Of all the larger, upright conifers, Hinoki Cypress is the most graceful and elegant. Rather than tight, upright branches, it has a more open form, without looking thin and bare. The branches grow upwards, at a wide angle to the trunk, and the ends of the branches fan out and bend over slightly, giving it a graceful, fern-like appearance. The foliage is a warm, rich green, and when it is dusted with gold it looks even more wonderful – like the golden leaves of Cripps’ Hinoki Cypress.
This marvelous tree really is special, and a tree in spring, covered in rich golden new growth, is a sight to behold. When we add that to an ability to grow in both sun and partial shade, and a growth-rate rivaling the more common fast-growing trees, then if you are looking for a special tree to grace your garden, you have found it right here. If you want a striking specimen evergreen to plant on a lawn, this is it. As an alternative for a hedge or privacy screen to those ordinary plain-green evergreens, you cannot make a better choice. Its golden look in winter adds real beauty to the winter garden, glowing against the sky on those crisp, sunny days, and brightening the dullest gray days too.
Appearance of the Golden Hinoki Cypress
Cripps’ Hinoki Cypress forms an upright, broad tree, with wide-spreading branches that stay all the way to the ground for decades. It quickly develops into a full, bullet-shaped specimen, with more-or-less vertical sides, rounded at the top. The leafy branchlets fan out gracefully, with a soft, ferny look, drooping slightly at the tips. The overall effect is very elegant, yet relaxed and beautiful. In spring the shiny new growth is golden-yellow, creating a stunning effect.
As it matures it turns green, so that the inside of the tree is green, with golden highlights on all the branch ends – a distinctly two-tone, shaded effect you will love. This is a fast-growing tree, adding 12 inches of new growth every year. Within ten years it will be 10 feet tall, and 4 or 5 feet wide – a wonderful specimen anywhere in your garden. Like all conifers it continues to grow, and in time it may reach 50 feet tall, and around 20 feet wide. Some trees even reach 75 feet, in ideal growing conditions.
Growing Golden Hinoki Cypress ‘Crippsii’
Cripps’ Golden Hinoki Cypress can be grown in full sun or partial-shade. The golden coloring will be stronger in full sun, but in exposed colder gardens the shelter from surrounding trees will be beneficial. Growth is more open and ferny in partial-shade too, a look many gardeners love. It will grow in most soils, except for strongly alkaline ones. The ideal soil is moist, well-drained and fertile, but this tree is adaptable and vigorous, growing well in most ordinary garden situations.
Water regularly for the first season or two, and soak deeply during dry periods. This tree has moderate drought resistance but will grow faster and denser with a regular supply of water. Do not plant in wet areas. It has no pests or diseases that will cause any concern, so once planted it will give you no problems.
Hardiness and Location
Cripps’ Golden Hinoki Cypress grows best in zones 5 to 8. It can be grown in zone 4 in a location sheltered from cold or drying winds, because it is perfectly hardy in zone 4, but subject to wind-burn at low temperatures. In a sheltered location it will grow perfectly. In warmer areas shelter is not so much of a concern, but avoid very open, windswept locations, to preserve the best golden foliage from blemishes.
Where to Plant
When planting, allow sufficient room for the development of your tree. For a hedge, space 2 to 3 feet apart. For a screen, allow 4 to 5 feet between plants. If you are planting as a specimen, plant at least 5 feet from a building, fence, path or driveway, or any other potential obstruction. Remember that quickly this tree will be 5 feet wide, and in the future up to 20 feet wide – give it room to develop properly and save yourself the need for future trimming.
History and Origins of Golden Hinoki Cypress
Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) is a large tree that grows wild in the forests of Japan. It is not a true Cypress tree, so it is also known as False Cypress. It is an important lumber tree in Japan and considered to have the best wood for construction of special buildings such as temples. It was brought to England by John Gould Veitch in 1861, and there, around 1900, a special seedling was found at T. Cripps & Sons Nursery, in the town of Tunbridge Wells. This tree was immediately noted for its wonderful golden foliage coloring and became Cripps’ Hinoki Cypress.
Buying Golden Hinoki Cypress at The Tree Center
The remarkable Golden Hinoki Cypress is always in high demand from knowledgeable gardeners, and those who want a beautiful tree that is easy to grow. Our plants are grown from stem pieces that can be traced back to the original seedling, so they are true to name. You should always avoid cheaper trees, such as inferior forms with just slightly yellow foliage, which lack the rich gold of this tree. Our stock will not last long, so order now, and enjoy one of the very best evergreens, right in your garden.