Cupressus forbesii
Common Name Tecate Cypress
Latin Name Curpressus forbesii
Family Cupressaceae
Sunset zones / USDA zones 8-14, 18-20
Type / Form Tree / Medium
Native Habitat Southern California deserts from 1,500 to 4,000 feet
Soil Dry to moist, decomposed granite, sand, clay loam, limestone, low to some organic content, well drained; like moisture but does not require it
Water Once per month depending on soil in hot weather
Exposure Full sun
Height X Width 15 feet X 10 feet, up to 25 feet X 15 feet
Protective Mechanism None
Leaves Evergreen, scale-like, keeled, tight and crowded on the twig in opposite pairs resulting in a square twig, mostly lacking gland; green.
Flowers Monoecious; males are small, pale yellow-green at ends of branch tips; females small light green near branch tips. Dry, round, woody, serotinous (open with fire) cones, 1 inch in diameter, 6 to 8 scales usually with a small, raised point in center, initially glaucous and green but turning dull brown when mature; mature in two growing seasons and remain on branches for several years.
Bark / Roots Very attractive, shreddy and peeling in long thin strips to reveal gray and reddish brown patches. Twigs slender, square, covered in scale-like leaves, rounded at tips, turning bright red with age; typically branch at nearly right angles.
Maintenance Low
Propagation Seed
Pests and diseases  
Landscape uses Erosion control, borders, low maintenance, background
Garden Suitability Thornless, Songbird
Ornamental Value Evergreen, grey/green, irregularly conical
Nature Value Host to insects and birds
Native American Uses None.
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Note: High pollinator and high fuel value = fire hazard