Tecate cypress is an upright tree growing 20-30 ft. tall, 12-15 ft. wide. Foliage is comprised of tiny scale-like leaves that are pale green; surface bark on trunks is reddish to mahogany in color and flakes off each year.
This tree is native to a few isolated locations within the coastal and inland foothills of Southern California where it grows on dry slopes within the chaparral plant community from 1,500-5,000 ft. in elevation. It is found in rocky well-drained soils and can tolerate many months of moisture stress. When grown in Inland Empire landscapes and gardens it can be combined with other drought-tolerant natives and is used for screening, on slopes and in background areas.