Tree recommendation for small yard?

msjam2March 10, 2014


I would like to know what you all would recommend for small yard, I'm looking at adding a couple of conifers. I bought 2 Green Giants yesterday and after reading the comments here about their size, I will return them and get an appropriate plants for my yard.

Here's my backyard, all the trees are gone, the center point is where the umbrella is.

We put a rose bed where the trees used to be. At the end of the bed, I had planted Sweet autum clematis.
I have 2 big areas that would fit a small evergreen (it's about 8 ft wide).

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Italian cypress, or if it doesn't have to be a conifer how about Texas mountain laurel , Sophora secundiflora if its hardy there. Or a juniper. I have a blue vase juniper (a chinensis cultivar) that is nice.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 6:35PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Arizona Cypress? There's a blue slow growing cultivar that you could try it out?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 9:43AM
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i also thought about thuja orientalis (platycladus) there are dwarf cultivars that are pretty easy to find at a local nursery or hardware store.

If you want to get fancy there are lots of dwarf cedrus. If the area is a little shady then cephalotaxus has been great for me in San Antonio. All of these will be specialty mail order type items though....

I am not familiar with slow growing Arizona cypress and am a little skeptical every cultivar I've seen is very fast. I like them all but even if one grows half as fast as those it will be too big pretty fast.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 10:44AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

there are dwarf cultivars that are pretty easy to find at a local nursery or hardware store......

I am not familiar with slow growing Arizona cypress

==>> probably because you are shopping at bigboxstores and nurseries that dont specialize in conifers...

are you willing to mail order???

if not.. then you are left with buying what they provide ... there are a few old posts on our favored vendors ... basically all of the hardcore.. mail order ...

BTW... if you move to latin names... searching out cultivars will be much easier ...

i wish i could help.. but DFW may as well be mars.. from my MI ... where we are supposed to get 6 to 9 inches of snow and drop back below zero in the next 24 hours.... yippee ken

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 11:50AM
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Well educate me, what is this slow growing Arizona cypress? The conifer encyclopedia describes and pictures one real dwarf. I remember asking bob fincham about it years ago and he said he had never seen it in the states. If there is one i want one. Until a month ago I had two cultivars of this tree, 'arctic' and 'Carolina sapphire'. Both those grow up to 2 feet a year, maybe more. The arctic was run over by a drunk driver.... That one was from Stanley and sons, and can't be replaced very easily.

I mentioned going to regular nursery or hardware store because if she got green giants that's probably where she got them. A plant which btw, is not only way too large for that spot but also not generally recommended for her area, north texas.

Texas doesn't have many specialized conifer nurseries I am aware of. I mentioned mail order, for just one plant I'd recommend forest farm.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:28PM
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I actually got the GCs from Lowes.

What do you think of Juniper "Moonglow" and Dwarf Alberta Spruce?

The others I found are Dwarf Procumbens Juniper "Nana", Chinese Juniper Pom Pom and Juniper Sea Green (Juniperus Chinensis).

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:21PM
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I'd stay away from anything at Lowes, just about everyone and there neighbor around here has a dwarf alberta spruce planted on the corner of there house. I don't what kind of weather you have down there, are you able to grow both spruces and pines? Get out of that big box store and click on the link below.

One I would recommend, if you can grow it, is Picea abies 'Gold Drift'. It gets to be 6' tall x 2' after 10 years. Not sure what you can grow down... but take a look on the website attached at all the rare conifers. You won't find anything like those in Lowes. You need a couple of thin weepers back there. They won't get to large and can be controlled if needed.

Here is a link that might be useful: Conifers

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:47PM
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Msjam - sorry no to both. moonglow is a rocky mountain juniper selection (scopulorum) and will likely have disease problems in DFW area - spruces are very unlikely to thrive or even survive. Actually, I'd wager there are only a handful of pines that are acceptable. Most of the DFW area has shallow limestone derived soils. Further east they have deeper sandier soils where loblolly, long leaf, and Virginia pine grow well. If you have sandy acidic soil then pinus Virginiana wates golden is a cool tree. Otherwise, only pine I'd try is Austrian pine or a hybrid Austrian black pine 'black prince' is thought to be in that later group, and it will stay quite small for a long time. The others you mentioned 'nana' is nice but low growing groundcover unless grafted on a standard for some height. Sea green is nice (although quite common) is a little more shrub like google search for images and see if that's what you want. Another juniper you might like that is more tree like is so called 'Hollywood juniper' also called Kaizuka although it will eventually , slowly, get pretty big.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 4:41PM
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frank1965(z8 NWLouisiana)

One of the cultivars of J. virginiana maybe 'Taylor', 'Brodie' or something like it. They should be found in any local nursery or even the big box. They are recomended by Dallas city hall for replacement trees. They do well in that area. J. chinenses is good for alkaline soil too, there are a lot different cultivars to match whatever you need. Austrian pine and spruce would burn up faster than here. You should be able to find something local, I wouldn't mail order for this when you can inspect it for yourself. This seems like a basic landscaping need.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:47PM
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The Arizona cypress that's a little more compact is "Blue ice". There is also a smaller Italian cypress called "Tiny Tower". You can sometimes find some unusual conifers at "Jackson's Lemmon Ave. Pottery" near Love Field airport in Dallas. You might consider some hardy palms as well. They'd fit right in with the pool and all.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:50PM
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'Blue ice' is a common item here. It is a very pretty tree. It is not slow, small, or dwarf. It will grow a foot or more a year there. It is relatively compact in the sense it is densely branched. But that's a mixed blessing the trunk and bark on established plants is beautiful. Give it a try. It isn't hard to find and is gorgeous.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 9:12PM
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