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Dwarf Conifers: Small Trees With Big Landscape Uses

Successful landscaping designs include a variety of plants, trees and shrubs all strategically placed to create an eye-catching design. This means learning more about trees or shrubs aren't as well-known, like dwarf conifers. These small trees are all about the foliage, but still provide color. You can choose from the palest cream and gold, smoky blues to a deep plum, and apple green to lime green. 

You can use dwarf conifers for a variety of landscape needs.

  • Create a leafy tapestry in your rock garden
  • Fill the understory in your woodland garden
  • Use as permanent fillers in your beds and borders
  • Grow in containers and place on decks and patios

Whatever use you choose, here are a few good dwarf conifer species to get you started.

1: Dwarf Balsam Fir

Dwarf Balsam firs have soft needles and cones that grow upward instead of down. They have a dense growth habit, flat top, and glossy, dark-green needles. The common dwarf variety 'Nana' grows well in sun to partial shade in United States of Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3-8.

Because of its small, dense growth habit, this fir creates a dark-green cushion that adds interest to your rock garden. 

2: Dwarf Colorado Blue Spruce

Dwarf Colorado blue spruce is a slow-growing variety with a rounded shapes that requires little pruning. Foliage can vary in color from dark green to various shades of blue green to a steely blue. This spruce grows best in an area with well-drained soil, but will grow in full sun, partial shade or shade. Its small stature and shade tolerance makes it ideal addition to a rock garden or as part of shrub border. They thrive in USDA plants zones 3-8.

3: Dwarf Japanese Red Pine

'Pendula' is the dwarf form of Japanese red pine. It has a weeping habit, making it a perfect addition to rock gardens. You can also stake them to form a weeping specimen tree. Japanese red pines offer lovely color with their flaky, red-orange bark and bright green needles. They thrive in USDA plant hardiness zones 3B-7A.

4: Dwarf Western Red Cedar

'Stoneham Gold' is a dwarf cultivar of western red cedar. It is slow-growing, dense shrub with an orange-yellow to bronze color. This compact, bushy variety grows in full sun to partial shade and hardy to USDA zone 7. These little beauties make excellent fillers in your beds and border. 

These are a just a few of the many dwarf conifer varieties available for your landscape needs. To find just the right one to fit into your landscape design, contact a local landscaping company like Noble Tree Service Inc. The professional can help you find conifers in the colors and sizes to fit your landscape and that thrive in your climate.