Plant of the Month for Longmont CO area landscapes-March 2022

Weeping Alaska Nootka Cypress

Longmont, CO area landscapes {Plant of the Month Series}

March 2022 Plant of the Month for Longmont CO area landscapes-Weeping Alaska Nootka CypressThis plant is a bit obscure in the Longmont Colorado landscape, but if sited well with appropriate water and drainage, and protection from winter winds, it should thrive. Weeping Alaska Cypress, is closely related to Cedar, and in fact, there was a name change from Cedar to Cypress since it more resembles Cypress. It has softer needles, a weeping habit, and in its native forest, can grow to 100’ or more. However, in our landscapes, expect it to top out around 30-35’ and 10’ wide or so. Location is critical to Its survival here. It is not known to do well below the 40th parallel, which is just south of Longmont. Weeping Alaska Cypress needs full sun with some protection from late afternoon summer sun, moist, but well drained soil which can sometimes be hard to find in newer subdivisions that have homogenized soils (read this article on the blog: ), and protection from strong winter winds, due to winter desiccation to prevent possible dieback. A low spot in a yard where water might linger a little longer in the soil may be a perfect spot as long as it doesn’t have standing water for long periods after a rain or snowmelt. The winter protection caveat is the hard one to satisfy; locating it behind a building may help; east of a line of mature Spruce or Pine might be ideal since it both protects from wind and shades late afternoon sun; hiding the tree in the confines of a mature neighborhood with just the right amount of full mid-day sun might just be best. Either way, this evergreen will be something your neighbors won’t have in their landscape. For this landscaper, three are being planted this spring as an experiment at the farm. Still trying to find the exact location to promote success. Note that this will be a special order item and won’t be found in local nurseries. You will likely have the only one in your neighborhood. Pushing boundaries with plant species can be rewarding, and it is worth the effort. Give it a try.

Photo by Monrovia Nursery

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