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

When is it time to remove diseased oak trees in Belton, TX?
May 03, 2013 - When to give up on my live oaks. We lost/mostly several live oaks since 2011 and the drought. One, died from the crown, one large mass at a time, and now resembles a 10' totem pole with scraggly gro...
view the full question and answer

Tree for little sun and clay soil in Brooklyn
January 07, 2011 - I need help choosing a specimen shrub or small tree for difficult city conditions. Its a tricky sun exposure only getting about two hours of direct sun at the hottest time of day with clay soil and in...
view the full question and answer

Tree with stilt roots for Louisiana bog garden
February 07, 2013 - Does Louisiana have any native trees with stilt roots? I would like one to go with my cypress and tupelo bog garden. I have several native plants such as spider lilies and blue flag irises, but I'm...
view the full question and answer

Why are my Junipers turning brown in San Antonio?
May 11, 2009 - My Texas mountain cedars (junipers, I know) are turning brown, limb by limb. What is the problem and how do I save what looks like a dying tree.
view the full question and answer

When should a redbud start blooming?
March 06, 2009 - Does it take a couple or more years for a redbud tree to bloom? I had some in Houston when I lived there and it seems like it took a long time for them to bloom. I now live in Richards (Near Huntsvill...
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