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Japanese cryptomeria is a handsome medium to large conifer with a conical to narrow conical form. This species is fast growing and is relatively popular in the trade. If lower limbs are removed, one can observe a beautiful orange-brown bark (on most trees). The foliage tends to turn brownish on the south side of the plant in winter due to desiccation; however, foliage will turn green in spring. Japanese cryptomeria does have a few disease problems, although these are not considered a major issue at this point in time. Reports of a branch dieback disease incidence in the southeast U.S., some leading to tree death, have been surfacing in the last several years; at present, there are no definitive diagnoses. Some cultivars are less hardy than the species. ‘Elegans’ is a beautiful dwarf cultivar with long (juvenile) awl-like needles that turn a purplish-brown in the winter; however, this cultivar has been especially disease-prone in southwestern Virginia.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
September 27, 2018