Monterey Cypress Tree Seeds

Important Note: The seeds on this page will benefit greatly from using the CAPE Smoke Seed Germination Primer that we use in our own greenhouses. We find we receive significantly better germination results when we use this primer on these types of seeds.

Find your zone using Garden Web's Zone Finder

Photo and cultural info courtesy of
D7870 Monterey Cypress ( Cupressus macrocarpa )
Monterey cypress is an evergreen conifer that is columnar or cone shaped when young, but becomes broad and spreading as it ages. Specimens subject to constant sea breezes and salt spray are twisted and contorted. In a grove, away from the seaside, it develops into a tall, straight tree, that can get over 100' tall with a trunk diameter of 8'.
The tiny leaves are scale-like, adpressed to the branchlets, about 1/16th inch long and lemon scented. They grow in erect or spreading feather like plumes. The cones are light tan, nearly spherical, about an inch and a half in diameter, with 8-10 tight fitting scales.

Location: Monterey cypress occurs naturally only in two groves on Monterey Bay on the central coast of California. A survivor from an ancient lineage, Monterey cypress is nearly extinct in the wild. It is, however widely cultivated, and a very popular landscaping and hedge plant in England, western Europe, New Zealand and Australia.
Culture: Monterey cypress grows best in areas with mild climates, winter rain and cool ocean breezes. It tolerates acidic to slightly alkaline soils, and does best in sandy soils. It is susceptible to a fatal canker disease in hot, dry regions.
Light: Full sun.
Moisture: Requires regular water.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 - 10.

Usage: Monterey cypress is very salt tolerant and an excellent choice for seaside plantings where it becomes wind swept and develops a striking irregular shape. It is often grown in a group to create a wind break or screen, and it can be pruned to form a hedge. Under ideal conditions, Monterey cypress can grow into a dense, 40' tall tree in just ten years. Many cultivars and hybrids have been developed, especially in England and New Zealand, where the plant is very popular.
Monterey cypress is used extensively for bonsai. The twisted and gnarled form that makes bonsai specimens so attractive comes naturally to Monterey cypress.
Features: The Native American Costanoans (Californians who were actually born in California!) used a decoction of Monterey cypress foliage to treat rheumatism. The Miwok, from the Sierra Nevada, used a related species for the same thing; maybe there's something to it? It wouldn't be the first time a very rare plant was found to have medicinal value.

Note: These seeds need to be cold stratified before sowing. We recommend using the Seedman's Cold Stratification Kits for cold stratification.
  Package of 15 seeds $1.95

Return to Trees Main Menu