En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - June 10, 2009

From: dyer, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Evergreen ornamental tree choice in northern Indiana
Answered by: Jackie OKeefe

QUESTION:

Can you please advise on growing Lemon Cypress trees outdoors in zones 5/6 zip code 46311

ANSWER:

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, our mission is to disseminate information about native plants and encourage people to make good use of them in their native ranges. Here is what I have gleaned about Lemon Cypress....

Lemon Cypress is a cultivar of the California species Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress) which is native to a very small area around Monterey Bay. Its natural setting is zone 9-10, low rainfall (@ 20 inches), cool summers and mild winters - basically a maritime climate. It prefers well-drained soil. According to BackyardGardener.com the yellow-needled varieties are best suited for regions with cool summers. It is susceptible to a fatal canker when in less-than-optimum settings.  Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress) has been successfully used in New Zealand, Australia, West Africa and the Mediterranean. It doesn't sound like the best outdoor plant for your region.

If you are looking for a landscape tree, have you considered putting in a native tree? There is a member of the Cupressus family native to your area – Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae). This Iowa State Arborvitae cultivars list has several gold-foliaged Arborvitae cultivars of varying height and shape habits. Native species are already adapted to your growing conditions, which increases the chances that they'll thrive in your landscape.

 

Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) image from USDA Plants (image courtesy of ND State Soil Conservation Committee)

Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) image from USDA Plants (image courtesy of National Agricultural Library)

Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey cypress) image from USDA Plants (image courtesy of Gary A. Monroe @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database)

 

More Trees Questions

Controlling Tree Roots in Sewer Lines
July 16, 2014 - We had a leak with our underground pipes near the meter box - the pipes are at least a foot or more underground. My plumber poured table salt on the pipes to deter roots from a nearby tree from gettin...
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for a water collection pit in Bronson, FL
August 22, 2013 - I live near Gainesville, FL in a low rural area with many cypress swamps around & bought this 5 acres 2 years ago. About 15 years ago a pit was dug on my 5 acres to give the rainwater somewhere to go...
view the full question and answer

large tree suited for limestone site in Austin, TX
January 15, 2015 - I have a dying Chinaberry tree [35 ' tall; WNW corner of lot; at least 25 years old] that I am having removed. What native / adapted tree would you recommend to fill that void. I do understand that...
view the full question and answer

Protecting storm-damaged pecan and black walnut trees in TX
June 29, 2015 - Several trees on our property in northeast Texas were uprooted by a tornado. A pecan tree with a circumference greater than 93 inches was carried to the ground. Although it is completely horizontal,...
view the full question and answer

Tilling for grass under old live oak in San Antonio
April 15, 2012 - Hi, I have a 250+ year old Texas Live Oak. As usual, the lawn under the tree, after 18 years needs to be redone. MY QUESTION: to put down new sod the lawn company needs to till the soil about 4 t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center