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I Bought A Thread Leaf Shrub And It Had A…

Joe Asked

I bought a thread leaf shrub and it had a limb come off the main trunk that had the appearance and needles of a leyland cypress. Is this normal or did it come below the graft or are these plants grafted?

The Gardener’s Answer

Hello, Jim in Tennessee: I assume that when you say thread leaf shrub you are referring to a Chamaecyparis, commonly known as false cypress among these conifers; there are a few different species but hundreds of named cultivars. This group of plants is pretty diverse and mostly native to Japan. The most common landscape plants are known for their chartreuse-like color. Some of the dwarf cultivars are grafted onto superior rootstock and some are successfully grafted onto other genus, including Thuja. There are Chamaecyparis that are crossed with Cupressocyparis leylandii (Leyland cypress) to increase their adaptations to certain growing conditions. Do you know which Chamaecyparis you are growing? You may also have seen the juvenile growth as opposed to the adult foliage. Many members of this family have growth that has different characteristics determined by age. The younger growth, depending on the Chamaecyparis that you are growing, may be more needle-like in appearance than the mature foliage.

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