One of two clones of Cephalotaxus lanceolata I have.
Do you have a photo of your specimen?.
I wonder if you have the same problem with Cephalotaxus that I do.C. harringtonia 'Duke Gardens' was the slowest non-dwarf conifer I ever grew.Pathetic.Must have grown about 3" a year.It has a slow reputation, fine...I won't bother with it again.
More recently C. fortunei from Rarefind grows a little faster, but not much.I've had it since 2006 and it hasn't produced a tall shoot yet.Every year it increases its angle of attack toward the sky, but it's still only at about 40 degrees! Overall plant height still
This post was edited by davidrt28 on Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 15:23
Mine doesn't look that good, but I do have photos of specimens at ABG. The best species I have is C. wilsoniana - vigorous and nice tree form. I also have C. oliverii and C. mannii.
Sounds like you're all suffering from vegetatively propagated specimens with no apical dominance, behaving as side branches. If you could get them to develop an erect trunk, they'd be better. Coppicing them should work, but it's a bit of a drastic action to take with such rare plants, with the worry that if it doesn't work it'll be fatal.
Seed-grown plants would be even better yet.
On the photo it's a Cephalotaxus fortunei.
Here's one with apical dominance. Cephalotaxus harringtonia, 'Erecta'. Sounds like a social disease.
It seems to be a medium grower, not slow at all. I have had it three years from a one gallon pot.