Evergreen trees provide colour to home landscapes throughout the year. Growing evergreens in small gardens spaces requires careful consideration and planning to ensure that the plant fits into your landscape design. Lisa Dubas, a horticulturalist at the University of Arizona, suggests considering the mature size of the tree you want to plant in your landscape and plant accordingly. Several evergreen trees have a small mature size suitable for small gardens.
Japanese White Pine
Japanese white pine (Pinus parviflora) is an attractive evergreen tree that grows between 20 and 50 feet tall, depending on the growing conditions. The tree has a dense growth habit with blue-green clusters of needles. They make a good specimen tree in small gardens or can be planted in a row to provide a natural privacy screen. Japanese white pines have full, lush foliage and a conical shape when young. As the tree matures it develops a more upright shape and the lower branches tend to die back when shaded by branches above.
Mugo pine trees (Pinus mugo) are small, stout plants that make attractive plantings in small gardens. The trees grow up to 10 feet tall and 15 feet wide, but many smaller cultivars are readily available. They are hardy trees that require little care once established in your landscape. Mugo pines grow best in full sunlight in moist, well drained soils.
Irish juniper (Juniperus communis Hibernica) has a conspicuous vertical growth habit due to the multiple branches that curve and grow upwards from the base of the plant. Irish junipers grow up to 15 feet tall and more than 10 feet wide, according to Erv Evans, horticulturalist at North Carolina State University. The trees are highly drought tolerant and grow best in full sunlight. Irish junipers foliage varies in colour from blue-green to grey-green needles.
White cedar (Thuja occidentalis), also called American arbor vitae or simply arbovitae, is an attractive specimen tree or wind break for small gardens. White cedars grow up to 30 feet tall in home landscapes and have a spread of 15 feet. Several dwarf cultivars such as Techny, which only grows to 15 feet tall, are readily available. Arbovitae trees have attractive emerald green foliage that remains through winter. Arbovitae requires moist soils and does not tolerate drought in home landscapes.
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- Ohio State University Fact Sheet; Evergreen Trees for Ohio; Jane C. Martin
- University of Arizona; Desert-Adapted Evergreen Trees; Lisa Dubas; January 25, 2003
- Ohio State University; Mugo Pine
- North Carolina State University; Irish Juniper; Erv Evans
- North Dakota State University: American Arborvitae
- University of Connecticut: Japanese White Pine