Small Conifer Trees – Growing Dwarf Conifer Trees In The Landscape

by johnah on November 16, 2020

Dwarf Conifer Trees For Shade

Small conifer trees are popularly known as dwarf conifers because they are small in stature but still have many advantages over their larger counterparts. They require less space than regular conifers and can provide excellent shade during hot summer days. These trees can even be planted in the garden to create a mini forest!

The main advantage of dwarf conifers is that they do not need much water or fertilizer to thrive. They only need light watering once every three years when dormant buds open up again. They also produce abundant amounts of woody cones which can be used for firewood, building materials, and other uses.

Growing Dwarf Conifer Trees In The Landscape

These trees can be grown in any type of soil with good drainage conditions. They prefer full sun so if you live in a sunny location, then these trees will flourish. If you want to plant them in your backyard, make sure that there is plenty of room around the tree for it to spread out and avoid planting too close together.

If you choose to use mulch around the base of the tree, make sure that it’s not too heavy since this could cause problems later on. You can also prune the tree periodically to shape it as you see fit as long as it does not interfere with the root zone of the tree.

Types Of Dwarf Conifers That Don’t Grow Too Tall

There are many different types of dwarf conifers to choose from. Here are some popular choices that won’t grow too tall.

Common Juniper

The common juniper is also known as the juniperus communis. It’s a very popular choice among gardeners because it has a nice spread out habit and does not grow too tall. The branches are also flexible which gives it a nice shape.

Dwarf Pines

Pines make excellent additions to gardens because they provide a soft green hue along with a pleasant smell. They have soft needles and flexible branches which give them a nice shape. They are also less likely to drop their needles all over the place.

Small Conifer Trees – Growing Dwarf Conifer Trees In The Landscape from our website

Dwarf Spruces

Spruces are very popular for use in gardens because they hold their color for a long period of time. They’re also very hardy and can survive in cold weather conditions. The dwarf spruces do not grow too tall so you don’t have to worry about them overtaking your yard.

Dwarf Blue Spruces

The dwarf blue spruce has a beautiful bluish-green color to it and grows slowly. These trees are popularly used for hedges because they have a nice formal appearance to them. If you like the look of regular blue spruces but don’t want them to grow too tall, then this is the tree for you.

Dwarf Arborvitae

Arborvitae are very popular for use in borders and hedges because of their nice appearance. They have a dense green foliage and a stiff appearance which make them perfect for these purposes. These trees are also very hardy and can survive in various different conditions.

Dwarf Hinoki Cypress

The hinoki cypress is another popular choice because it has a nice appearance to it. It has neat green stripes and also produces an excellent fragrance. It can grow quite large if it’s not kept in a pot, so dwarf varieties have been bred to keep it small.

It has a cone-like shape when it’s older and has a dark blue color when the needles first grow in.

Small Conifer Trees – Growing Dwarf Conifer Trees In The Landscape at

Pseudotsuga menziesii ‘Little Gem’

The Little Gem is a dwarf version of the original timberline tree. It has a nice appearance with soft green needles and an excellent spread out growth habit. It’s perfect for small gardens since it only grows one to three feet wide and three to five feet high.

It also has dark blue color when the needles first grow in.

Dwarf Conifer Questions


How far apart should I plant my dwarf conifers?

A. Two to three feet is a good distance to plant them at unless you want to create a hedge then space them accordingly.


Do I plant them under the soil or in a pot?

A. If you’re planting them to create a hedge, then plant them directly into the soil about two thirds of the way. If you’re planting them into a large garden or to fill in an area, then plant them directly into the soil.


Can I prune my trees and plants?

A. Yes, you can trim your trees and plants but do not over do it. Make sure you don’t trim below the graft because this will kill it.


Are there diseases or pests that affect dwarf trees?

A. No, these trees are fairly resistant to disease and insect damage. They can suffer from root rot in poor quality soil, so keep the soil well drained.


Do I need to stake my trees?

A. It’s not entirely necessary but you may want to stake the tree if there is a chance of a heavy wind or it’s near something that could fall on it.


What type of maintenance do they need?

A. Just water them during extended dry spells and pull up any weeds that may be growing around the base of the tree.

dwarf trees are very popular because they live a long time, look nice, require little attention, and live in smaller areas. If you only have a small area to work with then these trees are perfect for your needs. There’s nothing more pleasing than strolling through a garden and seeing a diversity of trees and shrubs.

Small Conifer Trees – Growing Dwarf Conifer Trees In The Landscape on

If you have some extra room, then you should take a look at some of the many different types of hedges and topiary plants that we offer. You can create a bird sanctuary, or just have a nice relaxing retreat.

When you’re choosing your trees and shrubs, we can help you pick out the right ones for your area, just give us a call and we’ll be glad to help. We also carry a wide selection of annuals, perennials, and other types of plants that are great for your yard.

Thanks for taking the time to read this article! We hope you found it both informative and interesting.


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Sources & references used in this article:

Spatial and temporal variation of fire regimes in a mixed conifer forest landscape, Southern Cascades, California, USA by RM Beaty, AH Taylor – Journal of Biogeography, 2001 – Wiley Online Library

Tree growth declines and mortality were associated with a parasitic plant during warm and dry climatic conditions in a temperate coniferous forest ecosystem by DM Bell, RJ Pabst, DC Shaw – Global Change Biology, 2020 – Wiley Online Library

Patterns of mortality in an old-growth mixed-conifer forest of the southern Sierra Nevada, California by TF Smith, DM Rizzo, M North – Forest Science, 2005 –

Evergreen trees by RA Cox, JE Klett – Fact sheet (Colorado State University …, 2005 –

Coniferous forests by O Engelmark, H Hytteborn – Acta phytogeographica suecica, 1999 –

Prefire heterogeneity, fire severity, and early postfire plant reestablishment in subalpine forests of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming by MG Turner, WH Romme, RH Gardner – International Journal of Wildland Fire, 1999 – CSIRO



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