What Is a European Cypress Tree?

european-cypress-tree Credit: werms/CC-BY-2.0

The European cypress or Lawson false cypress is a highly-adaptable shrub with densely-packed, erect branches that feature feathery, blue-gray needles. A native to western North America, it thrives in medium-to-wet slightly-acidic well-draining soil and in sunny locations with some afternoon shade in the driest of climates.

Known as a low-maintenance slow-grower, the European cypress tree reaches an average height of 10 feet and is commonly cultivated for gift-giving purposes during the holiday season. Cut the dead branches from a European cypress tree to prune it, but don't cut into old wood, as it's susceptible to both spruce and twig mites.