Carolina Sapphire Cypress

Cupressus arizonica 'Blue Ice'

Growzone: 6-9

Carolina Sapphire Cypress is a super fast-growing evergreen tree. Like Leyland Cypress, Carolina Sapphire is drought tolerant and establishes quickly, but is often faster growing and performs BETTER in more marginal soils than Leylands. Carolina Sapphire gains width quicker than Thuja Green Giant and is a much better choice for the deep south heat.
Size Price Quantity
1-2 FEET $19.95
2-3 FEET $43.95

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3-4 FEET $62.95

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Full Description

The Arizona Cypress is a native of interior Mexico extending into the southwestern United States where it is the only native Cypress. Carolina Sapphire Cypress was developed at Clemson University in 1968. It is a relatively new cultivar of Arizona Cypress. This evergreen tree grows in a compact for with lacy blue green foliage and has a nice Christmas tree shape.

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Use Carolina Sapphire Cypress as a Privacy Screen

Carolina Sapphire Cypress is hardy to Zone 7. It is a pyramidal tree, which can reach up to 40 feet tall and up to 20 feet wide which makes it good for tall screen. It is graceful, and somewhat open in habit of growth. Give Carolina Sapphire Cypress trees ample room, to allow for symmetry of growth. It grows well in a variety of soils, but prefers good drainage. The Carolina Sapphire Cypress tree is great if you need to create fast privacy for your home. It’s a fast growing tree growing around 2-3 feet per year where its happy. We recommend planting Carolina Sapphire Cypress in a line with about 6 feet apart from each other to create quick privacy, however they can be planted at 10 to 12 foot intervals if you don’t mind waiting a bit for privacy. When planting alone the tree takes on a pyramidal shape and can be grown as a specimen tree to break sight-lines.

Use Carolina Sapphire Cypress as a formal hedge

The Carolina Sapphire Cypress is widely used as a quick growing formal hedge. Plant 6 to 8 feet apart, depending upon your desired results. Trim when needed but we do suggest waiting until after the initial flush of soft spring growth. If it is pruned every year, Carolina Sapphire Cypress will create a lacy blue-green evergreen screen or box-shaped hedge, similar to a Yew hedge. Carolina Sapphire Cypress can be kept to any height as long as you trim it once or twice a year.

Insect problems with Carolina Sapphire Cypress Trees

Carolina Sapphire Cypress normally have only a few insects that cause any real problems. Bag-worms are probably the worst pest, on small trees Bag-worms can be picked by hand but larger trees need to be sprayed. Scale is another insect that attacks Cypress, they look like little crusty flakes covering the needles and branches. Scale feed on sap causing a chlorosis (yellow) look to the needles. The most difficult insect to control on Carolina Sapphire Cypress is Spider Mites. These are very small insects that can be seen with a magnifying glass. Feeding on the sap causes needles to turn yellow and later brown. Spidermites have become resistant to most of the old chemicals. We recommend using only true miticides for control.

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Additional Information

History and Introduction of Carolina Sapphire Cypress Trees


For a major species it was discovered by Euro-Americans rather recently in history. Credit for the discovery goes to E. L. Greene, who made the find in the 1880's. In Huntsville, Alabama, this has been a good plant, and provides a striking upright contrast in the landscape.

The cultivar Carolina Sapphire was developed at Clemson University in 1968. It is a relatively new cultivar of Arizona Cypress. This evergreen tree grows in a compact for with lacy blue green foliage and has a nice Christmas tree shape.