Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - July 04, 2008

From: Westminster, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Trees
Title: Columnar evergreen for Colorado
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for an evergreen 6-8 (or more) feet tall, very columnar; 3 feet spread in diameter, zone 5, full sun, dark green, clayish-OK soil. Thank you so much!

ANSWER:

Here are some suggestions for conical evergreens that are native to Colorado:

Abies concolor (white fir or Colorado fir) is "symetrically conical in yourh", but becomes more irregular as it grows taller. It's maximum height can be as much as 100 feet but is, in general, slow-growing. it doesn't do well in heavy clay soils, but adapts well to other soils. There are various dwarf and other cultivars.

Juniperus scopulorum (Rocky Mountain juniper) is described as being "columnar to somewhat rounded" and its maximu height is 30-40 feet with a spread of 3-15 feet. There are cultivars (e.g., 'Blue Trail','Gray Gleam', 'Medora', 'Pathfinder', 'Skyrocket') that have a more columnar growth.

Picea pungens (blue spruce) is "naturally conical in shape...grows from 50-100 ft, but it is usually shorter in cultivation." There are several cultivars.

Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) is columnar or conical. It "grows from 15-150 ft. tall depending on the environment." There are various cultivars.

You can see more native Colorado trees by doing a Combination Search in our Native Plant Database and selecting 'Colorado' from Select State or Province and 'Tree' from Habit (general appearance). There are other characteristics, as well, that you can use to narrow your search.


Abies concolor

Juniperus scopulorum

Picea pungens

Pseudotsuga menziesii

 

 

More Trees Questions

Survivors of a Cedar Elm thicket thinning.
April 12, 2013 - I thinned a thicket of cedar elm saplings, but a few are now leaning excessively. Will they straighten up over time or should I go ahead and cut them too? Thanks!!
view the full question and answer

Problems with pin oak in Manlius, NY
June 20, 2009 - I bought a pin oak when it was ~5 ft tall. It has lived in clay/rock for the last 6 years--healthy, but didn't grow much (no surprise). This spring we planted 3 small boxwoods a few feet from its t...
view the full question and answer

Can Monterrey Oak be topped into a bush from Austin TX
June 16, 2013 - I received a suggestion to use Monterey oak as privacy hedge by topping the small tree and letting it bush. I can't find any pictures or info on this being done though.
view the full question and answer

Narrow, Small Tree for Austin, Texas Yard
December 17, 2015 - I need recommendation on what type of tree to plant between our neighbors and our home. The wall to wall space is 15 feet at best, with a fence in between. Currently we have a young mulberry but are b...
view the full question and answer

Bark problems with Monterrey oak from Austin
September 15, 2012 - I planted a 65 gallon Monterrey Oak (White Oak) in my front yard in February of this year. I water it once a week. All of the leaves and branches appear very healthy and there is no discoloration....
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.