Hinoki False Cypress


We were recommended to plant a Hinoki False Cypress in our front house landscape. We want an evergreen with ornamental or ‘architectural’ interest. In Toronto it is difficult to find a Hinoki.
Q: Can you suggest where we can find one, and is this tree compatible with our climate?
If it’s not an ideal choice can you recommend a nice alternative to plant in our garden against our 2 story home? Ideally a 10-14 ft tree would be preferred.


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your inquiry concerning the planting of Hinoki False Cypress, ( Chamaecyparis obtusa )

Horticultural sources suggest the Hardiness zone for this plant as 5a or 6. Toronto has a hardiness zone of 6. There are abundant cultivars available ranging from dwarf ( C. obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’), spiral, slender (C. obtusa ‘ Gracilis’) and compact ( C. obtusa ‘Compacta’ ) . The one that you choose will be determined by the site location.

According to Dirr’s Encylopedia of Trees and Shrubs, this slow growing evergreen does best in full sun to partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. It is highly tolerant of urban pollution and will benefit from being planted in a sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates.

Without knowing your site characteristics full sun, part shade, shade, soil type it is difficult to recommend an alternative. Another factor to consider is the available space. Check the mature height and width of the tree, does this fit the space in question?

Lastly, the Halton Master Gardeners have provided a map of Nurseries in Ontario  to the gardening public. My suggestion would be to visit a few of the garden centers and see what you are drawn to and then see f that plant fits your location criteria.

Happy Planting!