Arizona Cypress


1-2 ft.



I. General Information

  • Common name: Arizona Cypress
  • Scientific name/Botanical name: Cupressus arizonica
  • Family name: Cupressaceae
  • Origin: USA (central Arizona)
  • Growth Rate: Medium rate, with height increases of 13–24″ per year. Grows in a pyramidal shape.
  • Species: C. arizonica
  • Growing Zones: Hardiness Zones 7–9
  • Mature Height: 40–50′ 
  • Mature Width: 25–30′
  • Sunlight: Full sun
  • Uses: Plant Arizona cypress in windbreaks and shelterbelts, for wildlife habitat, landscape ornamental trees and Christmas trees. The wood has little commercial value as timber, but when seasoned properly, can provide durable fenceposts. Trees are very drought tolerant and are planted on slopes in its native range in order to prevent soil erosion. 

II. Identification

  • Leaf: Small and scalelike, gray-green to blue-green, closely pressed to the stems, similar in appearance to juniper leaves. 
  • Bloom period: Spring/Summer
  • Bark: Gray, deeply furrowed into broad, scaly ridges.
  • Fruit: Woody cones to 1″ (25 mm) in diameter

III. Description

Arizona Cypress is a native evergreen conifer tree that grows to a height of 40 to 75 feet. It grows in an upright, pyramidal shape, but can be shrubby in areas subject to wildfires. Arizona cypress grows quickly and is long-lived.

IV. Planting & Care

The Drought Tolerant Evergreen tree makes for a beautiful addition to your landscape. Plus it will enable you to enjoy years of low maintenance, saving you time and money on watering.

Location: Drought Tolerant Evergreens prefer a location with full sun but can tolerate partial shade. Choose an area with soil that drains well, away from poorly-drained, soggy areas. Drought Tolerant Evergreens may not do as well in lawn areas because of the amount of water needed to sustain the lawn. Plant in an area free of sod to allow for good root development as sod roots will compete with the Evergreen tree’s roots for air, nutrients and water in the soil.

Planting Instructions:

1) Prepare your soil before planting the Evergreen by adding organic materials including sphagnum peat moss, manure, and compost in a 1- to 3-inch layer over the planting area.
2) Mix the organic materials into the soil 10 to 12 inches deep before planting.
3) Dig the hole as deep as and approximately twice the width of the root ball.
4) Holding the tree, carefully place it into the hole and make sure that the roots are not curling upwards.
5) Pour a quart of water into the hole and allow it to drain for about a minute.
6) Cover the hole with the removed soil mix making sure the tree is upright.
7) Cover the entire planting area with an organic mulch.


Watering: Once the roots are established, your Drought Tolerant Evergreen should not need any supplemental watering. Be sure to inspect the tree and surrounding soil for extreme dryness during extended winter dry spells and water if necessary.

Fertilization: Evergreen trees don’t require much fertilizer. Over-fertilizing can cause more damage than not fertilizing at all. Therefore, we recommend not fertilizing unless your evergreen begins losing its dark green color due to a lack of nutrients. If necessary, just a tablespoon of balanced fertilizer (labeled 12-12-12) sprinkled on top of the ground around the tree is sufficient.

Pests: Aphids are the most common pests Drought Tolerant Evergreens experience. Sometimes outbreaks are triggered by insecticides used for other pests. Spray the tree with an appropriate pesticide or insecticidal soap. You can also try applying a soil treatment with imidacloprid as a preventative.

*Group Drought Tolerant Evergreens separately from those that require more water.
*All evergreens including Drought Tolerant benefit from mulches.  Make sure your Drought Tolerant Evergreen has sufficient water to become established by inspecting and watering as necessary after planting.



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