Try a Spec­i­men Conifer

Country Gardens - - Garden Know-how -


At­las cedar (Ce­drus at­lantica ‘Green Wave’)— Tiered branch­ing makes open flat planes of fo­liage on this very sturdy and durable tree.

Dwarf Ja­panese cedar (Cryp­tome­ria japon­ica ‘Golden Prom­ise’)—ex­pect a bright yel­low gar­den ac­cent through­out the sea­sons from its small, awl-like fo­liage.

Ja­panese um­brella pine (Sci­ado­pi­tys ver­ti­cil­lata ‘Pi­cola’)—dense, com­pact, and slow-grow­ing, it main­tains a deep green in win­ter and does well in con­tain­ers.

East­ern ar­borvi­tae (Thuja oc­ci­den­talis Primo ‘Isl­prim’)—this one fools even plant ex­perts in its re­sem­blance to a Hi­noki cy­press, with the ad­van­tage of dura­bil­ity in the heat. Al­though not nec­es­sary for Cal­i­for­nia, be­ing a Zone 4 plant, it is suit­able for ar­eas too cold for Hi­noki cy­press. This slow-grow­ing new plant has a nat­u­rally sculpted, spire­like form.


Colorado spruce (Picea pun­gens ‘Her­mann Naue’)—large pink­ish cones on the branch tips in spring com­ple­ment the older tan cones from the pre­vi­ous year. It forms a dense spread­ing mound.

Spread­ing dwarf ju­niper (Ju­nipe­rus com­mu­nis ‘Green Car­pet’)—bright green spring growth forms a thick ground­cover. Plant adapts to many soil types.

Dwarf En­gel­mann spruce (Picea en­gel­man­nii ‘Jasper’)—muted blue-green color on a plant that is na­tive to the Colorado Rock­ies and sports a com­pact glo­bose form.

Jack pine (Pi­nus banksiana ‘Un­cle Fogy’)— Wild, un­du­lat­ing branches give each plant a unique form. The bizarre look is for the gar­dener who wants in­trigu­ing el­e­ments. It of­fers a very nat­u­ral look for drier re­gions.

Bos­nian pine (Pi­nus hel­dre­ichii [leu­co­der­mis] ‘Emer­ald Ar­row’)—find the same per­fect pine char­ac­ter­is­tics as ‘Com­pact Gem’ (men­tioned for the Mid­west): rich dark green year-round, highly pest- and dis­easere­sis­tant, and salt-tol­er­ant. Nar­rower than ‘Com­pact Gem’, it’s suit­able for tight spa­ces but still gives the pres­ence of a big tree.


Smooth cy­press (Cu­pres­sus ari­zon­ica

‘Aurea’)—fo­liage is pale yel­low with white specks, cre­at­ing an out­stand­ing frosty color. Stroking the plant emits a cit­rus aroma.

Hi­noki false cy­press (Chamae­cy­paris ob­tusa ‘Gem­stone’)—com­pact and dense, this gem has an ir­reg­u­lar, up­right growth.

Gnome Hi­noki cy­press (Chamae­cy­paris ob­tusa ‘Thoweil’)—its nat­u­ral nar­row up­right form has def­i­nite sculp­tural ap­peal.

Dwarf Ja­panese cedar (Cryp­tome­ria japon­ica ‘Mush­room’)—feath­ery fo­liage on an open and airy form is a soft green in spring and sum­mer, turn­ing a rus­set brown in win­ter.

Dwarf mugo pine (Pi­nus mugo

‘Win­ter­sonne’)—cooler tem­per­a­tures in fall bring the on­set of elec­tric yel­low fo­liage that main­tains that color all win­ter—a bright spot on a dreary North­west day.

Ja­panese white pine (Pi­nus parv­i­flora

‘Aoi’)—nar­row up­right habit with a lush, sculpted form, it sports sil­ver gray bark and many small cones.


Weep­ing Colorado blue spruce (Picea pun­gens ‘The Blues’)—grace­ful weep­ing habit wears a peace­ful blue color.

Dwarf Hi­noki cy­press (Chamae­cy­paris ob­tusa ‘Spi­ralis’)—the nar­row, up­right tree has a dra­matic twisted, sculpted form.

Sunny Swirl Hi­noki cy­press

(Chamae­cy­paris ob­tusa ‘Sunny Swirl’)— Twisted thread­like fo­liage grows on con­torted branches that pro­vide un­usual shape and bright gold color.

Dawn red­wood (Me­tase­quoia glyp­tostroboides ‘Ham­let’s Broom’)—a com­pact, de­cid­u­ous conifer sports fo­liage that emerges a creamy white var­ie­gated be­fore chang­ing to green.

Dwarf Nor­way spruce (Picea abies

‘Pusch’)—beau­ti­ful pur­ple cones form in spring at the branch tips, chang­ing to brown and re­main­ing all year long. Cones at a very young age.

Ja­panese white pine (Pi­nus parv­i­flora

‘Fukuzumi’)—typ­i­cal parv­i­flora nee­dles and cones form on a wide sweep­ing habit.


Creep­ing ju­niper (Ju­nipe­rus hor­i­zon­talis

‘Mother Lode’)—an ex­tremely prostate habit keeps it less than 6 inches high to make an ex­cel­lent ground­cover. Its bright yel­low color does not burn when grown in the South­east.

Ja­panese plum yew (Cephalotaxus har­ring­to­nia ‘Hedge­hog’)—with glossy, long nee­dles and a low-grow­ing form, this spread­ing yew thrives in par­tial shade.

Ja­panese cedar (Cryp­tome­ria japon­ica

‘Spi­ralis’)—nee­dles spi­ral around branches to form de­light­ful ringlets, hence the com­mon name of “granny’s ringlets.”

‘Ray­wood’s Weep­ing’ Ari­zona cy­press

(Cu­pres­sus ari­zon­ica ‘Ray­wood’s Weep­ing’)— Arms ex­tend from a staked cen­tral leader and weave and curl around to make a unique form.


‘Ice Breaker’ Korean fir (Abies ko­re­ana ‘Ice Breaker’)—the un­der­sides of nee­dles are ex­tremely pale and tightly curved up so the over­all color is sil­very white.

Traut­man ju­niper (Ju­nipe­rus chi­nen­sis

‘Traut­man’)—a hardy al­ter­na­tive to the tem­per­ate Ital­ian cy­press, this nar­row up­right spire has coarsely tex­tured fo­liage.

Dwarf Al­berta spruce (Picea glauca ‘Big Berta’)—with longer nee­dles and a fast growth rate, Big Berta has fo­liage that won’t burn in win­ter on the sun-exposed side in cold, dry, windy ar­eas.

Lodge­pole pine (Pi­nus con­torta ‘Tay­lor’s Sun­burst’)—new spring growth is a show­stop­ping bril­liant yel­low.

Bos­nian pine (Pi­nus hel­dre­ichii [leu­co­der­mis] ‘Com­pact Gem’)—the per­fect pine, this densely branched up­right tree is a rich dark green year-round and is highly pe­s­tand dis­ease-re­sis­tant and salt-tol­er­ant.

Blue dwarf Siberian pine (Pi­nus pumila

‘Dwarf Blue’)—carmine red cones con­trast with bluish-green nee­dles on a spread­ing habit that is unique to the species.

Blue Mace­do­nian pine (Pi­nus peuce

‘Pa­cific Blue’)—lovely long blue nee­dles densely cover the tree. Ex­tremely tough and durable in harsh wind and cold sit­u­a­tions, this tree main­tains bet­ter as it ages than the well-known ‘Van­der­wolf’s Pyra­mid’ lim­ber pine.

‘Green Wave’ at­las cedar

‘Her­mann Naue’ Colorado spruce

‘Aurea’ smooth cy­press

‘The Blues’ weep­ing Colorado blue spruce

‘Mother Lode’ creep­ing ju­niper

‘Ice Breaker’ Korean fir

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