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.