You are currently here! -
  • Home
  • - Horticulture - Plant Profile: Cryptomeria japonica

Plant Profile: Cryptomeria japonica

September 7, 2010 Dave Marciniak 2 Comments

I realize that I have already posted about Cryptomeria japonica, but I wanted to do a quickie Plant Profile card for it because hey, I find them fun.

I recommend the use of these trees a good bit to homeowners, especially those wanting some quick screening and coverage in smaller subdivision lots. These folks are often only aware of that miserable, horrible, bane of my existence: Leyland Cypress. I hate those stupid, shallow-rooted monsters, especially for screening in tight quarters. Leyland Cypress are fast growing, I cannot deny that. However, their mature size is a good 50-60′ tall by 30′ wide. Planting that on your property line in a 55 foot wide lot just isn’t very neighborly.

Cryptomeria japonica, on the other hand, are a great choice for screening. The one in my back yard put on a good 18-24″ a year in height. They’re also not monsters, meaning they typically top out in the 30-ish foot range and will stay pretty tight (12-15 feet wide). Here are the varieties I’ve used:

  • Yoshino- this is the workhorse cryptomeria, with the 12-15′ width and 30-40′ height
  • Radicans- VERY similar to Yoshino, except that it is supposed to maintain its green color better in winter than Yoshino, which bronzes up a bit
  • Black Dragon- this is the sexy one. Looking for a cool looking evergreen for a small space? When I first specified one I did a bunch of online research and quickly came to the conclusion that these grow so slowly, no one knows just how big they’ll get. I ran across estimates of 8 to 12 feet tall, maintaining a very narrow and columnar shape. Love it!

Check one of these great trees out for yourself, and if you have a need for a tall, narrow evergreen- this could be your tree.


    December 27, 2014 REPLY

    We had 10 14′ cryptomeria japonica trees, planted 2 years ago. They have had rapid growth up (approx 24″ in 2 years) and out, but are very, very sparse in the interior. They are straggly and look awful. Help!

      December 27, 2014 REPLY

      Hi MG, that sort of problem can be caused by a few different problems, several of which will depend on where you’re located. Given the investment you made in large trees, I’d suggest you contact a local arborist to consult.

leave a comment