Pencil Pines

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Pine trees

Pencil Pines

Don looked at Cupressus sempervirens ‘Glauca’, one of the very best pencil pine varieties.

Plant details

Common name: Pencil pine

Botanic name: Cupressus sempervirens ‘Glauca’

Description: Very tight habit

Best climate: Sydney, Perth and areas south.


Planting in narrow areas
Conifer garden
Structural plantings

Good points:

Lovely tight habit
Doesn’t set many cones. Cones weigh the foliage down and ruin the shape of the tree, and they also attract cockatoos.
Doesn’t produce male flowers (strobili), so there’s no pollen to worry asthma sufferers.


No downside really – in Don’s view this is the best of all the pencil pines.


Pencil pines are hardy and will grow in all but the most severe climatic zones of Australia. They are also more tolerant of dry conditions than most other cypresses.
They like a position in full sun, and prefer a slightly acid, well-drained soil, enriched with organic material such as well-rotted manure or compost.
Keep plants mulched, and water well during dry spells.
Conifers are sometimes attacked by fungal diseases and insects such as borers and weevils. However, they are less susceptible to attack when grown in the climate, soil and position that suits them best, with correct fertilising and watering.

Further information:

Cupressus sempervirens ‘Glauca’ may be a little difficult to find. Ask your local garden centre or nursery to order if they do not have one in stock. Expect to pay around $15 for 150mm (6″) pots, and $40-$60 for 300mm (12″) pots.

Our segment was filmed at:
Conifer Gardens Nursery
Cnr Sherbrooke and Mt Dandenong Tourist Rds
Ferny Creek Vic 3786
Phone: (03) 9755 1793
Fax: (03) 9755 2677