This species of cypress has been widely introduced in California and around the world, in some African countries as a timber tree, but mostly as an ornamental tree and to act as wind shelter belts both in argiculture and horticulture. The wood from closed-grown trees in plantations can be used for carpentry and furniture. The tree is extremely resistant to wind and tolerant of salty ocean wind and is not easily affected by drought or pests. Its use as a hedge plant has largely been superseded by the vigorous garden hybrid Leyland cypress, of which Monterey cypress is one of the parents. Several cultivar forms, notably with yellow-green foliage, have been developed. It is of interest to note that this is one of the two conifers in nature (virtually) confined to Monterey County in California, that are among the most widely planted conifers in the world; the other species is Pinus radiata.
References and further reading
- Adams, R.P., Bartel, J.A. & Price, R.A.. (2009). A new genus, Hesperocyparis, for the cypresses of the western hemisphere. Phytologia 91(1):160-185.
- de Laubenfels, D.J. (2009). Nomenclatural actions for the New World cypresses (Cupressaceae). Novon 19(3):300-306.
- Farjon, A. (2005.) A Monograph of Cupressaceae and Sciadopitys. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
- Farjon, A. (2013). Cupressus macrocarpa. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 06 July 2013.
- Griffin, J.R. & Critchfield, W.B.. (1972). The distribution of forest trees in California. USDA Forest Service, Research Paper PSW-82 (reprinted with supplement, 1976). Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Berkeley, CA.
- Lanner, R.M. (1999). Conifers of California. Cachuma Press, Los Olivos, California.
- Little, D.P. (2006). Evolution and circumscription of the true cypresses (Cupressaceae: Cupressus). Systematic Botany 31(3): 461-480.