SelecTree: Tree Detail

Hesperocyparis pygmaea

General Notes

Considered a rare and endangered tree, even in California where it occurs naturally in mixed-evergreen forests and coastal terraces north of the San Francisco Bay. Pigmy Cypress is a small tree closely related to Gowen cypress and sometimes considered a subspecies.

Has fragrant Leaf.

Native to California's Central and Northern Coastal Regions.

A Hesperocyparis pygmaea in Mendocino County is registered as a California Big Tree. It measures 150 feet high, with a trunk circumference of 238 inches and a crown spread of 49 feet.

Family: Cupressaceae


Cupressus goveniana subsp. pygmaea
Callitropis pygmaea

Tree Characteristics

Erect or Spreading with a High Canopy.

Conical or Oval Shape.

Has Evergreen foliage.

Height: 15 - 40 feet.

Growth Rate: 24 Inches per Year.

Longevity 40 to 150 years.

Leaves Scalelike, Dark Green, No Change, Evergreen.

Flowers Inconspicuous. yellow. Flowers in Spring. Has separate male and female flowers on the same tree (monoecious).

Brown, Gray or Mostly Green Cone, Small to Medium (0.25 - 1.50 inches), fruiting in Spring Wildlife use it.

Bark Gray Brown, Fibrous.

Shading Capacity Rated as Dense in Leaf.

Litter Issue is Dry Fruit.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 17.

USDA Hardiness Zones 7 - 10.

Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.

Moist to Dry Soil.

Drought tolerant.

Clay or Loam Texture.

Highly Acidic to Slightly Alkaline Soil pH.

Salinity Tolerance is Coastal Good.

Seaside Tolerance is Good in Moderate Zone.

Pests & Disease Information

Susceptible to Beetle Borers, Armillaria, Phytophthora and Root Rot.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Branch Strength Rated as Strong.

Root Damage Potential Rated as Moderate.

None Known Health Hazard.

Biogenic Emissions considered Low.

Desirable Wildlife Plant.

Attracts Birds.

Wildlife use Fruit.

Special Uses & Values

Specimen or screen.


Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Hesperocyparis pygmaea Tree Record." 1995-2018. May 21, 2018.
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