If you’re looking to bring old world charm to the landscaping of your home, then the Italian Cypress is the tree you’ll want to have. This evergreen giant is a quick grower and adds more than three feet in height every year, reaching heights of 60 to 80 feet at full maturity. You have likely seen this narrow stature privacy-screening tree lining residential roads, driveways, and tall buildings. Unlike many other evergreens that take on a pyramid shape, the Italian Cypress tree has a tall, narrow, column-like shape. The Italian Cypress only grows as wide as 8 feet despite its impressive height. So, if you’re looking to beautify a home with limited space, the Italian Cypress is the tree you can count on.
Once you receive your new Italian Cypress, water it generously to make the roots moist. Dig a hole at least 3 to 5 times the size of the root ball. The deep hole will allow the roots of the Italian Cypress tree to grow far and wide because a hole that is too tight might cause the roots to grow around the root ball, instead of outward. Make sure the hole is not deeper than the root ball. Because this tree thrives best in well-drained soil, place organic material into the hole to increase the drainage. Backfill the soil and press down till it is firm. Water the soil generously to give your Italian Cypress a warm welcome. Mulching will benefit your Italian Cypress by regulating the soil temperature and fertilizing the soil, however, do not mulch any closer than two feet from the tree trunk.
How to Grow and Care for My Italian Cypress
The Italian Cypress best thrives in USDA zones 8 to 10. The Italian Cypress requires full sunlight for healthy growth. It is best to plant your Italian Cypress tree in a sunny spot that gets some shade. Though the Italian Cypress is a tough tree, it is not winter hardy; this means the Italian Cypress will not do well under extremely cold temperatures. When your Italian Cypress is young, it will benefit from a lot of watering. Try to water your young Italian Cypress every day until it is fully established. Once established, Italian Cypresses are decently drought resistant and require watering once a month, or twice during the summer. Fertilize three times a year in February, May, and September to ensure well-rounded nutrition.
The Italian Cypress can face several diseases and pests but these are easy to lookout for. Lack of sunlight and poorly drained soil can cause fungal infections like Seiridium Canker, Phomopsis Tip Blight, and Phytophthora Root Rot. Phomopsis Tip Blight can be handled with chemical fungicides. However, Seiridium Canker can only be handled by removing affected parts of the Italian Cypress tree. As Phytophthora Root Rot is an infection of the root, the only unfortunate solution is to remove the entire tree. Treat common pests such as bagworms and spider mites with insecticide sprays before infestation.
Italian Cypresses are commonly planted to provide visual interest lining roads and driveways. To create excellent privacy or decorative hedges, space 5 to 6 feet apart to grow close enough to block unwanted views. If you simply want a decorative hedge, space each 8 to 10 feet to allow free movement between the trees. Be careful not to plant your Italian Cypress too close to roads or sidewalks. (If you are limited on space, check out the Emerald Green Arborvitae instead.)
Italian Cypresses do not need pruning and will grow to stunning heights on their own. However, if you want to keep a low hedge, then you can prune your Italian Cypress with shears or hedge clippers. It is best to prune Italian Cypress tree during spring to preserve its shape. Pruning will also help remove branches that are too long or unhealthy in time for winter. The Italian Cypress grows fast! If you want to control the Italian Cypress’ height, shear new buds, repeating the pruning process several times yearly.