Compact Hinoki Cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Compacta'

Compact Hinoki Cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Compacta'

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.


How are the heights measured?

All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.

What is a gallon container?

Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.

How does the delivery process work?

All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!

Why are some states excluded from shipping?

The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.

About Me


The Compact Hinoki Cypress is exactly what its name suggests, a dense, compact, mid-sized evergreen with a rounded conical form. It remains dense and bushy for its entire life, and it needs no trimming to look wonderful every day of the year. The charming foliage is rich green, and arranged in shell-shaped sprays, which give it a unique and attractive look. Reaching 6 or 8 feet in ten years, it is perfect for the middle of beds, or the back of smaller ones, as a stand-out specimen. Grow it with other evergreens, or in pots and planters for height and bulk. This charming plant is greatly-loved by all gardeners, and you will love it too.

  • Beautiful rich green conical evergreen
  • Delightful clusters of shell-shaped foliage
  • Reaches just 6 or 8 feet in 10 years
  • Easily grown and needs no trimming
  • Grows in almost any garden without issues

Plant the Compact Hinoki Cypress in full sun for the best growth. It will tolerate a little shade, and in zone 8 this can be beneficial during the hottest months. It grows easily in most soils, preferring moist, well-drained ones. Don’t plant in wet, low-lying or soggy places. Once established it will tolerate normal dry periods during summer, but regular watering is beneficial. It can be trimmed, but frequent trimming will destroy the elegance of the shell-shaped foliage, so we recommend allowing it to grow naturally, which means less work in the garden for you.

Plant Hardiness Zones 4-8
Mature Width 4-6
Mature Height 6-8
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 4-8

There are many garden situations where only green will do – rich, bright green, that is stable and constant, providing a cool and satisfying background. Around your house, in the foundation planting, stability and a green transition into the garden should be the goal. In the corners of your beds, Cool green will anchor your plantings, and create a calm atmosphere for the fireworks of your colorful flowering shrubs. In planters, to green your terrace and patio, or frame an entrance, green is your go-to. If this is what your garden needs, then the Compact Hinoki Cypress will deliver it.

This easy-care evergreen bush grows at a moderate rate – 6 inches or more a year – into a broad conical form, dense and compact right to the ground. In about 10 years it will probably be 6 feet tall or perhaps even 8 feet, under the best conditions. It will be around 5 feet wide, nicely filling spaces in the angles of walls, or the corners of beds. Like all evergreens it continues to grow as long as it lives, and there are some grand old specimens around that are 15 feet tall, or even over 20 feet tall, and as much as 15 feet wide, but that will take several decades. Throughout its life this tree remains naturally dense, with branches clothing its whole length, all the way to the bottom, and a trunk will only very rarely be seen.

The foliage of the Compact Hinoki Cypress is very attractive. It is always a rich, lush green, and this bush has an elegance that makes it much more attractive than many more common evergreens. The rounded sprays of foliage are shell-shaped, forming charming cups of green, clustered all over the surface of the bush. Since this plant is naturally dense, it is better not to trim it more than absolutely necessary. This distinctive feature – the shell-like foliage – develops best on untrimmed plants. That’s great, you can throw away your trimmers, and let nature deliver the perfect look.

Grow the Compact Hinoki Cypress as an important element in the foundation planting around your home. Plant it with other conifers in a collection or use it as an accent in a bed. Plant a group or a row at the back of a bed of small shrubs, or in planters and pots, to give height, permanence and stability to them.

Almost wherever you live, from zone 4 to zone 8, you can grow this easy plant. The Compact Hinoki Cypress prefers full sun or some light afternoon shade – in hot zones afternoon shade can be valuable, especially during dry periods. This plant does best in rich, well-drained soil, and although it has some drought tolerance when established, it grows best with regular watering. It does not grow well in wet, poorly-drained soil, so avoid boggy and low-lying spots. Pests and diseases are rare, and this plant is grown easily in many gardens, with no issues or difficulties at all. Trimming is optional, and as mentioned already, best avoided – the plant is naturally compact and broadly conical. Allow sufficient room for this plant to grow to maturity, and don’t overcrowd your beds.

The Compact Hinoki Cypress is a unique form of the hinoki cypress, Chamaecyparis obtusa. This tree is found growing wild in Japan, and it is an important element in the natural forests. The wild tree is tall, with a thick central trunk, and it can reach heights of over 100 feet. It is closely related to, and looks a lot like, the Lawson cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), which grows in Oregon and northern California. The lumber of the hinoki cypress is used for the construction of temples and palaces, and the bark is a traditional roofing material in Japan. The name ‘Hinoki’ means ‘fire’, because the foliage in winter turns an attractive reddish color. This tree, to experts, is not a true cypress tree so an alternative name for it is the ‘false cypress’.

After Japan opened its ports to the West for trade, back in the 19thcentury, many beautiful plants were found, since the Japanese are keen gardeners, and they had been collecting unique plants for centuries. Many special forms of the hinoki cypress began to arrive in Europe and America, and they were grown in gardens here. In 1875 we find the first description of the particular variety called ‘Compacta’, so it must have been introduced sometime before that. It is a small version of the large tree, with the special shell-shaped foliage which is also found in the variety ‘Gracilis’. The genetics of the original plant have been carefully preserved by propagating it from stem pieces, not seeds, and so the plant we today grow as the Compact Hinoki Cypress is just like that first plant from Japan. Look for the correct name, to be sure you have the real thing. A plant like this, that has stood the test of time in thousands of gardens, is sure to be reliable, and the demand for it is always enormous. Order now, as we only have a limited supply, and our stock runs out fast.

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Compact Hinoki Cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Compacta'