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Cryptomeria is the national tree of Japan. It can be found planted at many sacred sites and is also planted on a large scale as a forest tree. Only one species exists, Cryptomeria japonica. It grows fast into a very large lofty, pyramidal or conical evergreen tree, with red-brown bark which peels in vertical strips. The wood is scented, waterproof, lightweight and strong, so it is used for all types of construction in Japan.
Though only one species of Cryptomeria exists, many ornamental varieties are in cultivation and are very suitable to Northwest landscapes. Portland Nursery carries a full selection of miniature to full-size forms to fit perfectly into the any garden site.
Cryptomerias are especially interesting because they offer a wide range of color and texture choices. During winter several varieties have foliage that changes color from green to bronze or burgundy. Some varieties are soft and plume-like foliage while others have branches and leaves that resemble dreadlocks or ringlets. Cryptomerias lend year round interest and are an excellent addition to the Northwest garden.
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5050 SE Stark, Portland, OR
9000 SE Division, Portland, OR
Common Name: Japanese Cedar or Sugi
Native: China and Japan
Foliage: Evergreen, awl-shaped, spirally arranged; 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, curving inward toward twig; green (may be bronze or brown in winter), persistent for several years.
Flowers: Monoecious; females round, light green, with loose scales; males light brown, appearing from leaf axils near branch tips; appearing in early spring.
Fruit: Round cone, 1 inch across, numerous sharp pointed scales giving it a spiny appearance; reddish brown.
Twig: Moderately stout and green for several years, drooping.
Bark: Attractive, vertically peeling in strips, reddish brown.
Size: Upright tree with a narrow crown; typically one straight trunk; finer branches drooping; can reach heights of 1 ft to 60 ft.
Light: Full sun to part shade
Soil: Fertile moist, but well drained, acidic
Disease: none serious in PNW
Hardiness: Zone (5)6-8(9)