Cupressus bakeri, the Modoc Cypress, Siskiyou Cypress or Baker Cypress, is a species of cypress native to the United States, in a restricted area of northern California (Siskiyou, Modoc, Shasta and Plumas Counties) and southwest Oregon (very localized in Josephine and Jackson Counties). It is usually found in small, scattered populations, not in large forests, at altitudes of 900-2000 m.
It is a medium-sized evergreen tree with a conic crown, growing to heights of 10-25 m (exceptionally to 39 m), and a trunk diameter of up to 0.5 m (exceptionally to 1 m). The foliage grows in sparse, usually pendulous sprays, varying from dull gray-green to glaucous blue-green in color. The leaves are scale-like, 2-5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots. The seed cones are globose to oblong, 10-25 mm long, with 6 or 8 (rarely 4 or 10) scales, green to brown at first, maturing gray or gray-brown about 20-24 months after pollination. The cones often remain closed for several years, only opening after the parent tree is killed in a wildfire, thereby allowing the seeds to colonise the bare ground exposed by the fire. The male cones are 3-5 mm long, and release pollen in February-March.
It is slow-growing, and is restricted to sites difficult for plant growth, on serpentine soils and on old lava flows; its tolerance of these sites enable it to avoid competition from much faster-growing trees.
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