Cypress under powerlineCypress hedge

The Monterey cypress is a fast growing evergreen tree well suited to our local climate. Its picturesque wind shaped form can be seen growing in many locations on the peninsula. The Monterey cypress defines the "genius loci" of our coastline.

However, the Monterey Cypress is a big tree when mature and this should be thoughtfully considered when planting near power lines, near fences or on the street. Monterey cypresses are messy. They drop loads of pollen, sap and leaf litter, and, brittle limbs during storms. Cypresses can be kept pruned to a smaller size but there will be an annual time commitment and expense to control the true nature of this tree. This tree should only be planted where there is adequate room for its mature size.


Maximum height
60-75 feet

Life Span
100-300+ years

Criteria for Ranking

1 (low) - 5 (high)

Drought Tolerance after first year establishment 5
Wind Tolerance 4
Frost Tolerance 5
Surface Roots/Sidewalk Lifting 5
Power Lines Proximity (see image on sidebar - yikes!)

1 (poor choice)
Cost/Maintenance 2*
Disease Resistance/Hardiness 4*
*note asterisk denote species can be a maintenance issue because of rapid growth (much pruning) and limb drop with high winds. Not suited for small yard areas or under power lines unless committed to constant pruning. Cypresses can be kept as a hedge, but must be pruned hard annually.
*note asterisk denote species can get sooty mold.
Location Cypresses are scattered all over Marina. A few young trees are visible along the bike path on Del Monte Blvd. near Vince D'Maggio Park. A mature windbreak exists behind the new Marina library (see photo below).