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Dacrydium - Growing Guide
Growing Dacrydium cupressinum
These are graceful, ornamental trees allied to Podocarpus which are native to New Zealand. Sadly they are too tender to grow outside in most of the UK although there is a good specimen at Caerhays Castle Gardens growing in a very sheltered and frost free location. Around Penzance in Cornwall and on Tresco mature plants are not uncommon and there are particularly fine examples at Trengwainton and at Tremenheere Sculpture Gardens. For most of the rest of us this has to remain as a flowing and drooping conservatory plant best grown in a large pot.
The tree has a narrow upright habit and all its branches drop downwards to give a graceful columnar appearance. The immature leaves on young plants are needle like and gradually become more scale like in maturity. The seeds are deep blue-black in red fleshy capsules. Male and female pollen cones usually appear on separate trees.
We grow this plant from early autumn cuttings taken from immature shoots which, when rooted, take quite a bit of looking after to get them to produce an upright leading stem. The natural inclination is for the shoots to flop over so caning from the outset is essential.
In a greenhouse this slow growing tree will eventually become too large. However as its habit is drooping you can keep it under control by chopping out the leading shoot.