Evergreen trees are the backbone of the garden. They provide structure and visual stability, but when it comes to making choices, it can be confusing. There are so many different trees, and each one may have hundreds of varieties available, in all sorts of sizes and color. It can be very confusing, and all too easy to make a bad choice. When you find yourself in that kind of situation, then going to the well-established reliable varieties is the way out. Varieties that have been grown for decades and are still popular, have proved their worth. They must be reliable, easily-grown, and also worth growing, for them to still be available. Those plants that proved poor growers, or not outstanding, have long ago faded from view.
The Golden Hinoki Cypress is one of the oldest varieties of evergreens grown in our gardens. It was originally brought to England in 1860 from Japan, where it had been grown for centuries – by the plant collector Robert Fortune. It was brought to America a few years later. That means it has been growing in gardens for over 150 years, and it is still popular and still in demand. That surely is the best possible recommendation for this tree.
Growing Golden Hinoki Cypress Trees
The Golden Hinoki Cypress forms an upright tree that has some resemblance to the native American White Cedar (Thuja). It differs from that tree in the way that the branches are arranged in whorl patterns, giving this tree a lot of character and ‘presence’. The basic color of the leaves is a rich, warm green, but the young shoots are golden-yellow, especially in spring and early summer. This creates a bright aura around the tree, and give it a wonderful light in the garden.
It is the golden coloring that makes it such a wonderful tree to have as a specimen, and it is always eye-catching and attractive. Use this tree in the corners of your property, and to form the background to your other plantings. It will give a wonderful feel to your garden, and as it grows it will add to the sense of maturity and quality in your garden, creating something very special out of any space.
The Golden Hinoki Cypress grows best in zones 4 to 8, preferring full sun. Some shade, especially in hotter regions, will be appreciated, especially in the afternoons. It is tolerant of most kinds of soil and will tolerate some drought but prefers to be kept somewhat damp and should not remain dry for long periods.
Care and Maintenance
Use plenty of organic material when planting, and cover the area around your tree with a few inches or organic mulch. Keep this away from the lower foliage and trunk and add new mulch each spring. Water your tree weekly during the first season and then do not let it dry out completely. The Golden Hinoki Cypress has no significant pests or diseases and always looks healthy with its dense, gold-tipped rich-green foliage providing a stable garden presence. It needs no trimming to keep it neat, and in fact trimming is not a good idea, as it can destroy the whorled tips which give this tree such character and beauty.
History and Origins of the Golden Hinoki Cypress Tree
The Hinoki Cypress tree (Chamaecyparis obtusa) grows wild in Japan. It is a large forest evergreen, growing over 100 feet tall with some resemblance to a White Cedar. The name ‘Hinoki’ means ‘fire’, referring to the reddish color of the foliage in winter. The tree is used for high-quality lumber for construction of temples and palaces. It is not a true Cypress tree, so it is sometimes also called False Cypress.
This tree is rarely seen in its natural form outside Japan. Instead, gardeners and landscapers usually grow one of the many varieties that have been developed. These vary in size, but perhaps the most useful is the Golden Hinoki Cypress. The exact origins of this tree are lost in Japanese history, but we do know that the famous plant collector Robert Fortune brought the first plants to England in 1860. Despite its long use in gardens it remains in the eyes of experts one of the very best conifers that can be grown, with a strong, rugged character that always attracts attention.
Buying Golden Hinoki Cypress Trees
Because of its special character, the Golden Hinoki Cypress must be grown from stem pieces of correctly identified plants, which is how our plants are produced. Cheaper plants will not be this lovely form and cheap seedling plants can be very different and often much larger-growing. Avoid disappointment by choosing only the real thing from The Tree Center. Our Golden Hinoki Cypress trees are true to the original form of this plant. However, we are constantly renewing our stock so our customers get fresh, healthy plants, so supplies of this beauty may be limited. To avoid disappointment order now.