Anything that looks like a Leyland Cypress, but small ( ( 10')

eltyMay 12, 2014

I saw a leyland cypress, that looks very nice. The tag said max height 15', width at 4', which is a bit too tall for me but still acceptable. However I was checking around and it seems it can easily go out of control and become a 30' or even 50' giant.

I don't place great confidence at myself pruning them correctly every year, so I think I will just look for alternative. Is there anything that

1) the leafs looks like a leyland cypress
2) has a Christmas tree shape
3) 8' height, 4' width (12' tall is acceptable)
4) grow in zone 5 (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
5) is not an dwarf alberta sprunce
6) easy to maintain

This post was edited by elty on Mon, May 12, 14 at 11:03

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

where are you .. z5 is big and diverse

ken

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 10:46AM
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elty

Toronto, Ontario Canada

thanks

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 11:16AM
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pineresin

"However I was checking around and it seems it can easily go out of control and become a 30' or even 50' giant"

You didn't look far enough . . . this Leyland Cypress is 36 metres tall ;-)

I'd recommend one of the medium-size cultivars of Arborvitae Thuja occidentalis.

Resin

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 6:47PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Assuming site is not used by deer.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 9:38PM
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smivies

Leyland Cypress is borderline in Toronto...it may get to 30', never to 50' (which isn't a giant tree) before it gets knocked back. It's also going to look like hell just about every spring.

Why not Blue Nootka Cypress (Cupressus nootkatensis 'Glauca')? It's technically a Cypress but still called a False Cypress by nurseries....this is the name nurseries use - Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Glauca'. Will eventually get to 30'

Another is Boulevard False Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Boulevard'). It will get 8-12' after MANY years.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 7:35AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Thuja occidentalis 'Sherwood Frost' is a good one.

This one took a long time to get to this size.

I have one that began from a 1-gallon (1' tall) that's now 2.5' tall after 4-years. It grows about 6" per year.

Smives recommendation of Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Boulevard' is also a good recommendation. It does get leggy somewhat so some pruning/shearing touch ups will be necessary to keep one fully-dense, forcing new growth to fill in the holes that do occur.

Dax

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 8:39AM
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elty

Would Sherwood Frost too fat? I want to keep it down at 4 feet diameter so I won't disturb my neighbour.

I do prefer the look of Thuja occidentalis but even the small version can goes to 15' (according to walmart tag) - which is a bit too tall for me. I know it will take years, but I want to plan ahead

This post was edited by elty on Tue, May 13, 14 at 11:23

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:49AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

So it looks like only Sherwood Frost fit my requirement

==>>> only if you are relying on us for options... there are probably thousands of options.. if you take the time..

see link ...

every 'named' conifer has a predictable growth rate .. you are not wanting anything in the intermediate or large growth rate.. at the link ..

you want something in the dwarf range ...

most size estimates are at ten years.. and at 20 they will be twice as big ...

no tree.. of which conifers are.. ever stops growing... ever ...

so your demand of some specific height is a non-starter ...

if you pick a plant that grows around a foot per year.. in 10 years it will be 10 feet .. go figure on that.. .. and in 20.. 20 feet ..

but if you pick something with a 6 inch growth rate ... it will be 5 feet tall in 10 years ...etc ...

so the easy way to figure it all out.. is to take a given size estimate.. and divide it by 10.. and you have an estimate if its annual growth rate ....[i have no clue how this all works in metric....one would expect it to be linear.. but who knows.. lol]

dax ought to have given you a link to darrens whistling gardens or something.. a canadian conifer place ... it really doesnt matter what we suggest.. if you cant get it in canada ..

dont be lazy and rely completely on us ...

ken

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:08AM
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elty

Sorry, but doesn't tree stop growing (or more like, the growth rate drop a lot) once it reach certain height?

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:28AM
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missingtheobvious(Blue Ridge 7a)

Sorry, but doesn't tree stop growing (or more like, the growth rate drop a lot) once it reach certain height?

Unfortunately, no.

When you see "mature size" on a tree or shrub's tag, that's its average 10-year size. Divide the "mature size" by 10, and you have the average amount it will grow in height and width per year.

After 10 years, it continues growing at the same yearly rate.

Now nothing lives forever, so eventually the shrub or tree will die, but the likely lifetime varies greatly from plant to plant.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:53PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

I vote the Nursery Industry puts 10-year on each tag and 50-year. This would help so many people.

If a dwarf fruit tree i.e., written should state: "this tree may be maintained at any size thru the pruning process.

Any tips for homeowners (even some landscapers, lol) should be clear. There should be a picture of a power line and a tree under it to with a RED 'X" over the tree.

Now, elty....... the good news about Thuja (NOT ALL CONIFERS or TREES or SHRUBS) is that Thuja/arborvitae may be pruned to any shape, forever... because "they produce foliage on branches w/o foliage," do you understand? The best approach is to prune the foliage over and over again so you don't have to regenerate new foliage from "bare stems."

A typical plant: Taxus cuspidata 'Capitata' is kept at any size you would like to to be kept at, and.... it grows naturally into a pyramidal shape, just the same as that arborvitae I provided a photo of, for you.

I'll elaborate a little about growth but not a lot. Growth rate can accelerate and de-accelerate on any given species/cultivar. Typically in a plants juvenile years they accelerate as root mass is increased and they slow down at about age 12-15.........this is not always true though. Some plants may leap in growth from age 15-25 and begin to slow after they've reached 25+ years. There is no given formula for "everything." An example that will surely complicate your general thinking is a dwarf conifer. It begins as a graft and year one it's slow to produce growth. When years 3-5 come about it's now at it's "normal growth rate." However... as years 11+ come along it begins to grow faster! i.e. years 2-10 it may have grown exactly 3" a year w/o fail. When years 10+ or 11+ or somewhere in this range of time come along, it's very likely it will begin growing at twice the rate of its' early years........ the opposite of "juvenile growth spurts."

This is complicated for you, I understand. What I do hope you are able to take from this is that you may prune an arborvitae/"Thuja" but pruning pines or spruce or firs are "totally different" - they DO NOT regenerate foliage from cuts made behind the visible buds. I'm going to stop here, so as to not overwhelm you.

Dax

This post was edited by gardener365 on Wed, May 14, 14 at 9:34

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 8:57AM
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gardengal48

Let's just clarify a bit :-) A tree doesn't stop growing once it reaches a certain height but it certainly does slow down growth rate significantly. And the rate of growth is NOT necessarily uniform throughout the lifespan.....some plants grow faster when young but slow as they age and some do the reverse.

All plants have a mature size range programmed into them genetically. The closer they come to achieving that maturity and that size, the more growth slows. Sometimes to an almost imperceptible rate.

It is important to remember that plants are living organisms and so can experience a great deal of variability based on location and growing condition and other outside factors like weather extremes, insect or disease issues and crazy people with pruning saws. While there may be some predictability with growth, it is unreasonable to expect it to follow some uniform preordained formula.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 5:01PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Yeah, that's perfect!

All things I was thinking :-) "of course!!...."

Dax

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 5:17PM
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wannabeGardnr(7 Maryland)

"All plants have a mature size range programmed into them genetically"

I wish plant descriptions would include this range with the yearly growth rates. Would be much much easier for placement, with the understanding that rates can vary somewhat based on specific growing conditions.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 5:40PM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

Common sense would dictate that trees DO NOT grow at the same rate all their lives. It's unfortunate that Ken spreads misinformation and confuses people, this is an example. Coast redwood can grow 6ft a year and they can live to 2000 yrs although 500-700 is average- I don't think they grow at the same rate all that time. Do the math Socrates. BTW Ken, your up to 6513 posts, I think you be given a medal.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 1:50AM
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wannabeGardnr(7 Maryland)

Dax and GardenGal, is that true of all dwarf conifers that they will end their slow growth rate after 10-15 years and no longer be dwarf? This is new to me, never heard that before.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:45PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Of course it's true. That's why a 1.5" growing witches broom is such a great find.

w/o going into big detail about environment and soil, it will grow quicker when those 10-15 years roll around. I'll bet 90% or better double.....and those other 10% nearly double and some may more than double.

Dax

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:10PM
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wannabeGardnr(7 Maryland)

Until they hit their genetically programmed mature size, which we don't know yet for all the newer introductions. I hope that mature size is fairly small. Otherwise I will have to part with some prized large specimens one day, if both they and I live to see that day.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:15PM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

And the key word is "if both they and I live to see that day"

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 6:28PM
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gardengal48

is that true of all dwarf conifers that they will end their slow growth rate after 10-15 years and no longer be dwarf? This is new to me, never heard that before.

Not necessarily. Most true dwarfs will continue to put on growth at their very slow rate for as long as they live.......which can be a significant length of time. It is only the time factor involved that allows a dwarf NOT to be a dwarf :-) If it lives long enough, even at 2-3" a year the ultimate size can be big. The exception are those supposedly dwarf cultivars that revert - like dwarf Alberta spruce that put out those long uncharacteristic growths.

All the true dwarf conifers - that is, those with an annual growth rate of 1-6 inches - I have grown over the past several decades have never changed their growth pattern as they aged.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 5:10PM
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