Italian cypress, also known as Mediterranean cypress, has been used in formal gardens and around buildings for centuries. This tall, narrow tree can reach heights over 50 feet, but is rarely more than 15 feet wide.
Culture for Italian Cypress
Drought tolerant once established; performs best on sandy, well drained soils of slightly acidic pH. Less established or root-restricted trees are only moderately drought tolerant. Suffers from buried root collars and/or deep planting, leading to secondary disease and insect problems. Often planted in areas with insufficient root space for eventual mature plant size.
Concerns about Italian Cypress
Commonly infested with spider mites, leading to bronzing or dusty appearance. Also susceptible to armored scale infestation (Minute cypress scale). Phytophthora root and crown rot is common with deep planting, over-irrigation, or poor drainage. Branch dieback due to Seiridium canker is also common on stressed plants Often planted in large groups, leading to poor planting practices and buried root collars.
Management Practices for Italian Cypress
Excavate root collar area. Treat preventatively against Phytophthora in heavily irrigated or poorly drained sites. Monitor for mites and scale and treat as warranted. Minimal pruning requirements; focus on removal of dead branches and occasional bent/broken branches extending outside natural shape.