Italian Cypress Trees Can Grow Successfully in Salt Lake City, Ut

joann2002August 2, 2009

Yes, absolutely, I am here to tell you from first hand experience, Italian Cypress can survive in Utah and I live above the Salt Lake Valley where temps are even colder in winter. I love Italian Cypress and brought my first ones home from a trip to Sacramento, Cal over 20 years ago. I had three from that trip. One I tried growing in a pot as feared that if the two I planted out doors didnt survive at least I would have one. Well the one in the pot didnÂt even make it through the winter as did not like being indoors during the winter

The two planted outdoors survived very well until I lost one several years ago when it was about 6 feet all by trying to transplant it perhaps too late in the fall. I currently have a total of 8 growing on my property and the oldest ones are about 14 feet tall and of course still growing in height... The most recent ones I brought in St George at Home Depot, there, as could not find a nursery or a supplier in SLC that had them or would even consider ordering them (even the local SLC Home Depots). The most common comment was: "They won't survive here in SLC, it is too cold"... well I am here to prove that they can survive and do well. The first year I wrapped them and even had small Christmas tree lights come on automatically during the night hours up until April in trying to ensure they would survive. Well since then I found all that is not necessary as they survive just fine with only about 6 inches of freezer burn to the tips of the top branches over the winter, but soon grow over those areas come spring. The one thing I would highly recommend is that there are obviously more than one variety and choose the more blue/green close cropped limb variety. Apparently I have 2 different varieties.. One grows with upward limbs that can bend down with the snow, the other grows small close cropped outward limbs that remain neat as withstand the snowfall and is more blue/green in color as compared to the regular green ones with the upward limbs that can bend outward unless wrapped.

Also beware of gophers and ground squirrels. I had the sad misfortune of losing one of my trees 2 winters ago due to the burrowing of either gophers or ground squirrels who decided to make a path right through the main root system at the base of the Italian Cypress I lost. I no longer feed the squirrels in that area of my yard anymore, as would never want to lose another to their burrowing. I need to replace that one and plan to do so this month during a trip to Oregon, as am sure I can find a nursery there that carries them.

Anyway, don't be afraid to try growing Italian Cypress in Salt Lake City, as they are one of the most beautiful trees and make a great statement as well as screen if you need one between yard areas. I also appreciated recently reading an article that advises if you ever need to trim one you should do so very sparingly and at least 6 weeks before a hard frost and then spray the trimmed area with a tree/shrub moisturizing sealer that will seal the limbs from oozing sap and developing a burned appearance.

I would disagree with the advice about substituting Sky Rocketing Junipers instead unless you are planting in an area that receives little or no water. I planted a Sky Rocketing Juniper close to 20 years ago too and it has grown much taller than the tag info: which stated 10-12 Feet.. It is over 16 feet and unfortunately has become a problem the girth is at least 5 feet wide and the top of the tree has begun to split into 3 sections growing more horizontal than vertical. I am having a hard time trying to reign the 3 large limbs.. Obviously, I should have been pruning to keep the shape thin and columnar over the years..but just to let you know that my Italian Cypress look far more attractive and require little or no upkeep compared to the Skyrocketing Juniper. Also someone mentioned Leyland Cypress and yes they are pretty trees but they are more bushy with gangling limbs, and you will never see the beautiful columnar shape of the Italian Cypress.

Hope any of you out there who love the look of the Italian Cypress will not be afraid to try them...even if you have to take a trip out of state as I have to purchase them... Maybe, if enough of us ask one of our local SLC Home Depot's would send some to the valley from their St George far I have been refused as "we just can't do that, because they are not recommended to grow here". Well perhaps I need to take them photos of my 14 foot tall thriving Italian Cypress trees as proof they can survive in Salt Lake Valley and even high into the hills surrounding the valley, as I live near the Wasatch National Forest.

Good Luck to those fellow Italian Cypress Lovers, JoAnn

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cordoor(z5 UT)

Thanks for the great post! I've wanted to put Italian Cypress in my yard and have been wondering if they would survive here. We live in North Utah County. You've given me motivation to try.

Can you post some pictures? I'd love to see what they look like at about 14 feet.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 6:03PM
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What variety of Cypress? Strica or Glauca? We live in Lexington, KY and believe it or not wevget A LOT of snow. I just love Cypress trees and want to get the best variety for the weather here.

Thank you,

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 2:11PM
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Can I grow leyland cypress in Northern Utah? I have planted 10 trees and each one has gone brown in the spring. Is this normal? Last spring they did the same only not quite to the extent as this spring. Can some one give me an answer to this?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 12:58PM
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we would love to see pictures of your cypress trees!

also, if i am correct, the upper elevations can be slightly warmer during cold snaps for two reasons- the cold wind tends to whip through the valley, while the mountainsides and hillsides are more protected. Secondly, the colder air settles down lower in the valley (slightly).
temperatures where we live in bluffdale (near the jordan) are usually a degree cooler.

ps, does anyone know how to subscribe to threads, or access my recently viewed/written posts? (as in other forums)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 5:03PM
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