Hesperocyparis macrocarpa commonly known as Monterey cypress, is a species of cypress native to the Central Coast of California. The native range of the species during modern times is confined to two small relict populations near Carmel, California.
Hesperocyparis macrocarpa is a medium-sized coniferous evergreen tree, which often becomes irregular and flat-topped as a result of the strong winds that are typical of its native area. It grows to heights of up to 40 meters (133 feet) in perfect growing conditions, and its trunk diameter can reach 2.5 meters (over 8 feet). The foliage grows in dense sprays which are bright green in color and release a deep lemony aroma when crushed. The leaves are scale-like, 2–5 mm long, and produced on rounded (not flattened) shoots; seedlings up to a year old have needle-like leaves 4–8 mm long. Because of the large trunk size some trees develop, people have assumed that individual H. macrocarpa trees may be up to 2,000 years old. However, the longest-lived report based on physical evidence is only 284 years old.