Japanese Red Cedar Cryptomeria japonica Sekkan Sugi

British Grown
Volume 1+
Price per plant £54.00
Price £54.00

All prices include VAT

Product description



A smallish, slow-growing, 1930 American version of the giant Crytomeria japonica, it makes a beautiful small conical evergreen. The new, creamy yellow spring foliage stands out against the dark old leaves; it's greenish-yellow in winter.  It will grow to a height of 7m (25ft) with a spread of 3m (10ft).

Where to grow

To grow well Cryptomeria require fertile deep loamy moisture retentive soils in a sheltered position with abundant rainfall.  They have tended to do best in the South west of England and in Ireland.

Did you know?

The Japanese cedar is the national tree of Japan and it is often planted near temples and shrines for symbolic reasons. 

Mature height
Small - 5-10 metres
0-5 meters
Growth rate
Soil type
All soil types
Sun levels
Full sun
Partial shade
Difficulty/hard to grow
Season of interest
Fine/Light leaf
Evergreen Hedge
Conifer Hedge
Parkland Tree
Garden Tree
City/Urban Sites


For the continued healthy growth of your trees, shrubs or hedging it is vital that you follow the advice below.


The main reason that plants die within 12 months of having been planted is lack of water.  It is essential throughout the spring and summer, to give a heavy enough watering to enable the water to penetrate right down to the deepest root level of the tree.  In hot dry spells give the equivalent of 2 bucketfuls every three days.

Weed Control

One of the most common causes of lack of water is competition from grass.  When trees are first establishing, the grass roots would be at the same level as the tree roots and are far more efficient at taking up water and thus choke the tree.  It is vital for 3 years after planting that your tree or hedge has a circle or strip one  metre wide completely free of grass.  The way to eliminate grass in order of effectiveness is:

  1. Spray off the grass with a glyphosate based weed killer such as Roundup.  Apply each year for the first 3 years.  It is best applied when the tree is dormant as it is absorbed through green leaves and kills the plant off at the roots.
  2. Firmly fit a mulch mat around the base of the tree by tucking the edges into the soil and put a thick layer of bark mulch on top of this.  This can be done after the initial spraying with glyphosate and should avoid the need for further spraying.

Mowing or strimming is NOT an answer to the problem.  Each time you mow, the grass will grow back more vigorously and strimming invariably leads to lacerated trunks.


If trees are not correctly secured they will rock in the planting pit. Roots not firmly in contact with the soil are unable to take up moisture and nutrients, resulting in die back or death of the tree.  Check, particularly after windy weather, that stakes are still solidly in the ground keeping the base of the trunk firm.  The purpose of the stakes is to anchor the roots.   Flexing in the wind, higher up the trunk, is not necessarily a problem if the roots are firm.

Bellow is list of the correct system to use to secure your trees.

  • 40/60, 60/80, 80/100 whips - Unless rabbit/deer problem no need to stake.
  • 100/125, 125/150  1.2m Cane and Easi tie.
  • 150/175  1.2m square stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • 175/250, 6/8, 8/10 15L 1.65 Tree stake and a buckle tie and spacer.
  • All larger trees. 2 x 1.65 Tree stake and cross rail with 38mm cushion spacer and 1m of 38mm strapping.


Always use our recommended tree ties or strapping.  These are designed and manufactured with the correct amount of give to hold the tree firm without strangling it. They should be checked at the end of each growing season for adjustment as the trunk thickens.  Non proprietary materials such as baler twine will cut into the bark and should not be used.

Protection from Animal Damage

Rabbits, deer, sheep, cattle and horses can all potentially damage trees.  Ask us for advice on the most appropriate guards for your trees or hedge.  Squirrels are also a terrible pest when trees get to about 20ft tall but there is no protection available.


By Linda Taylor on 22/05/2014

Can I plant this small tree in a large patio pot?

By Simon on 24/05/2014

Hello Linda,

Yes it wouldn’t be a bad plant for a large pot, but you would need to keep it watered and fed.

I hope this helps,


By terry on 20/05/2015

Have a crytomeria japoninica and the foliage at the top are turning brown on the tips.  It is a plant that is approx. 18 months old and about 2ft high. , It is well watered the sister plant which we have had for 4 years is ok.  Both plants are in large pots.  Is there anything to worry about and if so could you please help.

By Simon on 05/06/2015

Hello Terry,

It is very hard to say without seeing the plant. It could be wind damage, drying out or over water. Keeping trees in pots is a very tricky business.

Kind regards,


By Norman Williams on 27/09/2015

I have been given a sekkan sugi as a gift. The label attached suggests a height of 4 to 5 feet in 10 years. How long will it take to reach its normal full height given that I intend to plant it in a border?

By Simon on 01/10/2015

Hello Norman,

The growth rate depends very much on conditions, but it would take between 20 and 50 years for this tree to reach its full height of 7m (25ft). It’s quite a slow-growing tree.

By LINDA TAYLOR on 03/10/2015

Hello Simon, thank you for the update regarding my plant in a pot as above, should I re pot it in a larger pot every so often? and when do you think would be the best time? please.  Look forward to hearing from you, it is such a graceful looking bush/tree

Best Regards

By Simon on 08/10/2015

Hello Linda,

Yes, it is a good idea to re-pot into a larger pot every now and again, or the tree will become pot bound. It is best to do this in spring. How often depends on how fast the tree is growing - you can lift the tree out of the pot to have a look at how the roots have developed.

By DAVE BOWEN on 09/10/2015

Caroline, Hi does cryptomeria japonica sekkan sugi need winter protection from frost etc I live in the Lake District IN kENDAL cUMBRIA

By barbara orchard on 13/10/2015

Hello Simon. I have just bought a sekkan sugi. It is in a pot on patio.  Should I put a garden fleece over it for its first winter or, indeed, every winter?
Regards Barbara

By Simon on 16/10/2015

Hello Dave,

It shouldn’t need protection as it’s fully hardy.

By Simon on 16/10/2015

Hello Barbara,

You shouldn’t need to put fleece on your Sekkan Sugi as it’s fully hardy.

By Jean Wilson on 04/11/2015

My SekkanSugi is three years old can I move is and if so when.

By Simon on 04/11/2015

Hello Jean,

It is best not to move evergreens, if you can avoid it. If you must, then move it in mid-winter.

By Bunny Hartman on 08/12/2015

Does the Cryptomeria Japonica Sekkan
Sugi have a tap root?  We are worried about the roots taking out our pond.

By Simon on 11/12/2015

Dear Bunny,

Cryptomeria has a short tap root with lots of shallow, fibrous rooting. As a rule of thumb, roots will spread out as far as the tree is tall, so it is worth bearing this in mind when choosing a planting position if you are worried about structures/ponds.

By davidcollender on 05/06/2016

I have a cryptermera conifer i need to moved it so it dont get damaged,when is t best time off year to moved.thanks

By Simon on 06/06/2016

Hello David,

If you can avoid it, it’s best not to move evergreens. If need be, however, winter is the best time, taking as much of the roots as possible.

By Ann Aston on 27/06/2016

Please can u tell me is any part of this shrub edible or used in medicine or as a herb.
Many thanks Ann

By Simon on 29/06/2016

Hello Ann,

As far as I know, no part of Cryptomeria Sekkan Sugi is edible or used as a herb.

By Lynne on 16/09/2017

How many years would it take a 3ft Seekan Sufi to reach 6ft? Thank you so much.

By Simon on 29/09/2017

Hello Lynne,

Cryptomeria Sekkan Sugi is quite slow growing, but the actual rate of growth depends on conditions,so it’s very tricky to say how long it would take to reach 6ft. It would probably be at least 5 years. In the year after planting, top growth tends to be slow, as the tree is putting energy into establishing its roots. Once the roots are established, you will see more growth in the branches.

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