Cypress trees for the desert southwest
Cypress trees in the southwest. Most Cypress trees are moderate to low watering trees once established. It will take about 2-4 years before these trees become established. They are evergreen throughout the year and require little maintenance. If you want them to look good and grow faster, they will need evergreen fertilizer at least once per month during the first 2-3 years after being planted.
The Benefits of Cypress Trees
Fast growing, drought tolerant once established. Very little pruning or maintenance.
Problems with these trees
Like most conifers, they are suspectable to spider mites in dry hot climates. Needle blight and canker are also a problem. Read more about these problems over at Homeguides.com
Peter A. Hogg Photo photo.
Arizona Cypress (Cupressus arizonica glabra) – Can be used as a windbreak or tall privacy screen. A sturdy evergreen noted for the reddish type bark and dark green foliage. Very drought tolerant can withstand drought conditions.
They like full sun but can tolerate 4-5 hrs. of shade. A fast grower to 40 feet tall, 20 feet wide. Does excellent in the Southwest. USDA Zones 6-9 be sure to follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. Watering can be reduced after establishment. Feed with a general purpose fertilizer just before new growth begins in spring.
The Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) is the most common Cypress tree. It will grow upwards of 70-80 ft. tall and about 4-5 ft. wide. It is also called the Mediterranean cypress. If planted close together they can provide you with a good windbreak wall.
Dark green color and dense foliage. They are drought tolerant once they become established typically around the third or fourth year. They are susceptible to spider mites during dry hot conditions. Use a good spider mite control spray if you notice brownish spider web color during mid-summer months. Learn more about spider mites and other insects here.
Cypress trees for the desert southwest. Monrovia Photo. Blue Arizona Cypress (Cupressus arizonica ‘Blue Pyramid’) – Drought tolerant once established. Evergreen. Full sun. Very fast-growing cypress grows up to 20 to 25 feet high, 10 to 12 feet wide. Cutting grown. This cypress tree provides excellent color during the colder months.
USDA Zones 6-9 Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system.
Feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. For a tidy, neat appearance, shear annually to shape.
Cypress trees for the desert southwest
Monrovia Photo Blue Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens ‘Glauca’) – Great looking tall Mediterranean cypress with attractive blue-green foliage. An ideal conifer to dominate a landscape with its densely branched, narrow columnar form.
Like most cypress trees it is an evergreen tree. Likes full sun and is very drought tolerant once established. Fast grower to 60 to 80 feet tall, 2 to 3 feet wide; can be larger. Be sure to follow a regular watering schedule during the two years of growth to establish a deep, extensive root system. Cut back on watering once established.
Feed with a general purpose evergreen fertilizer before new growth begins in spring. USDA Zones 6-9 Color Your World Nurseries located in Las Cruces, NM will usually have this type of cypress tree in stock. Ask your friendly retail nursery for such a tree.
Leyandii Cypress Cupressocyparis leylandii ‘Moncal‘. This tree will grow to about 25’ ft or so. It is a great ornamental tree for a front entrance or for showy landscape design. It can block the view of neighbors or nearby traffic. If trimmed correctly it can be used as a shade tree.
It is an easy-care tree that rarely needs trimming and can be used for a good windbreak screen. Perfect for the Southwestern winds during spring.
The Bald Cypress Trees
The Bald Cypress tree (Taxodium distichum). A good Cypress for the Southwest Region and is a slow growing type of conifer. Most evergreen conifers will retain if foliage during the winter season, but not this tree. It loses it needles in winter but will re-generate new needles once the spring season comes around. Yes, it is deciduous. A good tree for something different in the desert southwest.
They will grow into large majestic trees within time. They can tolerate dry conditions but should be watered thoroughly during the early stages of planting. It thrives in full hot sun but the foliage may turn yellow in alkaline soil. Applying iron supplements will turn it green in no time.
One of the benefits of this tree is that the foliage will turn a nice bold bronze color during the fall seasons. Learn more about the Bald Cypress here.