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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cupressus forbesii - Tecate Cypress

Evergreen conifer growing 30-50' usually branching low at the base to create a wide spreading multi-stemmed tree. Mature trees tend to be wide spreading and open, while young trees are pretty full as the lower branches are still close to the older ones. Trees have a distinct upward arching of the lateral branch tips. With the renaming of the new world cypress, I think it should be Hesperocyparis forbesii.



Leaves are scale-like, very small, (1/16") light to medium green. Dried resin absent, meaning there are no little white spots on the leaves like you would see on Arizona cypress.



Branches radially around the stems creating a full branching pattern.



You can see the upright arching habit of the ends of the branches.



Cones are 1" diameter, more or less round with 4-5 pairs of scales which have a bump on the scale backs or not very obvious at all. Light brown when mature.



Bark is beautiful. Reddish brown with green and gray colors depending on the season, may get fibrous at the base of old trunks.





This is Cupressus guadalupensis in the California section of the UCSC Arboretum. Plants are much fuller, upright, bark is different as well as the foliage. Native to the Island of Guadalupe off the coast of Baja.





Misidentification:
Where do I begin? Look for the exfoliating bark, its about the best ID characteristic we have for the Cupressus like conifers here.

Location:
Aptos:
Cabrillo College by the Gym along Soquel as well as to the left of the entrance to the gym parking lot.

Scotts Valley:
Lockewood Lane across from the entrance to Oak Tree Villa. Interplanted with Monterey Cypress.

Santa Cruz:
701 High St on the Laurent side of the house
Empire Grade just past the Arboretum at the water tower.

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