Cupressus forbesii

Tecate Cypress

Plant family: Cupressaceae - Cypress


Plant type: Tree

Plant origin: N/A, California

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Fifteen Gallon 0   179.00
One Gallon 0   18.99
Five gallon - Natural 0   59.99

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Flower Color Insignificant
Blooming Season
Height 5-15 feet, 15-25 feet
Spread 15-30 feet
Sun / Shade   
Monthly Water
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Wildlife Friendliness Rating
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Chaparral, Woodland/Forest

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Special Characteristic

Hedges and Screens, Tolerates Hard Frost

Plant Highlights

This is a fast-growing and hardy cypress that does well with little water. It has a rich light green foliage and seems to tolerate coastal planting well for an inland species. It makes an ideal hedge or screen, or can be used as a specimen tree in a large garden.

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This is a very interesting tree. Planted where it has companionship, without being crowded, and each tree will show a different personality and a different growth habit. In a cluster, one may be short and fat, and another tall and spindly. In the same cluster, there may be a dense, compact tree and a ragged, leggy specimen side by side. From the look of it, Tecate Cypress comes as male and female trees, though this may be a misinterpretation of what I am observing. Of my 11 trees, a couple of years ago, 4 developed what I at first thought was a fungus infestation, but which turned out to be thousands of tiny flowers. These in turn developed the typical Cypress fruit. The remaining 7 trees show no signs of ever flowering, so if they do produce male flowers, these are too tiny to be observed. Grown in crowded conditions, the trees will lean considerably, chasing the light. They seem to be quite shallow rooted, so this lean can end up with the tree falling over. I have found that if this happens, it is best to leave the tree where it falls. It will continue to thrive and provide habitat for all kinds of wild life. On the other hand, cut branches will always die. You can kill a Tecate Cypress far too easily by attempting to train it and shape its growth. On the San Diego coastal plain, Tecate cypress do fine without additional water , once established. For the first 2 years, you should plan on deep watering weekly through the summer and early fall, but once the rains start, no more watering is necessary. If you use automatic watering, do not let the leaves and branches get wet. Branches that get hit by lawn watering will turn brown and die back. Again, you can kill the tree too easily this way.

Posed by: Peter Lusby, on Mar 18 2024 4:18PM