Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Zone?

Newgoldendream(z5NaperIL)August 12, 2005

I believe Bloom's book on conifers has the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana cultivars listed as Zone 6, but I've read on several sites that they can be successfully grown in Zone 5. Have any of you had success with these in Zone 5?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

bloom lives in britain ...

get a good map .. and see that he is at 55 to 60 degrees north ... north of hudson bay ...

and yet he is zone 6 .... there are many reasons for this... but one thing is they have weak sun ... and mild winters...

that is not IL ... thiink about it ...

lawsonia.. cant take our version of winter .... IMHO ..

the british authors are wonderful .. they books are wonderful .. the cultural info is useless ... IMHO ... all other info is wonderful ...

i bought about 20 or 30 C. laws .. very cheap ... very small .. i have MAYBE 10 left ... i am zone 5 ..

if you have some little micorclimate with reduced winter sun and wind.. and you are willing to risk money .. go for it ...

if you are on a budget ... forget them ... no matter how cool they look ... i have come to the conclusion that they are so attractive to us in zone 5 ... because we never see them.. becasue they dont grow here ... if they did.. they would be everywhere .. and they just wouldnt be that unique ...

i believe that their are some people who even question whether they are zone 6.. again depending on microclimate...

ken

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 12:19PM
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pineresin

I'd have said zone 6 was right too - how long have these specimens in zone 5 been growing? Have they experienced a really severe winter yet?

Having said that, no harm in trying some, as long as you're prepared to accept losing them if you do get an exceptionally severe winter. You may well get 20 years' enjoyment out of them (or just one!) before that happens. It's pot luck, but you won't know without trying.

PS Ken - Bloom is at 52°20'N in zone 8 :-)
But he's probably basing his info on published USDA data, anyway.

Resin

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 4:53PM
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kingn8(6a)

Could I get some help please?
I believe that these are Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, could I get some confirmation? These were in Yosemite.
I may be wrong, but I dug some up and brought some little ones home and I want to know if I can try them outside.
Thanks for any help,
Nate
This first picture has foliage and trunk of the species I am referring to.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 6:42PM
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pineresin

Hi KingN8,

Those are Calocedrus decurrens (Incense-cedar). That's a nice old one in the second pic!

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana doesn't occur in the Sierra Nevada, only in the Siskiyou and Klamath mountains, in the far northwest of CA and southwest OR

Resin

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 7:29PM
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kingn8(6a)

Wow! What a nice surprise.
I had the impression that incense cedars were a lot more cloumnar. I guess not?
So that beautiful red deep fissured bark is a characteristic of the Calocedrus d.
I think remember reading that Calocedrus d. is hardy to Z5, is that correct?
Thanks a lot, I'm quite sorry for kindof derailing this thread.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 7:37PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

resin ...

ok bloom is 52 degrees.. and a pale brit ...

i am at about 42 in south MI ... and sunburnt to a crisp ..

my point was that the strength of the sun in summer and winter is a lot different everywhere in the US compared to britain ...

and when is the last time they hit 100 degrees F ... is that 38 or so ...

didnt you just mention the other day that in mid sugust.. you guys had a healthy 60 something F???

weather is weather.. and the US doesnt have anything like britain ... they grow all their hsota in full sun ... mine fry in the shade ...

etc .. wonderful books for everything but cultural tips... IMHO ...

and do you recall my pix from spring... with all the C. Law under rose cones.. and half of them still died ... from a z5 winter ...

and i agree there is no harm in trying .. after all i did ... but write off the money at purchase.. and dont get overly concerned about failure... and dont come crying to us about WHY DID THEY DIE .... ken

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 7:37PM
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pineresin

Hi Ken,

Some places in southeastern England hit 38° in the record-breaking heatwave in 2003, but that was very exceptional. Where I am (northern England, 55°N), the absolute max is 30.0°C

"and the US doesnt have anything like britain" - it does, actually - southeast Alaska!

Hi KingN8,
Calocedrus shape varies with climate - in cultivation in Britain, they are columnar, but where they grow wild, they're open with more level branching. No-one has ever managed to explain why this happens.

As to hardiness - most aren't, they're zone 7. But there is a small population east of the Cascades in central Oregon (Crook County), and they should be easily zone 5 hardy. Some in northeast Calif may also be zone 5. The small spots east/northeast of the main range in the map at the link below.

Resin

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 9:39PM
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smalljaw(z 6b mid TN)

I am growing both Chamaecyparis lawsonia 'Oregon Blue' and Calocedrus decurrens outside of Nashville . Yes C.l 'Oregon Blue ' . I am kind of high up and have excellent draiage in most areas . I was given 3 , 3 years ago ,and they are all alive and well . I am expecting more , fricken gawgess . Calocedrus are great . I am looking forward to 'Pioneer Sentry' a very narrow form . C. lawsonia should be hardy in zone 5 , what about poor drainage . Don't believe everything you read .

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 6:15PM
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pineresin

"C. lawsoniana should be hardy in zone 5"

Errr . . . why 'should' it be? Its native range is close to the warming effect of the Pacific coast, mostly in zone 8, to zone 7 at higher altitudes. What's interesting is that it does tolerate zone 6 winters when climatically, one wouldn't expect it to.

Resin

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 7:44PM
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Ron_B

Especially what you read here. Where a person is does not disable them from writing accurately about something elsewhere.

3 years isn't much time to establish resistance to cold or root rot in a Chamaecyparis lawson-i-a-n-a or any other tree. C. lawsoniana 'Oregon Blue' being a clonal cultivar what works with it may not apply to other forms, there is some variation of cold tolerance within the species already known (very little root rot resistance, however).

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 7:46PM
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doniki(z5/6 NE Ohio)

I'm usually fairly optimistic about growing "out of zone" plants.... But, I really don't think C. lawsoniana is a good choice for zone 5 or 6, especially in the east and midwest. They'd probably struggle anywhere in the eastern half of the U.S. regardless of zone. I've put too much money into "Oregon Blue," "Pembury Blue," "Silver Queen," and "Elwoodii." All are DEAD!!!! They did survive a few winters with some temps down to about -5F (what is that -21C?). I don't know what would happen in a true zone 5 winter. I personally have never had any winter kill or burn, rather the problem in my situation has always been the clay soil and high summer temps and humidity. I've had marginal success with "Golden Showers," which is planted in some shade and rocky soil, though I really don't think it has grown much in the 3 years its been in the ground.
Despite all the problems, I still see it sold quite a few (too many) places. I've heard that "Lake Erie Blue" and "Van Pelts" (don't know if that's the exact name) are both better suited to the Cleveland, OH area (zone 5/6), but I've never seen them for sale commerically. Come to think of it, I've only seen one C. lawsoniana growing in NE Ohio... It's strange because many sources rate them to zone 5, including the Dirr manual, and sware C. lawsoniana are hardier than the Cedrus atlantica, but I do see a few C. atlantica in the area that have been in the ground for years...???

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 11:55PM
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Ron_B

Correctly C. lawsoniana 'Pelt's Blue'. May be confused with C. l. 'Columnaris' in North America, the true item is not supposed to be fastigiate; some material in commerce may originate with mislabeled, prominently situated plant(s) in Seattle arboretum.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 1:33AM
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pineresin

"C. lawsoniana are hardier than the Cedrus atlantica"

That is certainly true - in the record-breaking severe 1981/82 winter in Denmark (note: zone 7), about half of all the Cedrus atlantica were killed outright and most of the rest badly damaged, but Chamaecyparis lawsoniana was undamaged. Temperatures fell to a general -26 to -27°C, locally slightly lower.

For some other comparisons, Sequoiadendron, Cryptomeria and Cunninghamia received some slight burns but not serious, with some undamaged. Taxus baccata was often badly burnt, quite a lot died. Pinus wallichiana and Cedrus deodara were both wipe-outs, except for the recent introductions from Afghanistan like 'Eisregen'. Araucaria araucana was also a total loss.

Resin

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 6:23AM
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TreeDazzled(z10 SF, CA)

Regarding C. decurrens hardiness:

> As to hardiness - most aren't, they're zone 7. But there
> is a small population east of the Cascades in central
> Oregon (Crook County), and they should be easily zone 5
> hardy. Some in northeast Calif may also be zone 5.

The Tahoe basin, mostly zone 5, is filled with C. decurrens. They grow like weeds there, almost literally: in some areas, the forest floor has so many incense cedar seedlings that they have the appearance of sparse grass.

Shoot

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 1:02PM
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conifers

I had heard that's it's not the winter's that do the most damage to lawsoniana cultivars, rather the intense heat of summer will do more damage.

Now I realize they need be winter-hardy as well, but from my understanding, it's actually the heat that does more damage (hence the cool maritime climates of the coastal regions of the west.) Kinda like Picea breweriana...listed as zone 5, but would never make it here in my zone 5 climate of the midwest. A big catch 22 if you know what I mean.

As to the 'Van Pelt's'...supposedly somebody somewhere in the United States has this plant (as to the story written at the website of Arrowhead Alpines) and it went through a quite cold winter unschathed...now I'm back to winter hardiness again.

I don't know what to think but I agree with Ken's first post as I tried several lawsoniana cultivars a few years back and after one winter I was left with one plant and by the time summer set in and it got really hot and humid, that last one 'standing' turned brown and shriveled up.

I actually have a 'Van Pelt's' that I was given this recent spring. It's tiny and with very little roots and potted in a gallon container, and I'll just have to see what ultimately happens to this cultivar when it eventually get's planted over time.

Lastly, while visiting Hidden Lakes Gardens in Michigan on Tuesday of this week I came across a lawsoniana cultivar...not the 'prettiest' of specimens, but surviving somehow.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Fletcheri'

    Bookmark   August 18, 2005 at 9:21AM
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Conifernut(Z5b IN)

I have multiple (>15) C. lawsoniana cultivars just outside of Indianapolis and I can tell you that there is a significant difference between them. Pelts Blue has been a very consistent performer (I have three). Spek does well. Most that have died, actually check out in the heat of the summer. Pembury Blue falls apart under winter snow load. I've lost a couple to root rot in our clay soils. Gee Farms has one they call Pelts Blue A.F.F. that has been through ~-24F (-31C for those of you outside the U.S.) I know of one growing outside of Rockford, IL 4B/5A.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2005 at 9:31PM
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mrgpag

Doniki - I acquired a container grown 'Lake Erie Blue' back in 1999 - actually I pulled it out of a nursery's dumpster - and it's doing nicely now. It came from Klyn's up your way, I contacted them and was told my plant was grown from a cutting taken from a tree near their office area. They also said they now call that tree c.l. 'Alumi'. After a couple years of care, it's taken off and has not experienced any problems - summer of winter. Some cuttings from this tree has experienced problems, but that may have been influenced by the human factor.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 8:08AM
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doniki(z5/6 NE Ohio)

mrgpag-
That is really a beautiful plant you have.. It looks like it is in a raised bed... Obviously with all the rocks it is getting good drainage. I think that is the key around here for the hardiest types. I would love to try a "Lake Erie Blue" if I could actually find one somewhere???
A guy I know at a Cleve. nursery said he has a few "Lake Erie's" planted at his house and they do very well... I'm gonna ask him where he got them. Thank you for the pic...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 10:18AM
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mrgpag

That bed is somewhat deceiving as it's not raised - more of a rock mulch. The drainage is rather good at that spot and the soil is native clay/loam. Cuttings from this particular plant are very easy to root - maybe the guy in Cleveland could supply some to you. I do about a dozen a year from this tree which contributes to the fullness.

Marshall

    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 11:51AM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

That Hidden Lakes specimen (photo, above) looks like it's a C. thyoides.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 4:35PM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Cham.lawsoniana 'Snow White'. 10 years in Z5 on south side of house. Has seen -10 F. Slow grower.

Dave

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 4:53PM
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erniew

Anyone here know where 'Sullivan' falls into the genus. It's usually listed as C. lawsoniana although there is talk that it's not.

Thanks,
Ernie

    Bookmark   February 8, 2007 at 7:39PM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Why is it thought not to be?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 1:04AM
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pineresin

This page lists it as a Nootka Cypress cultivar. The pic is not quite large enough to tell for 100% which it is; I couldn't find a close-up foliage pic anywhere.

Resin

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.plantnames.org/chamnoo2.html

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 5:24AM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

When you click to enlarge it appears to have coarse foliage of Nootka on plant with habit of Lawson. Maybe it is a coarse Lawson.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 10:38AM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I tried "sullivan cypress" and got a page with a closer view showing habit of Lawson without pointed tips of Nootka.

Here is a link that might be useful: gardensoyvey online garden

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 10:51AM
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pineresin

That certainly looks like Lawson's

Resin

    Bookmark   February 9, 2007 at 11:48AM
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bboy(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I don't know where I read 'Pelt's Blue' wasn't fastigiate. Several references I have here say it resembles 'Columnaris'.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 12:41PM
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erniew

Sorry to have posted and then forgot about it. Unless my memory is playing tricks on me again, I attended the Northern Plant Conference and Bill Hendricks, Klyn Nursery, mentioned that there was some guessing about where it landed exactly. I didn't write it down but I think he mentioned either Lawson or Nootka with Nootka being plausible since it is much more adapted to the interior states climates than the run of the mill Lawson. For anyone who's interested, his list of Lawsons for the interior, based on their growing experience in Northern OH:

'Alumii'-I think they were growing these in the field.
'Dik's Weeping'
'Van Pelt's Blue'
'Blue Surprise'
'Rijnhof'
'Sullivan'

Regards,
Ernie

    Bookmark   February 10, 2007 at 4:43PM
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conifers

Thank you Ernie:)

Ron, I thought that cypress at Hidden Lakes was other as well but yah, foliage can be misleading. It was the scrangiest, junkiest-looking thing I had ever seen. I must have walked around it 20 times before I finally took a picture. That thing should go in the trash.

Got an 'Alumii' here temporarily that I'm grafting for a friend. Tag says hardy to -15 F (whatever that means).

I'll see if the guy I got the cutting from (he's zone 5 I believe) is having luck still with that 'Van Pelt's Blue' cultivar. Unfortunately mine burnt that summer I received it.

Dax

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 8:37AM
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