• Tree


  • Bark


  • Foliage


  • Fruiting Bodies

    Fruiting Bodies

  • Cones



    • Also known as: Japanese cedar, Japanese cypress
    • Latin (scientific) name: Cryptomeria japonica. Japonica is Latin for "of Japan.
    • In Japan, this tree can grow to over to over 200 feet in height and 12 feet in diameter.

    • Special characteristics:

      This is an attractive evergreen tree from Japan. It’s not a hybrid, like the Leyland cypress. Its actually an ancient tree that can grow for thousands of years. That being said, it’s obvious the Atlanta area won’t have the big trees because America is such a young country.

      This tree's foliage is a bluish-green. The evergreen leaves grow in a spiral fashion and aren’t flat like other ornamental evergreens. The spiral growth of the short needles is very pretty. The needles are thick and somewhat soft to the touch.

      The bark of a Cryptomeria is red-brown and peels of attractively in thin strips (exfoliating).

      Cut sprigs make a lovely mantle piece arrangement. Mix the boughs with carefully placed pyrocantha clippings. The pyrocantha has Halloween bright orange berries in thick clusters along with needle sharp thorns.

    • Annoyance factors:

      Some people mistake this tree for a Leyland Cyprus and plant them in rows for a screen. This makes the trees look puny and one-sided.

      This tree's branches will break when loaded with ice. But any evergreen will do that because of the increased leaf surface area.

    • Fun Facts:

      This is Japan’s national tree. It’s known as “Sugi.” The largest ones can be found at Buddhist monasteries. In the Shinto religion, it is believed the spirits come down the trees to visit humankind. It’s a popular custom to write prayer messages on tiny strips of paper and twine them onto the tree’s small twigs.

      The Japanese culture reveres trees. This is particularly evident in Spring when the ornamental cherry trees bloom. It’s a great cause for celebration. Harming a tree is also cultural taboo in Japan.

    • Photo Credits:

      All images by Peter Jenkins,