Italian cypress or Mediterranean cypress, native to Asia and Southern Europe, is a tall and slender tree that can grow to a height of 80 feet and 8 feet wide. Once this tree is established, it requires less care, occasional maintenance, and protection from harsh winter conditions. Although it doesn’t require regular pruning, occasional pruning is needed to prepare it for the winter making it stronger to face the natural elements.
Here are 9 easy tips to plant and care for your Italian cypress tree:
Choose a Location
Italian cypress tree requires full sun and well-drained soil and grows well in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant zones 8 to 10. Don’t plant the tree where it can interfere with power lines, driveways, or sideways.
Dig a Hole
Using a shovel, dig a large planting hole to fit the root ball of the cypress tree that extends several feet in all the directions. Put organic materials into the hole to increase drainage in the soil that helps the roots.
Place the Tree into the Hole
Put the Italian cypress tree into the hole and fill it back with the soil using a shovel or spade. Press the soil firmly around the base of the tree’s trunk.
Water the soil around the tree deeply with a garden hose. You need to water the tree regularly for the first growing season and then to once or twice a month. Once established, this tree is drought tolerant.
After first planting, mulch with 2-3 inches of organic materials to retain moisture in the soil and prevent weeds that take away water and other nutrients from the tree. Once the tree is established, mulch is not required, as it prefers dry soil.
Watch Out for Mites and Insects
Keep an eye on red tiny insects and spider mites that can cause foliage damage and can even kill the tree. You can use fungicides or other chemicals to completely control and kill the disease.
Use Flat Top Pruning Method
Trim the top of the Italian cypress tree with a pair of hedge clippers to control its height. This flat top pruning is helpful if the tree is near the corner of the house.
Prune Drooping Limbs
Check for any drooping limps during the spring and prune them. Use pruning shears to cut the joints where drooping limbs connect to strong branches. Take proper steps to protect the tree from water damage and prevent any future problems.
Prune Infected Limbs
Prune away any infected limbs to prevent the disease from spreading to other healthy parts of the tree. Italian cypress tree is susceptible to Seiridium canker that can severely infect the limbs.
Follow these easy tips to care for your Italian cypress tree and keep it healthy!