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Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Crippsii': 'Cripps Golden' Hinoki Falsecypress1

Edward F. Gilman and Dennis G. Watson 2


This broad, sweeping, conical-shaped evergreen has graceful, flattened, fern-like branchlets that gently droop at branch tips. Beautiful, shiny, new, golden-yellow foliage matures to green throughout the interior of the tree, but some random yellow highlights are still obvious in clustered sprays at branch ends, giving the trees a wonderful two-toned effect. Cripps golden hinoki falsecypress reaches 50 to 75 feet in height with a spread of 20 to 30 feet, and has attractive, shredding, reddish-brown bark that peels off in long narrow strips.

Figure 1. Middle-aged Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Crippsii': 'Cripps Golden' Hinoki Falsecypress
Figure 1.  Middle-aged Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Crippsii': 'Cripps Golden' Hinoki Falsecypress
Credit: Ed Gilman

General Information

Scientific name: Chamaecyparis obtusa
Pronunciation: kam-eh-SIP-uh-riss ob-TOO-suh
Common name(s): 'Cripps golden' hinoki falsecypress
Family: Cupressaceae
USDA hardiness zones: 4A through 8A (Fig. 2)
Origin: not native to North America
Invasive potential: little invasive potential
Uses: screen; bonsai; specimen
Availability: somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find the tree

Figure 2. Range
Figure 2.  Range


Height: 50 to 75 feet
Spread: 20 to 30 feet
Crown uniformity: symmetrical
Crown shape: spreading, pyramidal
Crown density: dense
Growth rate: moderate
Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: opposite/subopposite
Leaf type: simple
Leaf margin: entire
Leaf shape: scale-like
Leaf venation: none, or difficult to see
Leaf type and persistence: evergreen
Leaf blade length: less than 2 inches
Leaf color: yellow
Fall color: no color change
Fall characteristic: not showy


Flower color: yellow
Flower characteristics: not showy


Fruit shape: round, cone
Fruit length: less than .5 inch
Fruit covering: dry or hard
Fruit color: brown
Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; not showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches droop; showy; typically one trunk; thorns
Pruning requirement: little required
Breakage: resistant
Current year twig color: green, brown
Current year twig thickness: thin
Wood specific gravity: unknown


Light requirement: full sun, partial sun, or partial shade
Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; acidic; well-drained
Drought tolerance: moderate
Aerosol salt tolerance: unknown


Roots: not a problem
Winter interest: no
Outstanding tree: no
Ozone sensitivity: unknown
Verticillium wilt susceptibility: resistant
Pest resistance: free of serious pests and diseases

Use and Management

Cripps golden hinoki falsecypress should be grown in partial sun in the South on moist, well-drained soil, in areas of moderate to high humidity, and preferably where the trees can be protected from harsh winds. Somewhat picky and probably more of a novelty than a staple landscape plant. Coloration is not as pronounced when grown in partial shade.

Propagation is by cuttings.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern.


1. This document is ENH316, one of a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Reviewed May 2014. Visit the EDIS website at
2. Edward F. Gilman, professor, Environmental Horticulture Department; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Agricultural Engineering Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville FL 32611.

Publication #ENH316

Release Date:June 10, 2014

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