- Conifer, evergreen tree, grows to 40-80 ft (12-25 m) tall, narrow or broadly conical when young, broadly spreading with age, branchlets round, not in a single plane, outspread or nodding. Bark red-brown then gray, becoming furrowed with age. Leaves uniform, scale-like, about 2 mm long, up to 10 mm on vigorous shoot, rhombic, obtuse, in 4 tightly appressed rows, dark green. Cones globose or somewhat ellipsoid, 2.5-3.5 cm diameter, usually solitary, on a short, thick stalk.
- Sun. Susceptible to coryneum canker when grown inland away from cool coastal winds (Sunset Western Garden Book, 2001)
- Hardy to USDA Zone 7 Native to California's Monterey Peninsula along the central coast were only two native stands persist. The Lone Cypress at Cypress Point on the peninsula is one of the most photographed trees in California. It is widely planted as an ornamental and windbreak along the California coastline and grown in forest timberlands in South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
- Taxonomy: There has been a good deal of taxonomic discussion in recent years regarding some of the species in the Cupressaceae. This has resulted in Monterey Cypress being classified as Cupressus macrocarpa (Royal Bot. Garden, Kew; USDA GRIN), Hesperocyparis macrocarpa (The Jepson Manual, 2nd Ed.), and Callitropsis macrocarpa (Integrated Taxonomic Information System).
- There are a number of cultivars of Monterey Cypress, including:
- macrocarpa: macro, large or long; carpo, fruit; hence large-fruited.
The largest Monterey Cypress in Oregon has a circumference of more than 34 feet and is about 100 feet tall. Harrison G. Blake planted this tree when he built his house in the 1850’s. The Blake home, which now houses the Chetco Valley Museum, also served as the post office and as a stagecoach stop. The Museum is four miles south of Brookings on Hwy 101