The Q&A Archives: Room For Carolina Sapphire Cypress

Question: We have purchased a Carolina Sappire Cypress tree. The nursery attendent recommended it to us. Our concern is that it may grow too big for the spot we are planning to put it. She said it could be kept trimmed back. Is this correct? It will be in a bed between the house and sidewalk, underneath the eave. The bed is 2 1/2 feet wide and 8 feet to the eave. Thanks! Kelly

Answer: Carolina Sapphire Cypress is a lovely tree when small. It's cone-shaped and has a dense growth habit, making it a perfect little Christmas tree. However, this tree has the potential to grow 20-30' tall and 15' wide, much too large for the area you describe. Yes, you can keep it smaller with judicious pruning, but eventually it will outgrow its site.

Another plant with a similar growth habit but a much smaller mature size is Thuja occidentalis 'Holmstrup'. This shrub has a conical growth habit and is a slow-grower to 5-7' tall and 2-3' wide. I think it will be a better fit for the site you describe. Your Carolina Sapphire would make a wonderful landscape specimen - somewhere other than between your sidewalk and your house!

Best wishes with your landscape.

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