Japanese Cryptomeria


Intricately tied to Japanese and Asian culture, the graceful yet strong features of the Japanese cryptomeria add to its mystique and exotic origins. It can grow in a variety of soils and is commonly transplanted from its native country to the U.S., where it is perfect as an ornamental tree that can transform any site into a lush oriental garden.

This tree is eligible for a $50 Tree Rebate.

More detail: Japanese Cryptomeria’s Tree of the Month.

Common Name
Japanese cryptomeria

Latin Name
Cryptomeria japonica

Evergreen, awl-shaped, spirally arranged; 1/2- to 3/4-inch long, curving inward toward twig

Female flowers are round, light green, with loose scales; male flowers are light brown, appearing from leaf axils near branch tips

Reddish-brown round cone, 1 inch across; numerous sharp pointed scales giving it a spiny appearance

Moderately stout and green for several years, drooping

Attractive, vertically peeling in strips, reddish brown

Upright tree with a narrow crown and typically one straight trunk; sometimes the lower, finer branches droop slightly

Usually grows 50 to 70 feet high and 25 to 30 feet wide

Native Range
Japan and parts of southern Asia

Medium-sized evergreen tree

Seasonal Colors
Stays green most of the year, but the leaves may turn brown in winter

Grows best in rich, deep, well drained soil but will thrive in a range of soil types

Prefers a decent amount of sunlight, but can tolerate medium shade

Similar Species
Common Chinafir

Pests and Diseases
Mites that may infest foliage, and foliage burn in winter.

Rebate Eligibility

Of Note
The tree is long-lived, and there are specimens in Japan that are about 650 years old.

The Japanese cryptomeria is the national tree of Japan and is commonly planted around temples and shrines.

The wood is scented, reddish-pink in colour, lightweight but strong, waterproof and resistant to decay. It is favored in Japan for all types of construction work as well as interior panelling.

Photo Credits

Donnr MB
Eccentric Scholar