The Tuscan Cypress is a slender, cone-shaped evergreen tree. Similiar to most other cypresses, Cupressus sempervirens can grow to surprising heights. Adult specimens can reach heights of up to 35 metres (115 feet). This cone shaped 'totem' grows a bit slower than most other cypress trees, but makes up for it with its beautiful shape.
The Cypress has a grayish trunk, with square branches. These branches have a similar gray or blueish bark. The wintergreen leaves are dark green of colour. The fruits are cone-shaped green, but turn brown after being pollinated. Cupressus sempervirens is not poisonous and is safe for pets and children.
It is possible for prune this cypress, but it is not necesary. It naturally grows into its cone formed shape. If you prefer a fuller tree, pruning can help. Focus on pruning the top of the tree if you wish to obtain a fuller tree.
Cupressus sempervirens is quite easy to plant. It can grow in any soil, as long as water can pass through easily. For clay ground it can help to add organic compost and to work the soil before the first frost. Dry soil is not a problem either. Although this cypress does not like hard winds, salty sea wind is not a problem. In addition, Cupressus sempervirens is quite winter hard, depending where it grows up. Italian grown cypresses are less winter hardy, but cypresses from cooler climates like the British isles are fully winter hardy. Our cypresses are fully winter hardy and will only have problems with temperatures below -15.
The wood of Cupressus sempervirens is strong and sturdy, which contributes to the longevity of the cypress. There is a Persian cypress that is estimated at an age of over 4000 years old! The wood of the cypress is also quite aromatic.
An interesting fact about Cupressus sempervirens is that it might be fire resistant. During a forest fire in Spain in 2012, a group of 942 cypresses remained almost untouched by the flames. Only 12 of them got burnt. The cypress is currently being researched for its fire resistant properties.
Cupressus sempervirens originates from Italy, Tunis, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Cyrenaica (East Libya), but has been cultivated and naturalised in the entire Mediterenean and Black Sea areas, as well as from Syria all the way to Iran.