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Microbiota desussata

Status: Out of stock

Product ID#: micrt
Product Description
Fall Color Burgundy/Purple, Green
Fruit Color Cones
Mature Plant Size (H x W) 3-4' x 3-4'
Russian Cypress Tree Form is low maintenance and has foliage that resembles arborvitae with its light green color. It is like the shrub form but grafted into a tree form. Fun fact, it’s traditionally found in the wild of Siberia. It is very adaptable and can tolerate full sun or part shade along with being adaptable to dry and moist soil.

Please note: #5 containers cannot be shipped to Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington due to size restrictions.

Upgrade Your Project’s Curb Appeal with McKay Nursery

Here at McKay Nursery, our expertly curated collection of plants, including the eye-catching Russian cypress, can help boost your property’s curb appeal. Housed in Waterloo, Wisconsin, our nursery is dedicated to cultivating hardy and vibrant plants for your landscape design. You're guaranteed top-quality trees and for extra protection we offer a one-year warranty. Let us help you upgrade your project’s curb appeal by ordering your very own Russian cypress today!

For more information, contact us at [email protected] or call us at 920-478-2121.
  • Mature Plant Size (H x W) Mature Plant Size (H x W): 3-4' x 3-4'
Key features
  • Deer Resistant
  • Winter Interest
  • Low Maintenance
Planting Care

Planting & Care for Russian Cypress Tree Form

  • Russian cypress is low maintenance and provides winter interest in the landscape.
  • Can thrive in full sun and full shade.
  • Prefers well-drained and moist soils. Eventually becomes adaptable to soil conditions when established.
  • This plant will struggle when planted in areas with high heat and humidity.
  • The Russian cypress evergreen tree will handle a range of soil types but needs good drainage.
  • Little to no pruning is required to maintain this tree.
Opening Plant Material
  • B&B: Soak root ball well. Dig a hole at least 6" wider and no deeper than the size of the ball on the plant. Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move trees by the tops.
  • Containers: Completely saturate all container plants by putting them in a larger water container until bubbling stops. Remove the plant, then dig a hole no deeper than the depth of the container, ensuring it’s wider on the sides by an additional 6” or more.
Planting B&B trees
  • Plant B&B trees in spring or fall. A good indicator of whether you can still plant is if the ground is still workable. If a hard frost is expected, hold off on planting.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flares out from the tree. This is called the root flare. This root flare should show when the tree is planted. Add soil under the ball so the root flare is exposed if necessary.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Backfill ½ of the hole with soil and completely saturate the soil with water.
  • Once the tree is straight in the proper location, cut and remove twine. Then, remove or bend back the top of the metal basket. Lastly, remove the exposed burlap from the top of the ball.
  • Fill the hole to the top of the ball with soil, then soak well with water and let settle.
  • The top of the root ball should be visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Add mulch on top of the soil, making sure not to put mulch against the trunk or stems.
Planting containers
  • Dig a hole no deeper than the depth of the container and 6" or wider on the sides.
  • Slide the plant from the pot by tapping on the bottom of the pot.
  • With a shovel or knife, trim the bottom 2" off the root ball for plants in plastic containers.
  • Rotate the plant to the proper position. Never lift or move plants by the tops.
  • Place the root ball in the hole.
  • Adjust the plant height so the root crown is slightly higher than the ground.
  • Notice where the base of the trunk flares out from the tree. This is called the root flare. This root flare should show when the tree is planted. Add soil under the ball so the root flare is exposed if necessary.
  • Place fertilizer packets into the bottom of the hole (if purchased). *Use Our Recommended Fertilizer.
  • Backfill the hole with soil, ensuring the top of the root ball is visible and slightly higher than the soil around it.
  • Firm the soil around the plant. Water well to settle soil around the root ball.
  • See our Planting & Handling Guide for downloadable planting instructions with illustrations.
Pruning - After Planting
  • B&B and Containers: Although it’s not essential after planting, light pruning can help shape a Russian cypress tree. Doing so removes any broken branches from shipping or thins out a heavily branched plant to assist in the transplanting process and the appearance of your new planting.
Watering - After Planting
  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as often as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week.
  • Beyond the six-week establishment period, water once per week unless rain occurs.
  • Remember to check soil moisture by sticking your finger into the soil around 3”.
Watering - Through-out the Season
  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it’s dry, give it a good soak with the hose end (no nozzle), watering the soil only, not the leaves.
  • Same as after planting, stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the meaning behind cypress trees?

The symbolism behind cypress trees has different meanings from various traditions. Cypress trees are generally associated with longevity and endurance while also symbolizing mourning for some. In ancient mythology, the cypress tree is linked to the realm of the dead, explaining why they’re planted near cemeteries or burial monuments.

What is the best growing zone for Russian cypress trees?

Russian cypress (Microbiota decussata) is an evergreen shrub that grows best in climates with cool summer within USDA growing zones 2 to 7. These trees prefer full sun or partial shade in hotter locations. Since they’re slow growers, they take time to establish but become adaptable to soil conditions once they fully mature.

How do I know if my cypress is dying?

Look for signs of damage on needles, branches, and trunks. They can appear as yellowing, bronzing, needle loss, resin flows, dieback, bark cracks, and cankers. See if these damaged portions are from young or older foliage. This will help you identify if your plant can survive heavy pruning or needs to be removed completely.

What are the common issues with Russian arborvitae?

Unlike other groundcover junipers, a Russian cypress is essentially pest-free. However, it may house pests such as mice and insects when it functions as ground cover. Its damaged roots may also be susceptible to bacterial or fungal root rots. When it comes to overwintering, consider applying a thick mulch to protect the root zone if you’re planting a Russian cypress in exposed locations or colder microclimates.

Can you plant Russian cypress trees near the city?

Russian cypress trees don’t grow well when exposed to urban pollution, making it difficult to raise as urban streetside plantings with poor soils. Depending on the kind of soil type, growing Russian cypress trees may be more challenging. These trees prefer moist earth but can survive in dry soil. Russian cypress trees require moderate irrigation during dry seasons but are generally low maintenance once established.

Planting & Handling Help

Download our Planting and Handling Guide below to plan for a successful arrival and install of your plants. Be sure to water all plants as soon as they arrive and every day until you’re ready to plant. Keep any bare root bundles in a shady, cool spot with the roots covered at all times.

Learn More

Watch our videos on handling bare root plants, how your order is prepared for shipment and more.

Plant Sizing

What is the difference between Containers, Grow Bags, Bare Root, and Balled & Burlap (B&B)?

Shipping Times

Our FedEx and local shipping times depend on two factors, one is by the region and the second is the type of product being shipped. For example, small fruits are only shipped in spring, but majority of our perennials are shipped from spring until fall. Keep in mind the dates below act as a general guide. Due to unpredictable weather, staffing, inventory and industry demands these timelines can change. Therefore, we cannot guarantee any of these times.


Shipping Dates by Region*


Northern Cold Region: April 22nd - November 7th

Northern Region: April 15th - November 7th

Middle Region: April 1st - November 7th

Southern Region: March 15th - November 7th

Local Delivery (small radius from Waterloo, WI): April 22nd - November 7th


Shipping Dates by Season*


Spring Shipping: Region Start Date (above) - May

Fall Shipping: September - November


Due to unpredictable weather, these times may vary. Some varieties are exceptions due to heat and plant health reasons. Enter your shipping zip code at the top of this page and be sure to check the shipping information on each product before you add it to your cart. If the product is too large or restricted in your state, you will not be able to checkout with that item in your cart.