Cypress Tree Facts, Types, Identification, Diseases, Pictures

Cypress Tree Facts, Types, Identification, Diseases, Pictures

Cypress: A Beautiful and Versatile Tree

Cypress trees, belonging to the genus Cupressus, are a diverse group of conifers that offer both beauty and practicality. With their various sizes and colors, these trees have become popular choices for ornamental purposes in parks, gardens, and even around temples. Additionally, cypress trees are cultivated for their durable timber. Let’s explore some interesting facts, types, identification techniques, common diseases, and mesmerizing pictures of these magnificent trees.

List of Different Types of Cypress Trees

The Cupressus genus encompasses 16-25 extant species of cypress trees, which are divided into two clades: Old World species and New World species. The Old World species typically have cones with more scales, each with a short and wide ridge. On the other hand, the New World species have cones with fewer scales, each with a prominent narrow spike.

Some of the true cypress species include:

Old World Species:

  • Moroccan cypress (Cupressus atlantica)
  • Bhutan cypress (Cupressus cashmeriana)
  • Cheng’s cypress (Cupressus chengiana)
  • Yunnan cypress or South Tibet cypress (Cupressus ducloxiana or Cupressus austrotibetica)
  • Saharan cypress (Cupressus dupreziana)
  • Weeping cypress (Cupressus funebris)
  • Tibetan cypress (Cupressus gigantea)
  • Mediterranean cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
  • Tonkin cypress or Himalayan cypress (Cupressus torulosa)
  • Vietnamese cypress (Cupressus vietnamensis)

New World Species:

  • Santa Cruz cypress (Cupressus abramsiana)
  • Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica)
  • Modoc cypress (Cupressus bakeri)
  • Tecate cypress (Cupressus forbesii)
  • Smooth Arizona cypress (Cupressus glabra)
  • Californian cypress or Gowen cypress (Cupressus goveniana)
  • Guadalupe cypress (Cupressus guadalupensis)
  • Mexican cypress (Cupressus lusitanica)
  • Macnab cypress (Cupressus macnabiana)
  • Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa)
  • San Pedro Martir cypress (Cupressus montana)
  • Piute cypress (Cupressus nevadensis)
  • Nootka cypress (Cupressus nootkatensis)
  • Mendocino cypress (Cupressus pigmaea)
  • El Rincon cypress (Cupressus revealiana)
  • Sargent cypress (Cupressus sargentii)
  • Cuyamaca cypress (Cupressus stephensonii)

Other cypress species, such as Montezuma cypress, bald cypress, northern white cedar, Japanese cedar, giant sequoia, dawn redwood, and California redwood, also exist. Each species has unique characteristics and adds to the diversity of the cypress family.

Quick Information

Tree Type: Evergreen coniferous


  • Height: 16-132 ft
  • Leaves: Scale-like, opposite pairs, about 2-6 mm long
  • Trunk Diameter: About 3-6 ft
  • Bark: Sometimes smooth, but usually separates into thin strips
  • Cones: Spherical or ovoid, about 8-40 mm long, with 4-14 scales
  • Seeds: Small, about 4-7 mm long, with two narrow wings
  • Branches: Level, variably loosely hanging
  • Crown: Conical

Distribution: Western North America, northwest Africa, Central America, the Himalayas, the Middle East, northern Vietnam, southern China

Habitat: Dry, rocky, temperate regions

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7-11

Growth Rate: Average to fast, 1-3 feet per year

Lifespan: Ranges between 100 and 300 years, some may live for 1000-2000 years

Growing Conditions:

  • Sunlight: Direct to partial sunlight
  • Soil: Well-drained, moist, sandy, loamy, clay
  • Water: Average

Drought Tolerance: Excellent

Diseases & Pests: Cypress canker caused by the fungus Seiridium cardinal; pests like cypress bark moths, spruce spider mites, and cypress tip miners can cause damage

Reproductive System: Monoecious, some can be dioecious

Propagation: Either from stem cuttings or seeds

Wildlife Value: Different bird species take shelter in the dense foliage, and deer and rodents eat cypress seedlings

Uses: Cypress trees are used as decorative plants and trees in gardens. They also have various applications in cosmetics as anti-dandruff, anti-aging, anti-seborrheic, and astringent agents. Some cypress species, such as Bhutan, Monterey, and Mediterranean cypresses, are highly valued for their timber.

IUCN Conservation Status: Species such as Himalayan cypress are listed as Least Concern, while others like Cheng’s cypress are classified as Vulnerable.

Interesting Facts

Here are some intriguing tidbits about cypress trees:

  • A fast-growing hybrid called Leyland cypress, produced by crossing Monterey cypress and Nootka cypress, is extensively used for garden decoration.
  • Many cypress species have evolved to survive forest fires. They hold their seeds in closed cones for several years until their parent trees die. Afterward, the cones release the seeds, allowing them to develop in the bare, burnt ground.


Cypress trees are not only visually captivating but also serve a wide range of purposes. Whether you’re looking to add beauty to your garden, utilize their beneficial properties, or appreciate their resilience in the face of natural disasters, cypress trees offer something for everyone. Explore the Tips Tree Planting website for more information and inspiration on planting and caring for these remarkable trees.


  2. [The Plant List]( Cupressaceae/Cupressus/)
  3. Gardening Know How
  4. Encyclopedia Britannica