Monterey Cypress tree identification
The Monterey Cypress Cupressus macrocarpa, a conifer originally from 2 small populations on the Californian coast, was introduced to Britain in 1838 and is now very common on south and south west coasts, where its salt tolerance is beneficial. It is normally a substantial tree as shown here but there is also a variety which is more shrubby. The ‘Goldcrest’ cultivar is found in many gardens
Monterey Cypress tree identification – shoots covered in small scale-leaves, which give off a lemony smell when crushed, smooth cones. It has shoots which stick out beyond the tree outline and these can be seen well in the shrubby variety. Its scale-leaves are like the Italian Cypress but its shape and cones are quite different. Another tree, the Smooth Arizona Cypress, has similar scale-leaves but it differs in having masses of cones at lower levels.
The ends of the shoots are blunt and have yellow male ‘flowers’ in spring. The leaves give off a smell of lemons when crushed. The ‘flowers’ shed pollen in May. Photo taken in November.