Slender Hinoki Cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Gracilis'

17 Reviews

Slender Hinoki Cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Gracilis'

17 Reviews


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 Slender Hinoki Cypress is a medium-sized evergreen bush, with branches to the ground, and a narrow habit. it forms a slender column of soft foliage, in a rich green color, turning attractive reddish tones in cold winter weather. It will reach 6 feet in 10 years, eventually growing over 15 feet tall, and becoming 5 or more feet wide. It is a perfect choice for foundation planting, or as a specimen in your lawn. Use it in beds to give structure to your garden design and enjoy its beauty with no effort at all. It needs no trimming – this in fact should be avoided, as the tree is most attractive when allowed to grow naturally.

  • Graceful, slender upright evergreen
  • Delicate fan-like foliage with red shades in winter
  • Problem free in ordinary soil conditions
  • Perfect for foundation planting, or as a specimen tree
  • Free of pests and diseases, and drought tolerant when mature

Your Slender Hinoki Cypress will grow in full sun or light shade, in most well-drained soils, preferring rich, moist, slightly acidic soil, but adapting will to ordinary garden conditions. It is hardy from zone 4 to zone 8 and has no significant pests or diseases. Once well established it is resistant to ordinary summer dryness. For the best growth, use an evergreen fertilizer in spring, especially during the early years of growth.

Plant Hardiness Zones 4-8
Mature Width 5-10
Mature Height 15-25
Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Zones 4-8

The Slender Hinoki Cypress is a graceful and elegant upright small tree, with layering branches carrying soft foliage of an attractive mid-green color. The foliage is feathery, and arranged in sprays which lay across each other, like waves on the sea. The tree grows at a moderate pace, adding 6 or 8 inches a year. In ten years it will be 6 to 8 feet tall, and it will gradually grow to a mature height of between 15 and 25 feet, depending on the location, climate, and soil conditions. When young the branching structure will be open, arranged in layers. As the tree matures it will become denser, and a mature tree is conical or flame-shaped. It continues to have foliage to the ground as a mature tree, and it does not normally develop a trunk.

This is an ideal medium-sized evergreen tree for a small to medium-sized garden, or as part of a collection in a larger garden. It can be used in the foundation planting around your home, but do not place it below a ground-floor window. Instead use it to fill a corner, or as a pair to frame an entrance. This tree should not be trimmed or clipped to shape, as this will destroy its natural grace and remove the attractive, slightly pendulous branch tips. If you cut back into bare wood, those branches will not re-sprout. When planting, be sure to allow enough space for the final width of the tree, which will be 5 feet or more across. Plant at least 3 feet away from the edge of doorways or windows, so that it does not obstruct them when it matures.

Planting Your Slender Hinoki Cypress

Planted in a lawn the Slender Hinoki Cypress is an eye-catching addition to your garden. Planted in the background of a shrub bed, behind other shrubs, and among flowering trees it will provide permanent, all-year-round structure, against which your flowering plants can do their annual ‘performance’. It looks lovely among other evergreens of different forms and sizes, and a collection of these easily grown bushes is an effective way to decorate your yard with easy-care plants that always look attractive.

Location and Soil Conditions

The Slender Hinoki Cypress is easily grown right across the country, from the cold winters of zone 4 to the mild climate of zone 8. It will grow well in ordinary soil, and really thrive in moist, rich, well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy or sandy, improve it before planting by adding plenty of rich organic material, digging it well into the existing soil. Mulch around your tree every spring during its early years, and water once a week from late spring to fall for the first couple of years. Young trees should not be allowed to become completely dry, but a mature tree, with its deep root system, is moderately drought-resistant.

Choose a sunny or lightly shaded spot for your tree. Do not plant too close to other young trees that could throw too much shade on it as they grow larger. Allow plenty of room for it to mature, so that you do not need to trim it.

History and Origins of the Slender Hinoki Cypress

The Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) is found growing naturally in Japan, where it is a large evergreen tree found in the forests on hillsides. It can grow to over 100 feet tall and it is used as high-quality lumber for the construction of traditional homes and temples. It has some resemblance to the white cedar found throughout the eastern USA, but it is much more graceful and refined, and the fans of foliage twist and spread in a very attractive way. The name ‘Hinoki’ means ‘fire’, because the foliage in winter turns an attractive reddish color. This tree is not a true Cypress tree in the classification of botanists, so it is sometimes also called ‘false cypress’.

Japanese gardeners love this tree, and the many forms that can be found. They have spent centuries collecting these unusual trees, most of which are smaller than the wild tree. Phillip Franz von Siebold was a noted doctor and botanist from Würzburg, Germany, who traveled to Japan in the early years of its opening up to trade with Europe and America. He found this unique form, today called ‘Gracilis’, growing in gardens there. He imported the first specimens to European in the early 1860s, where it was grown by nurseries, and used in many gardens. Very old specimens can still be found in old gardens and parks. At some point plants were brought to America, and this plant has been widely grown, with enormous success, ever since.

This tree should not be confused with the dwarf form of Hinoki Cypress called ‘Nana Gracilis’. This is a much smaller plant, only reaching 5 feet or so after 10 years, and never growing much over 10 feet tall when mature. ‘Gracilis’ is taller and wider, so allow for this when you plant. Our trees are guaranteed to be this larger form, although this will not be apparent in the early years of growth. They are produced for us by growers from stem pieces taken from correctly identified plants. There are many different forms of Hinoki Cypress, so avoid un-named forms, and especially seedling trees, as it is impossible to predict their final form or size unless they are correctly identified.

Buying a Slender Hinoki Cypress at The Tree Center

Here at the Tree Center we always have an interesting collection of these plants, which you can see if you take a look at the pages listed under ‘evergreens’. A grouping of these, chosen for different forms and with different foliage colors, will give you a secure background for your garden, or create interesting beds or foundation planting schemes, fixing your home in its garden setting. This particular variety is not widely available, despite its charming qualities, so our supplies will not last long. Order now and plant one of the most elegant evergreens suitable for every garden.

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Slender Hinoki Cypress

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Gracilis'

17 Reviews