Lawson Cypress Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Little Spire'

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Not blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
Lawson's cypress 'Little Spire'
Lawson's cypress 'Little Spire'
Lawson's cypress 'Little Spire'
Lawson's cypress 'Little Spire'
Lawson's cypress 'Little Spire'
Lawson's cypress 'Little Spire'
Lawson's cypress 'Little Spire'
Lawson's cypress 'Little Spire'
Lawson's cypress 'Little Spire'
Lawson's cypress 'Little Spire'
Lawson's cypress 'Little Spire'


The plant known as the Lawson Cypress 'Little Spire' is an ornamental evergreen with a distinctive appearance. It is characterized by a compact, vertical growth habit forming a narrow columnar shape. The foliage of this particular cultivar is rich and lush, made up of fine, feathery sprays. The color of the leaves is a deep green with hints of blue or silvery-blue, which can appear especially vibrant under the right lighting conditions. These leaves are tightly packed along the stems, giving the plant a dense and textured look. During different times of the year, the foliage may display a range of color changes, adding visual interest to the garden landscape. The bark is another notable feature that adds to the overall aesthetic of the plant, typically exhibiting a reddish or brownish color that contrasts nicely with the foliage. Cones may also be present, but they are often small and not very conspicuous, blending in with the leaves. As a cultivar designed for ornamental use, 'Little Spire' may be appreciated for its symmetry and the soft, fine texture its foliage brings to any setting where it's planted. It is commonly appreciated for its decorative value and its ability to fit into landscapes where space is a consideration due to its growth habit.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Lawson's Cypress, Oregon Cedar, Port Orford Cedar

    • Common names

      Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Little Spire'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as Lawson's cypress is not known to be toxic to humans. However, it is always advisable to avoid ingesting any part of ornamental plants as they are not intended for human consumption.

    • To pets

      Lawson's cypress is not commonly listed as a toxic plant to pets. However, it is generally recommended to prevent pets from ingesting plants that are not meant for consumption, as they can cause gastrointestinal upset or other issues. If you suspect your pet has ingested a potentially toxic plant, you should contact your veterinarian.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Height

      4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters)

    • Spread

      2-3 feet (0.6-0.9 meters)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      North America


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Appeal: The Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Little Spire', commonly known as Lawson's Cypress, offers a narrow, columnar form that brings an architectural element to landscapes.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, this plant requires minimal care, making it ideal for gardeners who prefer low-maintenance landscapes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Lawson’s Cypress has a degree of drought resistance, so it's suitable for gardens in regions with occasional dry spells.
    • Privacy Screen: With its dense growth habit, the 'Little Spire' variant can be used to create a privacy screen or living fence.
    • Year-Round Interest: The evergreen foliage provides year-round color and texture in the garden, contrasting well with deciduous plants.
    • Wildlife Habitat: Lawson’s Cypress can offer shelter and nesting sites for birds, enhancing biodiversity in a garden setting.
    • Soil Erosion Control: The root system of this plant helps stabilize the soil, making it a good choice for slopes or areas prone to erosion.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • The Lawson's Cypress 'Little Spire' can be utilized as a natural fence or privacy screen due to its dense growth habit, providing a living barrier between different areas of a garden.
    • The aromatic wood of Lawson's Cypress is sometimes used in small-scale woodworking projects such as crafting decorative objects, boxes, or even small pieces of furniture.
    • The foliage can be crushed and used as a natural moth repellent, its scent can deter moths from closets and drawers.
    • Because of its narrow and vertical growth, Lawson's Cypress 'Little Spire' is often used in model train sets and architectural models to simulate real-life trees.
    • This particular cultivar with its unique form can be an educational tool in teaching about horticultural techniques and plant breeding, especially in how form and size variants can be achieved.
    • As a seasonal decoration, branches of the Lawson's Cypress 'Little Spire' can be used to create wreaths and garlands during the winter months.
    • The cones of the Lawson's Cypress can be collected and used in craft projects or as a natural mulch for garden beds, slowly decomposing and enriching the soil.
    • The wood chips from pruned branches can serve as a natural path material in gardens, providing a pleasant fragrance when walked upon.
    • Due to its resistance to splintering, the wood is sometimes used in the making of small outdoor ornaments and figures that can weather over time.
    • The Lawson's Cypress 'Little Spire' can also add structural definition in bonsai creation, offering a different aesthetic for enthusiasts of miniature landscapes.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Lawson's Cypress is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Lawson's Cypress is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Longevity - Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Little Spire', commonly known as Lawson's Cypress, is an evergreen tree symbolizing the enduring aspect of life because it can live for hundreds of years.
    • Endurance - Lawson's Cypress is known for its ability to withstand cold climates, which symbolizes resilience and the capability to endure tough conditions.
    • Protection - Historically, trees like the Lawson's Cypress were often planted in cemeteries or sacred places, which people believed would protect these areas from evil spirits.
    • Purity - Many conifers, including Lawson's Cypress, are often associated with purity because of their evergreen nature and the clean, sharp scent of their foliage, which is reminiscent of the untainted and pristine quality of the natural world.

Every 7-10 days
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Late winter-early spring
As needed
  • water dropWater

    Lawson's Cypress 'Little Spire' prefers consistent moisture and should be watered deeply whenever the top couple of inches of soil becomes dry. This typically translates to about 1 inch of water per week, either from rainfall or manual watering. During hot, dry spells, the amount of water may need to increase to twice a week, ensuring the soil stays evenly moist but not waterlogged. For mature trees, this can equate to around 5 gallons per week depending on the size of the tree and environmental conditions. Adjust watering during rainy periods to prevent overwatering and ensure good drainage to avoid root rot.

  • sunLight

    Lawson's Cypress 'Little Spire' thrives best in full sun to partial shade conditions. Ideally, planting it in a spot where it can receive at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight each day will ensure vigorous growth and health. These trees can also tolerate light shade, particularly in areas with hot afternoon sun, which can sometimes be too intense.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Lawson's Cypress 'Little Spire' is hardy and adapts well to a range of temperatures but performs best when the temperature is between 40 to 75°F. It can withstand minimum winter temperatures down to about -20°F. Maximum temperature tolerance is approximately 95°F, but it should be protected from the extreme heat of summer afternoons in very hot climates.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune Lawson's Cypress 'Little Spire' to maintain its shape and health as needed, typically once a year in late winter or early spring before new growth starts. This tree has a naturally slim, upright form, so pruning efforts should focus on removing any dead or damaged branches, and shaping lightly if desired for aesthetics. Avoid heavy pruning as this can damage the tree's structure.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The Port Orford cedar 'Little Spire' prefers well-draining soil with a mix of loam, sand, and organic matter. The ideal soil pH for this conifer is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0. To create the best soil mix, combine two parts loam, one part peat moss or compost, and one part sand or perlite for aeration and drainage.

  • plantRepotting

    The Port Orford cedar 'Little Spire' typically does not need frequent repotting and may only need repotting every few years if grown in containers. It is best to repot this plant when it outgrows its current pot or when the soil has become compacted and does not drain well.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    The Port Orford cedar 'Little Spire' thrives in moderate to high humidity levels but is also adaptable to a range of humidity conditions. It is tolerant of the varying humidity levels typically found in outdoor environments.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright light, keep moist, and ensure good air circulation.

    • Outdoor

      Plant in sun to partial shade, mulch well, shelter from extreme winds.

    • Hardiness zone

      5-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Lawson's Cypress 'Little Spire' begins its life as a seed, which requires a moist and cool environment to germinate. Once the seed sprouts, it enters the seedling stage and begins to develop a root system and foliage. After several years, the juvenile tree grows steadily, often preferring full sun to partial shade and moist, well-drained soil conditions. The tree reaches maturity in about 10 to 20 years, depending on environmental factors, displaying its characteristic narrow, conical shape and dense, blue-green foliage. During its reproductive stage, mature 'Little Spire' produces small, spherical cones that contain seeds, completing its life cycle when these seeds are dispersed to give rise to new plants. The Lawson's Cypress 'Little Spire' can live for many decades, even over a century, if grown in optimal conditions.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Late winter-early spring

    • The Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Little Spire', also known as the Lawson's Cypress, is typically propagated through semi-hardwood cuttings. The best time to propagate is in the late summer or early fall. To propagate, a 4 to 6-inch cutting should be taken from the current year's growth. The cut end of the branch is dipped into a rooting hormone to increase the chances of successful root development. The treated cutting is then placed in a well-draining potting mix and kept moist and in indirect sunlight. A plastic bag can be placed over the cutting to create a greenhouse effect, maintaining high humidity around the cutting until roots have formed, which typically takes several weeks to a few months.