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Past Articles Library | Trees | Dwarf Confiers


USE DWARF CONIFERS FOR A BIG FOREST FEEL

 
 

Dwarf conifers are great; not only do they give wonderful textures and colors, but they will give you the same feeling of large trees and shrubs, as in a forest, without taking up the space!

These petite evergreen plants are usually under 12 feet (3.6 m) tall at maturity, although some can reach up to 16 feet (4.9 m).

True dwarfs, however, can stop growing at three feet (1 m) or less and come in several shapes and colors.

They can be:

pyramidal
rounded
weeping
spreading
prostrate
vertical like a pencil
dark green
light green
blue
bronze
yellow
variegated

They Are Low Maintenance

Most conifers are not fussy or terribly hard to take care of. They will do well if you give them a compatible climate, the appropriate amount of sun or shade, and reasonably good, and well drained garden soil with some organic matter.




Some good choices of dwarf conifers are:

  • Western Red Cedar: Thuja plicata

  • Juniper: Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star'

  • Dwarf Bird's Nest Spruce: Picea abies 'Nidiformis'

  • Norway Spruce: Picea abies 'Humilis'

  • Weeping White Pine: Pinus strobus 'Pendula'

  • Dwarf Sequoia: Sequoia sempervirnes 'Adpressa'

  • Thuja occidentalis 'Rheingold'

  • Juniperus procumbens 'Nana'

  • Dwarf Balsam Fir: Abies balsamea 'Nana'

  • False Cypress: Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Green Globe'

  • Juniperus virginiana 'Skyrocket'

  • Dwarf Hemlock: Tsuga canadensis and Tsuga canadensis 'Cappy's Choice'

  • Pine: Pinus mugo

    Now just because these are dwarf trees and shrubs doesn't mean they won't need as much care as a regular sized plants. They will still need some attention to get them established.

    During the first season after planting you will have to water regularly until the plant is established and able to get its own moisture.

    Also, in the winter and summer months, mulching is always a good idea. In the winter it helps protect the roots, and in the summer it helps discourage weeds and conserve water. You can use composted manure, wood chips, pine needles, and shredded leaves.

    Try not to use sawdust, grass clippings or peat moss; they pack down too tightly and in the case of peat moss, will actually repel water when dry.

    If you need more information about mulching read:

    The Wonders of Mulch - A Complete How To Use Mulch Guide

    Mulching - How Much And How Deep?


 
 








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Gardening-tip:



Use Edgings

Nothing finishes off a flower bed like low, long flowering edging plants.

Alyssum, lobelia, and dianthus are great for just this purpose.

For good continual flowering, also fertilize every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer like a 15-15-15.


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