Compressa Dwarf Japanese Cedar

Cryptomeria japonica 'Compressa'

Compressa Dwarf Japanese Cedar

Cryptomeria japonica 'Compressa'


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 Compressa Japanese Cedar is a rounded to conical evergreen, growing slowly to 15 inches tall and wide within 10 years. It will continue to grow, becoming larger in time, eventually reaching 3 feet or even more. The flat, dark-green needles form dense rosettes at the ends of the many branches, and they turn an attractive red-brown in winter. This plant needs no trimming to stay compact, and it is perfect to add to collections of dwarf evergreens, as a unique plant in a garden bed, for Japanese-themed gardens, and for pots, planters and bonsai.

  • Unique conical to egg-shaped dwarf evergreen
  • Dense structure needs no trimming
  • Dark-green needles turn red-brown in winter
  • Slow-growing specimen for a special location
  • Ideal for containers and bonsai

Grow the Compressa Japanese Cedar in full sun or partial shade, in moist, rich, well-drained soil. This is not a plant for hot, dry places, and it should be watered regularly during dry spells. It is hardy in sheltered locations in zone 6, and throughout all the warmer zones. In planters use compost for outdoor trees, and fertilize from time to time, but don’t overfeed. The natural dense growth of this plant needs no trimming, and pests and diseases are normally not an issue.

Plant Hardiness Zones 6-9
Mature Width 1.25
Mature Height 1.25
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 6-9

To make a garden truly unique, you need to go beyond planting the everyday shrubs and trees. Rarer, special plants make a garden distinctive, turning it from the mundane into the exceptional, and involving you more in it. You will find yourself seeing more and observing your plants and their progress more carefully – overall, your gardening experience will become more worthwhile. These unique plants are often larger specimens, but in smaller spaces there is room for the exceptional too. The world of dwarf evergreens gives us a myriad of distinctive specimens that are smaller, and over the years become more and more beautiful, and larger too. These slow-growing plants become more unique and more valuable the older they are and watching them develop can be a source of deep pleasure. There are other globe-shaped evergreens, but none as beautiful or distinctive as the Compressa Japanese Cedar.

The Compressa Japanese Cedar is a unique plant that grows to become about 15 inches tall and wide in 10 years. It develops a slightly irregular broad egg-shaped to conical form, with stiff, dense, upright branches. This plant grows about 1½ inches a year throughout its life, so in another 10 years it will be approaching 3 feet tall and wide, and it will have become a venerable specimen in your garden. This plant is perfect as a gift to someone (or to yourself) of a plant that adds real value and interest to an existing garden. Grow it in a collection of other dwarf evergreens. Plant it in a rock garden, or beside a paved terrace. Grow it in a planter on a patio or balcony. Start it in a miniature garden in a box or tray, and then move it into a pot or the garden when it becomes too large. It can also be developed into a unique and interesting bonsai tree, and of course it fits perfectly into any Japanese-themed area.

The glossy, flat, dark-green needles of the Compressa Japanese Cedar are about 3/8th of an inch long, and they grow outwards all around the many stems that crowd together to make this plant. Each stem ends in a bushy rosette of needles, creating a fascinating and unique surface texture to the plant. In winter the needles, especially those in the terminal rosettes, turn an attractive and striking red-brown color, or sometimes a purplish-brown, which returns to green when the warm weather arrives. Seed-cones are very unlikely to ever be produced by this plant. No clipping is needed – or desirable – to maintain this plant’s unique form and density, and although it is slow-growing, do allow enough room for its mature size when you are planting in a permanent position.

The Compressa Japanese Cedar should be grown in rich, moist, well-drained soil. It is not very tolerant of dry conditions, especially in hotter zones, and it should be regularly watered as needed. It is hardy in sheltered locations in zone 6, and fully hardy in all warmer zones. Plant it in full sun if the soil is moist, but particularly in warmer zones some afternoon shade is valuable, particularly if the soil tends to be hot and dry. Enrich the soil before you plant with organic material, and mulch placed over the roots – avoid touching the stems or foliage – is valuable to keep the soil cool and to retain moisture. A little evergreen fertilizer is valuable for established plants. For growing in containers used a well-drained potting soil designed for trees and outdoor planters. Water pots regularly and deeply whenever the top inch of potting soil has dried out. Water a little less during cold winter periods but keep this plant outdoors for most of the time. Liquid evergreen fertilizer should be used on potted plants over spring and summer.

The Compressa Japanese Cedar is a unique form of the Japanese cedar, Cryptomeria japonica. Known as sugi in Japan, this is the National Tree, and it grows across the many islands of Japan, in dense forests. It is also found in parts of China. Wild trees reach 100 feet tall, and the aromatic lumber is used for temples and furniture such as storage chests. There are many selected forms of this plant that have been collected and treasured in Japan for many years. We know this plant as ‘Compressa’, and in Japan it is called Borodo-sugi. It was introduced into the Netherlands in 1942, when Japan was an ally of Germany, who occupied the Netherlands in WWII. The nursery of J. Blaauw & Co. in Boskoop, a famous plant growing area in the Netherlands, released the plant into wider circulation after the war ended.

At the Tree Center we love being able to offer these unique and rare specimens, and we know that our clients who love the special will order it very quickly. Add the Compressa Japanese Cedar to your garden collection, but order now, as they will soon all be gone.

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Compressa Dwarf Japanese Cedar

Cryptomeria japonica 'Compressa'