How to Plant Cypress Trees in Canada

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Cypress trees have beautiful, delicate needles.
Cypress trees have beautiful, delicate needles. (Image: cypress image by Przemyslaw Malkowski from Fotolia.com)

Cypress trees are not native to Canada, but there are some varieties that will grow well in certain regions. In particular, the Lawson, Hinoki and Sawara cypresses have all been introduced to Canada and are capable of growing well there. The Lawson cypress is hardy to -20 F; the Hinoki cypress is hardy to -30 F; and the Sawara cypress is hardy to -40 F. It is better to plant cypress seedlings, rather than seeds, because the seeds do not sprout reliably.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch (if in a dry location)

Determine the future location for your cypress. The Lawson, Sawara, and Hinoki cypresses all require fertile, moist and well-drained soil. It is also important to place the tree in an area where it will receive full sunlight. Cypresses can grow up to 75 feet in height and 25 feet in width, although there are also dwarf varieties that only grow up to ten feet.

Wait until the end of winter. Cypresses planted in late winter (but not so early that they are covered with snow or ice) have a higher success rate.

Dig a preliminary hole for the cypress tree in the desired spot. If you are planting multiple trees, space them out so that each seedling is at least eight feet away from other seedlings. Dig these holes before you get the seedlings so that you can plant them immediately.

Place seedling in the hole. The seedling should be deep enough that the point at which the roots extend from the tree is level with or just below the surface. If you need to deepen or fill the hole slightly to accommodate the roots, do so with the shovel before inserting the tree. Ensure that the tree is completely vertical and that the roots are not cramped or squashed in the hole.

Water the seedlings immediately after planting and frequently thereafter. Seedlings do not need to be inundated with water, and should never be allowed to stand in water. Add mulch to assist in water retention if you have planted the tree in a dry region.

Maintain the area around the cypress trees by keeping weeds from infringing upon the tree's area. The first two years after planting a cypress are the most important, since this is the time when the tree is most likely to die. If you are using mulch, replace it annually.

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