Plants - Trees and Shrubs

Skinny trees for tight spaces

By
Trevor Cole
Photography by
iStockphoto®

These slender specimens will squeeze into the tiniest garden

Slender evergreens
Skinny conifers with coloured needles-and green ones, too-add interest to the garden all year.

NAMEHEIGHT/
SPREAD
SPECIAL ATTRIBUTESZONE
Lawson false cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana cvs.) 5 x 1 to 18 x 5Many forms; grows as narrow green-, gold- or silver-coloured column5
‘Fairview' Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Fairview')5 x 2Strong growing; dense, narrow, blue-green column4
‘Pencil Point' common juniper (J. communis ‘Pencil Point' a.k.a. ‘Sentinel')10 x 1.5Extra-slender; dense, bright green needles3
‘Skyrocket' Rocky Mountain juniper (J. scopulorum ‘Skyrocket')6 x 1.2Silver-grey needles; stays more slender on poor, dryish soils3
‘Blue Arrow' Rocky Mountain juniper (J. s. ‘Blue Arrow')4 x 1Steel-blue needles; denser form than ‘Skyrocket'3
Serbian spruce (Picea omorika)20 x 3Retains branches down to ground; pollution-tolerant3b
‘Elegantissima' white cedar (Thuja occidentalis ‘Elegantissima')5 x 1.5New growth tipped yellow, then turns green3
‘Fastigiata' white cedar (T. o. ‘Fastigiata')5 x 1.5Short, green sprays of foliage turn brownish in winter3
‘Unicorn' white cedar (T. o. ‘Unicorn')4 x 1Very small variety; dense, dark green; Canadian introduction3
‘Yellow Ribbon' white cedar (T. o. ‘Yellow Ribbon' )3 x 1 Keeps bright yellow colour throughout year3


Narrow green columns
There are times when you need a slender tree purely for its shape, not for the flower or foliage effect. The following will fit the bill.
NAMEHEIGHT/
SPREAD
SPECIAL ATTRIBUTESZONE
Upright English oak (Quercus robur forma fastigiata)
15 x 5Dark green foliage; very slow growing5
Pyramidal American linden (Tilia americana ‘Fastigiata')
25 x 8Withstands harsh winters (original plant found in Rochester, New York)2b
‘Greenspire' littleleaf linden (T. cordata ‘Greenspire')
15 x 7Small, leathery leaves; straight trunk; fast growing; susceptible to winter sunscald3


Trees with coloured foliage
Used in moderation, coloured foliage can be an effective garden accent. These trees will provide it.
NAMEHEIGHT/
SPREAD
SPECIAL ATTRIBUTESZONE
‘Crimson Sentry' Norway maple (Acer platanoides ‘Crimson Sentry')12 x 5Dense, dark red foliage throughout season; slow growing4b
‘Dawyck' European beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck')25 x 7Green foliage; brown in fall; persists all winter5b
‘Dawyck Gold' European beech (F. s. ‘Dawyck Gold')18 x 7Yellow foliage; brown in fall; persists all winter5b
‘Purple Fountain' European beech (F. s. ‘Purple Fountain')
18 x 7Purple foliage; brown in fall; persists all winter5b

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