Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive
This is one of a series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group. The tree tag number relates to the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (A.Murray bis)Parl.
The name Chamaecyparis means 'small conifer' which seems like a joke,
as many will reach 60m or more and it is said that no Lawson cypress in Britain
has yet stopped growing.(1) The Lawson was introduced
to the UK by Lawson's Nursery in Edinburgh in 1854, from its native area in
Oregon and NW California. It grows very well here, is tolerant of most soils
and is hardy. It has given rise to more cultivars than any other tree species
in cultivation. When grown from seed it tends to produce a wide range of leaf
colour and growth form. The many cultivars are easily propagated from cuttings.
The base of the leaves clasp the stem and taper to a point.
The male cones (pollen cones) are reddish and are typically produced in huge
numbers in early spring. The young female cones are a pinkish grey colour,
often produced towards the tips of the same branches that carry the pollen
cones. The ripe seed cones are about the size of a pea and open to shed their
seeds while still attached to the branches where they may remain for several
years. The seeds germinate freely.
Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2009 and 2010. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.
Click here to view the rest of the tree archive
reference (1): The Trees of Britain and Northern Europe by Alan
Mitchell and John Wilkinson. Collins, London 1991.