Can I control size of italian cypress?

hemolymphMarch 3, 2011

First off--Forgive my ignorance! I really don't know much about gardening.

However, I am trying to go for a formal/manicured look in my front yard. I saw a photo online of someone who had what look like italian cypress flanking their windows. It looks so so pretty!

First off, if these ARE Italian cypress. Is it possible to control their height/width so they don't outgrow their area?

I'd love to plant them on either side of my window but I wouldn't want them to grow higher than my roof.

Is it possible to prune them to keep them shorter/thinner?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Also, here is the link to the photo I am talking about:

Are those Italian cypress? If not.. what are they?


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The pic is of Mediterranean Cypress Cupressus sempervirens 'Stricta' (often, but wrongly, called 'Italian' Cypress; it comes from Greece and Turkey, not Italy).

No, it isn't really feasible to control their size; they don't look good if trimmed. The people in that house are going to have serous problems in the future, as they will get too large for that close to the house.


Here is a link that might be useful: Your link made clickable

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 6:58PM
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As resin said above they are large trees and keeping them small is impractical or expensive but luckily there are plants that are similar in appearance that just don't grow as tall in the landscape. Such as skyrocket juniper and there are others but their names escape me at the moment.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 8:06PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the people in that house.. probably have the money to have some guy come and prune them 3 or 4 times a year .. lol ... or even better .. replace then every few years ...

post a pic of your own space.. and ask for recommendations on what to use... in a new post .... let us take a stab at it

link below to a good starting point to build your knowledge ... never forget.. the ONLY stupid question.. is the UNasked question.. otherwise.. we approve of a quest from knowledge ...


Here is a link that might be useful: conifer intro

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 9:19AM
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Look for the cultivar of Cupressus sempervirens called Tiny Tower ('Monshel'). Although not exactly what I'd consider "tiny", this selection only grows about 1/3 the height of standard Italian cypresses. And it takes a long time to get there :-)

Other choice you could consider are narrow, upright conifers that have been trained into a topiary form - arborvitae, junipers, dwarf Alberta spruce, etc. And there are other, broadleaved evergreen shrubs available trained in the same form. As long as you are willing to provide the attention to maintain their topiary form, these tend to stay quite small and in scale.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cupressus sempervirens 'Monshel' - Tiny Tower

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 9:52AM
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dsieber(z5 (Lakewood CO))

gardengal48 excellent Idea!!! I had two 5ft spiral spuces in large pots adjacent to our Colonial House's front door. They looked great and did well. It was very relaxing trimming them once a month after I came home from work!!!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 1:43PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

check out the link ...

i really dont understand how you are going to do this..

but if you are proceeding with full knowledge.. and think it will be a fun project.. ALL THE POWER TO YA!!!

the peeps in the conifer forum can probably offer suggestions beyond the cypress ... that 10 years down the line.. will be better ...

good luck

and have fun


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 9:33AM
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Relating to controlling the size of the trees - Does anyone have experience of trying to restrict the root growth?? I'm thinking that planting the trees in a large pot that is sunk below the soil level may restrict the root growth and result in restricted tree size??
Anyone tried this or think it would work??

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 4:47PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you should start your own post..

but a pot that does not drain is not good for a tree ...

and a pot with drainage holes.. defeats your purpose .. as the tree will grow right out of it.. fast ...

dont you think??

wont work.. IMHO ...

bonsai will .. and that basically involves digging the tree up and repeatedly removing most of its roots ....


    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 5:08PM
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