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Tree Campus: Dwarf Sawara Cypress

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Dwarf Sawara Cypress

Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Squarrosa Minima’ (CUPRESSACEAE)






"This species often forms mixed forests with other conifers, such as C. obtusa, Thujopsis dolabrata and Tsuga diversifolia, and with broad-leaved deciduous trees, including Fagus crenata and Quercus mongolica var. grosseserrata. C. pisifera individuals grow in mesic or wet conditions on lower slopes and near mountain streams, and often occur in rocky depressions.

The life history of C. pisifera in typical old-growth mixed forests generally involves the production of seeds through sexual reproduction of mature individuals. Seeds are dispersed, but seedlings are rarely established on ground surface with litter layers and therefore, their establishment can be dependent on disturbances of the ground surface. Saplings are often growing in clusters, and usually considered to be clones with multiple ramets of identical genotypes." [2]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"Native to Japan. Introduced into cultivation in the west about 1859." [1]



"The species type is rather uncommon as a landscape plant." [1]



[1] OSU Department of Horticulture. (n.d.). Landscape Plants: Chamaecyparis pisifera. Retrieved from

[2] Hayakawa, T., Tomaru, N., & Yamamoto, S. I. (2004). Stem distribution and clonal structure of Chamaecyparis pisifera growing in an old-growth beech-conifer forest. Ecological Research, 19(4), 411-420.

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