four foot spread.
pH range: 5.5-8.0
Soil type: Will tolerate wide range of soils, preferring well drained types.
Nutrition Will tolerate poor soils that are well drained but will thrive with a balanced feed in well drained soil.
Drainage: Does not like wet feet.
Water requirement: Will tolerate drought but will grow fast with lots of water, as long as soil is well drained!
Root type: Fine surface roots with few deep tap roots. It is helpful to back off watering after tree is established in its final location, to encourage the growth of deeper roots, which will make tree healthier.
Sun: Full sun (minimum of 6 hours of direct sun)
Time to maturity: Will bear cones at year 4.
Hilling: None needed, in fact, put no mulch or extra soil near trunk. The crown likes to stay dry.
Propagation: Sow seed in pots with well drained soil high in perlite, individuate 6 inch plants to gallon pots and grow on for a year or two then transplant to final location. Stem cuttings in April/May will root in a month.
Hybridization: Will not outcross freely, but to be safe, plant different cypresses at least 50 feet apart if one intends on saving true seed.
Uses: Aromatic wood and foliage (especially cones) can be used for distillation, potpourri, aroma therapy, fire starter or medicinal resin. Wood is used for things wood is used for and so it goes.