Alaska cedar in an interesting medium-sized evergreen tree with gray-green to blue-green foliage that droops from widely spaced branches. Native to moist bottomlands in the Pacific Northwest, it needs consistently moist soil. This plant is also known as false cypress.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All common names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Evergreen (foliage year-round)
- North America
- Large tree (more than 40 feet),
- medium tree (25-40 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Occasional drought
Season of Interest:
- Early winter,
- Mid winter,
- Late winter,
- Early spring,
- Mid spring,
- Late spring,
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall,
- Mid fall,
- Late fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Form
30 to 45 feet high and 30 feet wide; pyramidal form with open habit
Tree & Plant Care
Does best in full sun to partial shade.
Prefers deep, moist, loamy soil in a sunny, well-drained site. Protect from drying winter winds.
Plants benefit with a layer of mulch to conserve moisture and moderate soil temperatures.
Extremely cold hardy
Tolerant of urban pollution.
Disease, pests and problems
No serious pests.
Native geographic location and habitat
Native to moist bottomlands in the Pacific Northwest.
Bark color and texture
Reddish-brown color, shedding bark.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Closely appressed, 1/ to 1/4 inches long, usually not glandular; gray-green to bluish green on top and bottom
Evergreen needles on drooping boughs; needles have an unpleasant odor when crushed.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Inconspicuous; male pollen cones and female flowering cones on the same tree.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Round, 1/2 inch brown cones take two years to ripen.
Cultivars and their differences
Green Arrow Alaska Cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Green Arrow'): Narrow, spire-shaped collumnar tree reaching 20 feet high and 2 feet wide; makes a stong accent in the landscape.