Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Conifer, evergreen tree, 40-60 ft (12-18 m) tall, pyramidal with drooping secondary branches, stiff when young more, graceful later. However, at maturity it may thin and be open, which some consider "unsightly". Needles bright to dark green, stiff, sharp pointed, 12-25 mm long, arranged all around the stem, 4-sided with stomatal lines on each side. Cones hang down, cylindrical, 10-15 cm long by about 4 cm wide, light brown at maturity; which occurs 5-7 months after pollination. Seeds are released in spring.
- Sun. Prefers moderately moist, sandy, acid, well-drained soil, grows in average soil if it has sufficient moisture.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 2 Native to northern and central Europe. This species is the typical 'Christmas Tree' in Britain.
- Numerous cultivars (over 150!) have originated from mutations in this species, dwarf forms often developed from a "witches' broom", essentially a dense mass of shoots arising from the same point. This type of abnormal growth may be caused by biological or environmental factors.
Here are a few of the cultivars available:
- 'Cupressiana' - narrow columnar habit, a mature height of 30 ft (9 m) tall but only 4 ft (1.2 m) wide at the base
- 'Gold Drift' - weeping habit, early growth in spring is lime green but becoming bright gold by late spring
- 'Nidiformis' - dwarf shrub, spreading, a flattened globe, eventually to 3+ ft (1 m) high and 4-6 ft (1.2-1.6 m) across
- 'Pendula' - (P. a. var. pendula) slow growing, pendulous branches, when staked it may reach a height of 8 ft (2.4 m)
- Sometimes used in bonsai
- Oregon State Univ. campus: in the "arboretum" (tree # 60) south of Moreland Hall .