Tecate cypress Cupressaceae Hesperocyparis
forbesii Jepson symbol: HEFO10
Leaf: Evergreen, scale-like, keeled, tight and crowded on the twig in opposite pairs resulting in a square twig, mostly lacking gland; green.
Flower: Species is monoecious; males are small, pale yellow-green at ends of branch tips; females small light green near branch tips.
Fruit: Dry, round, woody, serotinous (open with fire) cones, 1 inch in diameter, 6 to 8 scales usually with a small, raised point in center, initially glaucous and green but turning dull brown when mature; mature in two growing seasons and remain on branches for several years.
Twig: Slender, square, covered in scale-like leaves, rounded at tips, turning bright red with age; typically branch at nearly right angles.
Bark: Very attractive, shreddy and peeling in long thin strips to reveal gray and reddish brown patches.
Form: A small tree typically with multiple trunks reaching up to 30 feet tall. It has a narrow conical crown when young, but spreading when older.
Looks like: Arizona cypress - Monterey cypress - Baker cypress - California juniper
Additional Range Information: Hesperocyparis forbesii is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting Tecate cypress.
External Links: USDAFS FEIS Silvics - USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654