About Dwarf Conifers

Dwarf Conifers are simply smaller variations of their parent plant. They are smaller because they grow  slower, not because they have an inherent maximum height or width. For example, a native Hemlock (Tsuga  canadensis) reaches 25-30 feet in 20 years, but the dwarf  variety Tsuga  canadensis 'bennett' reaches only 2 feet in that time. In general,  you can count on Dwarf Conifers to take a long time to  reach their mature height. There are other classifications of  conifers, depending on their normal growth rate.

Growth Rates From the American Conifer Society

Growth Per Year
Size at 10+years
less than 1"
less than 1'
more than 12"
more than 12'


( The growth rates in the chart are general - growth rate can also be affected by your local climate, amount of sunlight and rain, type of soil, and other factors.)

(Picea Pungens 'Montgomery')


Here is a brief list of general forms to help you choose the right plant for different locations and to enhance the variety and contrasts of your landscape

Globose: rounded, ball-shaped

Narrow upright: much taller than broad, though varying from pencil-thin pillar shapes to columns and narrow conical or narrow pyramid shapes

Pendulous: with weeping branches

Broad Upright: approximately equally broad and high

Spreading: broader than tall

Prostrate: ground-hugging, carpet-like

Tsuga Canadensis 'Everitts Golden' (left) & Chamaecyparis Obtusa 'Kosteri' (right)


Colors: Dwarf conifers are not limited to green! Many varieties sport yellow, blue, or purple foliage, and still others are bicolored with variegated patterns. Some conifers have new growth that highly contrasts with the old growth, resulting in a different appearance at different times of the year, and many bear colorful cones or fruits to brighten up a winter garden.

Textures: Dwarf conifers have textures encompassing compact, short needles of the Hemlocks to the soft, feathery foliage of the Cypresses. There are also the long, diffuse needles of Pines and tight but soft Arborvitae.


Conifer: noun-

1.any of numerous, chiefly evergreen trees or shrubs of the class Coniferinae (or group Coniferales), including the pine, fir, spruce, and other cone-bearing trees and shrubs, and also the yews and their allies that bear drupelike seeds.

2.a plant producing naked seeds in cones, or single naked seeds as in yews, but with pollen always borne in cones


Conifers feature a multitude of shapes, colors and textures which give year-round visual interest and impact. They are easy to maintain, with no shearing or trimming required. They grow naturally into the desired shapes. Once planted into the new landscape, they require only watering for the first year or so and are virtually maintenance-free after that.

When selecting Dwarf Conifers for your garden its important to consider Ultimate Size. Even though the cultivars we grow are dwarf, not all of them are miniature. They're simply smaller then their parent plant. We have plants available in many sizes from 1 gallon to large 15' semi-mature specimens. Most of the Specimen plants we grow are in fields here at the nursery and in another field in eastern tennessee. These plants require being machine dug, but can offer instant solutions where larger plants are necessary.



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