The Japanese Cedar, not a true cedar, is a beautiful evergreen and is a worthy consideration when looking for alternatives to more common evergreen selections. Hardy in zones 5-9 this conifer develops a dense pyramidal or conical habit. Overall mature height is about 50 feet and a spread of 20 feet.

As the tree matures the reddish brown bark becomes quite the feature for this tree, peeling off in long strips. The medium green foliage will develop into a bronze color in the winter and returning to green in the spring.

Best used in large open areas and will tolerate urban conditions such as compacted soils, poor drainage and air pollution.

This tree has many cultivated varieties, from the dwarf to the variegated you’ll likely fine a Japanese Cedar to fit your unique conifer needs.

A few varieties of note:

  • Cryptomeria japonica ‘Black Dragon’ (Very dark green summer foliage)
  • Cryptomeria japonica ‘Sekkan sugi’ (Variegated)
  • Cryptomeria japonica ‘Tansu’ (Dwarf)