Many conifers have been and are used to beautify the garden: cypresses, yews, and even pines provide that greenery and elegance so sought after by gardeners and enthusiasts. But there are other species that also deserve to have their place in the field, as is the case of the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Ellwoodii'.
It bears a great resemblance to the Cupressus, in fact, it is genetically related to them to the point that botanists classify it within their family: Cupressaceae. But if you want to know what is special about it, then We are going to tell you about its characteristics and its care.
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What is the origin and characteristics of the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Ellwoodii'?
It is an evergreen coniferous tree that it can become very large: up to 80 meters high with a pyramidal cup whose base is about 2 meters wide. It has feathery-looking, dark green foliage. The cones are globe-shaped, and about 7 centimeters long. These ripen in the fall, so their seeds are sown in winter or spring at the latest.
It popularly goes by several names, such as Oregon cedar, Lawson's false cypress, or Lawson's camecíparis, but it is best to use the scientific name to identify it: Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Ellwoodii', because the common ones can confuse us since for example it is not a cedar, despite the fact that it is called »Oregon cedar».
Now, what is certain is that the species from which it comes (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) is native to the United States, specifically, it is found from southwestern Oregon to northwestern California. It can live in a wide variety of places, since it grows both at sea level and in protected areas of the mountains.as in the valleys. Also, it is interesting to know that their life expectancy reaches 500 years.
What are the care that must be given to the Oregon cedar?
The care that this conifer needs is quite simple, so much so that anyone, regardless of their experience caring for plants, will be able to boast of a tree with hardly any maintenance.
But as always happens when talking about plants, we must never forget that we are dealing with a living being that has a series of needs. Which are? Those of our protagonist are the following:
This conifer lives well, that is to say, without problems, in any place that enjoys a temperate climate, with the four different seasons. This climate can be rather warm or rather cold, as long as temperatures remain between -18ºC minimum and 35ºC maximum.
If we're going to plant it in the ground, it is important to know that it will not be necessary to water it if at least 900mm of precipitation falls per year, distributed throughout all the months. Especially necessary is that it rains in summer, because being the hottest time of the year, the land dries faster.
In the event that it does not rain enough, then there will be no choice but to water it. It must be done every 2 or 3 days during the summer, while during the rest of the seasons it will be done more spaced.
El Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Ellwoodii' requires a soil rich in nutrients, and if possible slightly acidic, with a pH of 6-6.5. Although it can grow in alkaline-clay soils, it is important that they absorb water quickly, that is, that puddles do not easily form when it rains or is irrigated.
It is not a tree that has to be paid, not in a mandatory way at least. But If the soil is poor in nutrients, or if we want it to grow better, it is highly advisable to fertilize it in spring and until the beginning of autumn.. To do this, we will use fertilizers that respect the environment, such as those of animal origin: guano, manure, earthworm humus (you can buy it here!).
Now, if it is in a pot, it is very interesting to apply liquid fertilizers, and not so much granulated or powdered ones. Why? Because it is better absorbed, faster, so the effectiveness is also noticeable in less time.
The false Oregon cypress multiplies by seeds in winter. It is important that they are exposed to low temperatures so that they can germinate, so the ideal is to plant two or three in pots about 8 centimeters in diameter, and leave them outdoors.
So that they do not spoil, we spray them once a week with a polyvalent fungicide, in this way they will be able to germinate without being damaged by fungi.
It is a very rustic conifer, which withstands moderate frost and even heat, but it will need water and some shade if maximum temperatures remain above 30ºC for several days in a row. Moreover, in Mediterranean climates, especially if they are near the coast, it is preferable to have it in partial shade and not in full sun, because during a particularly intense heat wave it is to be expected that it will suffer damage.
As you now know, the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Ellwoodii' is an evergreen tree of great beauty.