Northwest Conifers


Modoc Cypress – Cupressus bakeri

Leaves: The tiny (1/16") scaled leaves are gray-green with gland dots that produce a white resin. 


Cones: 1/2 to 1" forming a sphere with 6 or 8 scales that have a point in the center of each.  The cones often remain closed until a wildfire comes, releasing the seeds.


Bark: The smooth, red-brown bark becomes peeling and then gray on larger trees.


Where it grows: This rare cypress grows in a few isolated sites in southwest Oregon and northern California. It grows farther north than any other cypress in North America.  The most northern site is at Flounce Rock, northeast of Medford.


USGS Distribution Map

Names: Named after California plant explorer Milo Baker. Some botanists have recently renamed this conifer Callitropsis bakeri. Others have proposed Hesperocyparis bakeri. The tree is native to the land of the Modoc people. Other common names: Baker Cypress, Siskiyou Cypress.  Other scientific names: Hesperocyparis macnabiana.


© 2012 Ken Denniston