Scientific: Cupressus arizonica var. arizonica
Common: Arizona cypress
Family: Cupressaceae
Origin: Lower and drier mountainous regions of the southwest United States south into north central Mexico.

Pronounciation: koo-PRES-sus air-i-ZO-ni-ka

Hardiness zones
Sunset
2-13
USDA 7-11

Landscape Use: Background, informal LARGE screen, medium size tree. Especially great for use in Arizona landscapes at higher elevation.

Form & Character: A large, coniferous evergreen small medium size tree. A signature tree of upland Arizona woodlands below the Ponderosa pine forests.

Growth Habit: Moderately upright and oblong in habit to 15 to 40 feet tall; variably vigorous depending on water availability

Foliage/texture: Leaves glaucous to bluish, scale-like in the classic 'juniper' sense scarcely or not overlapping at all; twigs are slender, square, covered in scale-like leaves, pointed at tips, turning gray with age; typically branch at nearly right angles; fine texture.

Flowers & fruits: Monoecious, male inflorescence are small, pale yellow-green at ends of branch tips; female inflorescence are small light green near branch tips; fruit are dry, round, woody, serotinous (open with fire) cones, 1 inch in diameter, 6 to 8 pointed scales.

Seasonal color: None, though the bark is very always attractive, shredding and peeling in long strips to reveal gray and reddish brown patches. On older trees the bark may develop a fine, shallow furrowed pattern or reveal a mottled patchy look.

Temperature: Tolerant, hardy to -15oF and struggles when temperatures exceed 110oF.

Light: Full sun to partial shade.

Soil: Widely tolerant of acid to alkaline soils.

Watering: Infrequent but regular deep summer irrigations are needed.

Pruning: Rarely except to control shape.

Propagation: Hardwood cuttings of male plants.

Disease and pests: Spider mites and juniper scale are the biggest problems.

Additional comments: Arizona cypress is generally not thought of as a landscape plant for the "desert". However, it does quite well in Phoenix, and grows well as a landscape tree along the west coast, and throughout the southwest and southeast United States. During the mid and later 20th century, foresters in the southeast United States even conducted research on the feasibility of growing Arizona cypress as a Christmas tree. 'Blue Ice' is a rare columnar cultivar that has a distinct grayish blue color that gives it a host-like image as if it had been snowing. Beware of this tree's eventual size and spread!