Very attractive ornamental pine with fissured red-brown bark,
yellow shoots and grass green leaves. Large 8" cones are borne
on long stalks. Can grow to 80 ft. tall. Native to Canary
Islands. Good for Zones 9-10.
PINE28 Pinyon Nut Pine ( Pinus edulis )
The perfect xeriscape plant that will in time produce the famous pinyon nuts for eating.
The pinyon pine group grows in the southwestern United States and in Mexico. The trees yield edible pinyon nuts, which were a staple of the Native Americans, and are still widely eaten. The wood, especially when burned, has a distinctive fragrance, making it a common wood to burn in chimineas
The pinyon (Pinus edulis) is the state tree of New Mexico (pinon in Spanish means nut pine), the trees are relatively small and rarely harvested for timber. However, pinyon nuts and firewood are in demand.
Pinyon is well adapted to the 9 to 15 inches of precipitation it normally receives in its native habitat and is one of the best native plants to use in a low-water use landscapes.
Pinyons grow best when planted in full sun and well-drained soil, at altitudes of 7,500 feet or less.
Just as severe drought stresses pinyons, so does excessive moisture after establishment. Avoid planting them in lawns, except buffalo grass or blue grama. Too much water makes them prone to other insects; established pinyons that receive precipitation only generally have few pest insect problems.
Pinyon needles are 1-2 inches long, medium to dark green, and borne in bundles of two or three. Pinyon cones open up to look like a brown rose. The nuts in the cones are widely sought after by both people and animals.
However, one pinyon in a landscape is unlikely to bear nuts, the shells will be light tan and empty due to lack of sufficient pollen ( a pack of ten seeds should produce several plants ). Where there are more pinyon trees in an area (more pollen), cones may develop chocolate brown shells with nuts. It takes several years for pinyons to reach the size and age necessary to develop cones. Additionally, cones and nuts are not borne every year, but only in years following conducive weather and precipitation.
Pinyon trees can be planted in groups to form a screen or windbreak, or singly as a focal point in the Xeriscape garden along with yarrow, Russian sage, purple coneflower, desert four o'clock and winecups.
USDA zones 5-8.
PINE11 Austrian Pine ( Pinus Nigra )
Good for Zones 5-8. Domed tree with dense, spreading branches.
Plate-like dark brown or black bark and ridged, dark green
leaves to 6" long. 2-3" yellow-brown female cones. Grows to 100
ft. tall. Native to Austria and Northern Italy.
PINE29 Weeping Mexican Pine ( Pinus Patula )
Good for Zones 5-8. This Mexican Weeping Pine is hardy to USDA zone 8. With age it will produce 2-3 main stems and it is enhanced by long drooping leaves, with 4 to 12 inch leaflets (needles). Slow growing to 50'. Seeds stay viable in cold storage for many years. Prior to planting the seeds a stratification period of 60-90 days is needed at 35 degrees in a moist medium.After stratifying: Plant at a depth of 3/4" in loamy soil with some coarse sand added to it. Keep damp. Bright light.
PINE15 Stone Pine,
Umbrella Pine ( Pinus Pinea )
Good for Zones 9-10. Conical tree, becoming domed. Plate-like
orange-brown bark. Twisted glossy green leaves and shining
brown female cones to 5" long. Grows 50-60 ft. tall. Native to
PINE14 Ponderosa Pine (
Pinus Ponderosa )
Good for Zones 5-8. Conical tree, becoming columnar, with
deeply fissured brown bark. Grey-green leaves 5-10 inches long
and purple female cones to 6 inches long. Grows over 100 ft.
tall. Native to Rocky Mountains from British Columbia to
PINE16 Dwarf Siberian
Pine ( Pinus Pumila )
Good for Zones 4-7. Spreading, low growing pine shrub. Dark
green leaves and 2" long female cones that are violet-purple
when young, turning to red or yellow-brown. Male cones are
bright red in Spring. Grows only 6-12 ft. tall and spreads to
equal distance. Native to Siberian Russian, Japan and China.
PINE18 Eastern White
Pine ( Pinus Strobus )
Good for Zones 4-9. Slender, conical tree becoming flat topped
with age. Smooth, gray bark becomes black and cracked with age.
Slender, gray green leaves and tapered female cones to 6" long,
turning brown when ripe. Widely preferred as a lawn specimen or
hedge. Grows to 120 ft. tall. Native from Newfoundland to
PINE20 Loblolly Pine (
Pinus Taeda )
Good for Zones 6-9. Conical tree becoming rounded with age.
Gray-brown, deeply furrowed bark. Dark yellowish-green leaves
with silvery white lines. Good for quick screens and a very
important timber tree. Native to much of the US.
PINE21 Japanese Black
Pine ( Pinus Thunbergii )
Good for Zones 5-8. Conical tree becoming rounder with age.
Dark purplish-gray bark and yellow brown shoots. Thick, dark
green leaves and 3" long brown female cones. Very attractive
plant. Tolerates salt spray and is often planted along roads
where snow is broken down with salt. Native to Korea, China,
Cedars ( Cedrus Species )
D7886 Western Red Cedar Cedrus atlantica
Atlas cedar is a large and majestic evergreen conifer that can
get as tall as 120' and have a spread of 100'. More commonly,
and especially in the US, it is 40-60' tall and 20-40' wide.
The tree is neatly cone shaped in youth, becoming more open and
spreading with a flat top as it ages. The bark is silvery gray
and fissured. The stiff, needlelike leaves are bluish green,
less than an inch long, and clustered in tufts on short lateral
spurs. The egg shaped cones are 3" long, green while developing
and brown when mature. When ripe they shatter to release papery
Location: Atlas cedar is native to the Atlas Mountains of
Morocco and Algeria in northern Africa.
Atlas cedar does well in sandy to clayey, and acidic to
alkaline soils. It grows fast and upward for the first 10-20
years, then as the central leader loses dominance, growth slows
and the crown spreads. In young trees, lateral branches may
have to be pruned back to keep them from breaking under their
own weight. Never prune the central leader, though.
Light: Full sun or partial shade.
Moisture: Drought tolerant once established.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 - 9.
Atlas cedar is an imperial and picturesque specimen tree with
massive, horizontal-spreading branches. It is long lived and
needs lots of space and should never be used as anything but a
specimen. Atlas cedar is tolerant of hot, humid weather and may be a better choice in the south than deodar cedar (C. deodara) which sometimes dies
back from the top.
D7866 Cedar of Lebanon ( Cedrus libani )
A mature cedar of Lebanon is a stately and picturesque evergreen conifer. It has a massive (sometimes forked) trunk, very wide-spreading horizontal branches (the lower ones often kissing the ground), and a crown of flat tiers, like table tops.
Although it can get more than 100' tall with an equal spread from its strong limbs, most specimens in cultivation can be expected to top out around 50-70'. In youth the tree is conical and symmetrical. The leaves, about an inch long, are stiff and 4-angled, and arranged in dense clusters on short shoots. The cones are barrel shaped, 3-5" long and held erect, a characteristic of the true cedars (genus Cedrus).
Cedar of Lebanon is very similar to (and very closely related to) Atlas cedar (C. atlantica), and some authorities consider them to be just subspecies in the same species. Michael Dirr, the famous authority on landscape trees from the University of Georgia, says Atlas cedar has a taller, less flattened crown, less densely arranged branchlets, and smaller cones (2-3" long) than cedar of Lebanon.
Location: Cedar of Lebanon is named for the famous forests that grow in Lebanon. The species also occurs in Turkey and Syria. Var. stenocoma is native to southern Turkey.
Culture: The cedars grow well in acidic sands and in thin soils over limestone; pH doesn't matter. Good drainage is essential, however. Cedar of Lebanon has a tendency to produce multiple leaders and the grower may wish to prune out the weaker shoots; do this in autumn. These are slow growing trees.
Light: Young trees can grow in partial shade but will eventually need full sun to realize their potential.
Moisture: Cedar of Lebanon occurs naturally where there is very little summer rainfall, and is quite tolerant of drought. It can thrive where annual precipitation is no more than 15", but it also does well where 80" of annual precipitation is the norm.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 - 9.
Usage: The cedars make majestic specimen trees for parks, estates and larger lawns. A mature cedar of Lebanon, especially one with multiple leaders, will be as wide as it is tall, and a truly picturesque specimen.
Features: The taxonomy of the genus Cedrus is debated by the botanists. Depending on who you believe, you can recognize one, two or four species. The splitters recognize Cyprus cedar (Cedrus brevifolia), cedar of Lebanon, deodar cedar (C. deodar), and Atlas cedar.
B1708 Incense Cedar ( Cedrus deodara )
Also known as Deodar Cedar, it is a large stately conifer with horizontal
spreading branches and a conical shape. It can grow to 150 ft
(45.7 m) tall with a 40 ft (12.2 m) spread at ground level.
More typically, though, they stay less than 50 ft (15.2 m) tall
but specimens in their native range have been found more than
200 ft (61 m) tall! Lower branches bend gracefully downward and
then up again. Branchlets are densely pubescent and droop
downward at the tips. The stiff, needle-like leaves are about 2
in (5.1 cm) long and borne in dense whorls of 20-30 per
The bluish green female cones are 3-5 in (7.6-12.7 cm) long and
egg shaped. After two years they shatter and release little
seeds with papery wings. The bark is dark brown to nearly
black, smooth on young trees and becoming fissured with
Deodar is native to the Himalayas, where it grows at elevations
of 3,500 to 12,000 ft (1,067-3,658 m) above sea level.
Deodar is fairly fast growing for the first decade or two,
growing as high as 30 ft (9.1 m) in its first 10 years. It is a
long-lived and troublefree tree in most areas. Deodar needs
neutral to alkaline soil.
Light: Full sun. (In whose shade is a 200 ft (61 m) tree going
Moisture: Once established, deodar is drought tolerant.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 - 9.
Most cultivars of deodar will grow into large and handsome
specimen trees that need plenty of room. Use these in the back
of a large landscape so they can be seen in their entirety.
From a distance, deodar is dense and plumose, with a fine
texture, and the tip of the tree seems to wave in the breeze.
Some cultivars are smaller and more shrublike. With proper
pruning most deodars can be maintained as bushy shrubs.
B1708 Incense Cedar ( Calocedrus )
A small pyramidal shaped cedar that is prized for its very fragrant leaves and wood. Easy to start from seeds. A very beautiful bonsai specimen.
Incense cedar is an evergreen tree with a skinny, columnar shape in youth, becoming only a little more rounded at maturity. In its native habitat it can get as large as 150 ft (45.7 m) tall with a trunk diameter of 6 ft (1.8 m). In these very large trees, the long straight trunk is swollen and buttressed at the base and usually free of branches for half its length.
Incense cedar does best on well-drained, slightly acidic sandy loams in cool, mountainous areas. Outside its natural range it tends to stay smaller and bushier. Even under ideal conditions, incense cedar is a slow growing tree. But, it can live 1000 years or more. Grows in full sun or part shade. Incense cedar needs lots of moisture to realize its full potential as a large tree. If it gets less water than ideal it will survive, but remain as a smaller, bushy, but still attractive specimen. Hardiness: USDA Zones 6 - 8. Incense cedar does quite well in zones 7 and 8, but usually doesn't get as large as it does up north.
Propagation: Incense cedar is difficult, but not impossible, to propagate from cuttings.
The generic name means "beautiful cedar", and that it is. The tall, columnar incense cedar is a handsome specimen for framing a formal landscape. A line of them, like soldiers at attention, adds a formal dimension to driveways and makes a great windbreak or tall screen.
RLP095 New Zealand Cedar ( Libocedrus plumosa )
A large conifer growing to about 80-100 feet or more tall with a conical crown of thick, spreading branches. The trunk can reach to 10 feet in diameter and is covered in reddish brown bark that sheds in long strips. The scale-like leaves densely cover the finely pinnate branches. It is native to warm temperate rainforests below 600 m (2000 ft.) in northern New Zealand. The dark red, fine-grained wood is very attractive and durable but splits easily. It is suitable for USDA hardiness zones 8 to 10.
Junipers ( Juniperus Species )
BM66 Chinese Juniper Juniperus chinensis
Chinese Juniper has an upright conical form and a spread of
only 20 ft (6 m) or so. The bark is brown and shreds off in
thin strips. As with other junipers, there are two kinds of
leaves. Juvenile leaves on young growth are wedge shaped
needles with sharp points and borne in sets of two or three.
Adult leaves are diamond shaped and arranged in four ranks
overlapping flat on the twigs like fish scales.
Chinese juniper can be grown in acidic or alkaline soils. These
useful evergreens are very easy to grow. Can be grown in zones
3-9. The seed requires a period of cold stratification.
D7880 Rocky Mountain Junifer Juniperus scopulorun
Rocky Mountain juniper is an evergreen large shrub or small
tree to 50' tall, but usually much smaller. Specimens are
variable in habit, sometimes squat and shrubby, but usually
narrowly cone shaped. The trunk is short and stout, often
dividing near the ground. The branches are rather thick and
spreading to partly erect. Rocky Mountain juniper has reddish
bark that is stringy in narrow strips but does not exfoliate.
Most of the leaves are like overlapping scales, closely pressed
to the twigs. Juvenile leaves, usually only found on young
seedlings, are more like needles, and they spread away from the
twigs. The foliage is dense and pleasantly aromatic.
Trees may have male or female cones, but not both. The
fruits are fleshy berrylike spherical cones, about one-third
inch in diameter. They are bright blue with a whitish bloom and
sweet tasting, with thin skins. Rocky Mountain juniper is
closely related and quite similar to eastern redcedar, and was
once believed to be the same species. But eastern redcedar has
fruits that mature in a single season, whereas those of Rocky
Mountain juniper take two year to ripen. Also, eastern redcedar
had exfoliating bark. The two species hybridize where their
Location: Rocky Mountain juniper occurs in isolated and
scattered localities within a wide band from British Columbia
to North Dakota, and south to Arizona and New Mexico. It grows
from near sea level in the northern part of its range to more
than 8000' above sea level in the south. Rocky Mountain juniper
grows in alkaline soils on ridges, cliffs and rocky slopes,
sometimes in pure stands, but more often in association with
other mountain loving evergreens such as ponderosa pine, pinyon
pine and Douglas-fir.
Culture: Rocky Mountain juniper is a slow growing tree
(6-12" per year), but one that can live more than 300 years. In
cultivation it tolerates acidic to alkaline soils, and does
best in those that are loose and well drained. It is best
adapted to culture in western and northern North America.
Light: Seedlings and saplings can tolerate rather dense shade,
but Rocky Mountain junipers, even the smaller cultivars, need
full sun to grow to their full potentials.
Moisture: Rocky Mountain juniper is tolerant of drought, but
perhaps less so than the other junipers. It should be watered
before the soil becomes completely dry. This juniper does
poorly in humid climates, but does fine in hot, dry
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 - 7.
Usage: Use any of the cultivars of Rocky Mountain juniper for
attractive foliage effects in all seasons. This evergreen is
useful as a screen, hedge or foundation plant. They make great
anchors or focal points for the ends of hedges or mixed
borders. Rocky Mountain juniper is a tidy, formal accent shrub
alone or in small groups.
Features: Although most cultivars are probably too formal for
naturalistic gardens, Rocky Mountain juniper is ideal for neat,
well-organized landscapes. Most cultivars require little or no
pruning and are relatively free of cultural problems, insects
and diseases. They tolerate heat and drought well.
Other Conifer Types
3450 Pygmy Cypress Pine ( Callitris oblonga )
This rare, small conifer to about 5 m tall is native to Australia, on Tasmania and in New South Wales, where it grows in dry wood and scrublands. It is densely branched, and holds needle-like, bluish-green foliage, small, yellow male cones and woody, oval-shaped, grey female cones that contain dark brown, winged seeds. An attractive, drought tolerant, ornamental for temperate climates, in USDA Zones 8 and 9.