Also known as Japanese cedar, cryptomeria is a slow-growing evergreen tree that is drought tolerant. Cryptomeria prefers to grow in full sun and in well-drained soil. The tree thrives when planted in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 9. Cryptomeria will reach heights of 50 feet with a 25-foot spread at maturity. Planted in most landscapes for its ornamental value, Japanese cedar develops coppery foliage in the fall and requires little care once its roots are established.

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Cryptomeria is a slow-growing evergreen tree.

Step 1

Water the cryptomeria generously after planting. Use a soaker hose to deliver deep watering. Keep the soil moist to a 1-inch depth at all times during the first growing season. Supplemental watering in lieu of rain is usually all that is necessary once the tree is established. Deep, once-a-week waterings are best during the summer months.

Step 2

Feed the cryptomeria a diet of all-purpose fertilizer. Follow the label instructions on the fertilizer packaging for allocation amounts and frequency. Most Japanese cedar trees appreciate a dose of fertilizer prior to the development of new growth in the spring.

Step 3

Prune the cryptomeria in the early summer. Remove dead, damaged, inward-growing or diseased branches with a pair of pruning shears or a pruning saw. Pruning will help the cryptomeria keep its pyramid-like shape and also encourage new growth.

Step 4

Treat leaf blight with a fungicide. Cryptomeria trees are prone to diseases such as leaf blight and respond well to the application of a fungicide during the morning hours. Follow the instructions on the fungicide for the recommended application procedures.

Step 5

Provide the cryptomeria tree with plenty of air circulation to prevent disease. Pulling weeds that grow under the canopy of the Japanese cedar will help improve airflow. A 3- to 4-inch layer of pine bark or straw can help prevent weeds from growing back. Mulching also improves water retention.