Explore Plants

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
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Failure to thrive of pecan trees in Las Vegas NV
October 11, 2009 - In April this year I purchased two 8-foot tall pecan trees in 3-foot square boxes from a local nursery and planted them here in Southern Nevada. I'm sure I dug a large enough hole to provide plenty ...
view the full question and answer

Bald cypress knees in leachfield from Ventura CA
March 20, 2013 - Hey, I planted a seedling 20+ years ago which has turned out to be a 40'bald cypress that's now 40'. I'm a native southerner and would hate to cut it down but it's putting up knees in my septic s...
view the full question and answer

Lopidea on Texas Mountain Laurel from Austin
April 16, 2012 - How do I get rid of the Lopidea ALL OVER my Texas Laurels and boring into the seed pods?
view the full question and answer

Understory trees for large trees in Austin
October 18, 2010 - I'm blessed with some beautiful large live oaks, burr oaks, and cedar elms in my front yard in southwest Austin. I'd like to plant some understory trees among them. The trees would get dappled lig...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a redbud in Virginia Beach VA
April 21, 2010 - I have a 5-6 ft. Redbud Tree and like to dig up and move to different spot in my backyard. How/what is the proper way to do it without killing the tree?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.