Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Ellwoodii’: characteristics and maintenance guide

The Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana Ellwoodii is a conifer

Image – Wikimedia/David J. Stang

Many conifers have been and are used to beautify the garden: cypresses, yews or even pines bring this greenery and this elegance so much sought after by gardeners and enthusiasts. But there are other species that also deserve to have their place in the field, as is the case of the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Ellwoodii‘.

It looks a lot like the Cupressus, in fact, it is genetically related to them to the point that botanists classify it within their family: the Cupressaceae. But if you want to know what’s special about him, then We will tell you about its features and care.


What is the origin and characteristics of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Ellwoodii’?

The false cypress is a perennial tree

Image – Wikimedia/Hurricanefan24

It is an evergreen conifer that it can become very large: up to 80 meters high with a pyramidal cut whose base is about 2 meters wide. It has dark green, feathery-looking foliage. The cones are globe-shaped and about 7 centimeters long. These ripen in the fall, so their seeds are sown in winter or spring at the latest.

It usually goes by several names, such as Oregon cedar, Lawson’s false cypress, or Lawson’s camecíparis, but it’s best to use the scientific name to identify it: Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Ellwoodii‘, because the most common can confuse us since for example it is not a cedar, despite the fact that it is called “Oregon cedar”.

Now, what is certain is that the species from which it comes (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana) is native to the United States, specifically, it is found from southwestern Oregon to northwestern California. It can live in a wide variety of locations, as it grows both at sea level and in protected mountain in the valleys. Also, it is interesting to know that their life expectancy reaches 500 years.

How do you care for Oregon cedar?

The care this conifer needs is quite simple, so much so that anyone, regardless of their experience in caring for plants, can boast of having a low-maintenance tree.

But as always when we talk about plants, we must never forget that we are dealing with a living being that has a series of needs. What are? Those of our protagonist are as follows:

Mild climate

This conifer lives well, that is to say without problems, in any place that enjoys a temperate climate, with the four different seasons. This climate can be rather hot or rather cold, as long as temperatures remain between -18°C minimum and 35°C maximum.


Chamaecyparis leaves are green

Image – Wikimedia/Martinus KE

If we’re going to plant it in the ground, it is important to know that it will not be necessary to water it if it falls at least 900mm of precipitation per year, spread over all months. It is especially necessary that it rains in summer, because being the hottest time of the year, the earth dries faster.

In case it doesn’t rain enough, then there will be no choice but to water it. It must be done every 2 or 3 days during the summer, while during the rest of the seasons it will be done more spaced out.


The Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Ellwoodii’ requires a soil rich in nutrients, and if possible slightly acidic, with a pH of 6-6.5. Although it can grow in alkaline clay soils, it is important that they absorb water quickly, i.e. puddles do not form easily when it rains or is irrigated.

If you plan to grow it in a pot, it is advisable to use a quality substrate, such as Universal Flower or Westland.


It is not a tree that is paid for, not in a mandatory way at least. But If the soil is poor in nutrients, or if you want it to grow better, it is strongly advised to fertilize it in the spring and until the beginning of autumn.. To do this, we will use environmentally friendly fertilizers, such as those of animal origin: guano, manure, earthworm humus (you can buy some here).

Now, if it is in a pot, it is very interesting to apply liquid fertilizers, and not so much granules or powders. Because? Because it is absorbed better, faster, so the effectiveness is also noticeable in less time.


The false Oregon cypress propagates by seed in winter. It is important that they are exposed to low temperatures so that they can germinate, so the ideal is to plant two or three of them in pots of about 8 centimeters in diameter, and leave them outside .

So that they don’t spoil, we spray them once a week with a multipurpose fungicide, this way they can germinate without being damaged by fungi.


The Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana 'Ellwoodii' is tall

Image – Wikimedia/Hurricanefan24

It is a very hardy conifer, which withstands moderate frost and even heat, but it will need water and some shade if the maximum temperatures stay above 30°C for several days in a row. In addition, in Mediterranean climates, especially if they are close to the coast, it is better to have it in partial shade and not in full sun, because during a particularly intense heat wave, it is to be expected that he takes damage.

As you now know, the Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Ellwoodii‘ is an evergreen tree of great beauty.

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