Joy Boven, Landscape Specialist at Bates Nursery and conifer enthusiast, goes over coniferous trees and shrubs that thrive in Middle Tennessee. Joy covers basic conifer care as well as tips for picking out the right conifer for your space.
Plants Mentioned in This Webinar:
Horstmann – Smaller version
Gold Mop 8x8; the most important information I can give you for this plant is to plan for how BIG it will get. It is common practice, it seems these days, to plant this like it will stay the size as when you bought it. I promise this will get every bit of 8x8 here in middle tn and you should plan for it.
Pisifera filifera – Threadleaf False Cypress: This is the green version of the gold mop but gets 12x12 instead of 8x8
Smaller Spawns of the Gold Mop
KEY NOTES: Protection is key to avoiding winter burn with the Japanese Cedar. Not the best for planting in an open area exposure. These typically like regions a bit further south of us, but in the city here it stays a bit warmer and more protected, these can certainly thrive.
This is one of my FAVORITES for our region. Super drought tolerant, they have a lovely, unique scent and though I won’t say they are completely disease and pest resistant, they are pretty darn close
There are several mature and healthy specimens of this plant around town and I promote it whenever I can to those interested in something a little more unusual.
Green Arrow – Much more narrow than the other cultivars available.
Medium Shrub Form
This IS the substitution for Italian Cypress for our region. Though used in much of the southern region, Italian Cypress just does not fair well in middle Tennessee. The answer is Taylor Juniper. It is estimated to get 30’ tall and 3’ wide.
Canaertii - Slim
I freaking love this shrub! Some plant tags will say it gets 3 feet tall. Plan on 5 feet and 8 feet wide and don’t be surprise if it exceeds those expectations. If this plant is happy, it gets BIG!
orientalis – Oriental Spruce
I have seen these do incredibly well in the Nashville Area!
Buyer’s beware: this is a VERY popular plant. But foresight is required. This plant needs adequate air flow and does not do well in a stuffy location where our summer humidity makes it harder on this plant than necessary. Ideal location would be morning sun-afternoon sun to about 3 and then reprieve. It’s called Colorado Spruce for a reason. When planting this species, keep an eye on water for at least a year. Making sure that is getting enough to become established. It is not impossible for this plant to live here, but they certainly require proper placement and additional care to get comfortable in our southern climate.
Irish Bell 10x12
Mint Truffle 10x6
palustris – Longleaf Pine: these pines once dominated the eastern forests of America but are now occupy 3% of their original coverage. There is a big push to replant these Pines and if you have the space for one and like contributing to a good cause, but all means, please plant one! They are definitely slow to get started but have such a unique growth habit. It needs lots of space so not recommended for a small lot but if you have a decent plot, this is a great addition!
I have been watching these for some time now and I am very impressed at how they are able to hold up to our heat and humidity!
Blue Angel (FAVORITE)
Straight species is great but give it plenty of ROOM! Not recommended for small lots!
They are coming out with new cultivars on the daily. So if you try one of these new cultivars abide by the same rules of care but pay attention to the max height and width they are estimated to get and plan accordingly.
Grune Kugel (Dwarf)
Whipcord (Crazy Weirdo)
Green Giant – 40-60’ x 12-18’ wide. Plan for that. I see these planted 5 feet apart sometimes. Plan for at least 12’! These lovely screening trees get BIG, plan for it. They do not disappoint either.
The US champion is in the great smoky mountains. 165 tall with a trunk that spans 6 feet wide. If you plant this tree, please keep that in mind. Though it may not get as big as a smoky mountains grand champion, you still need to be aware of what it is capable of. So please for the love of all that is good and holy, do not make this a foundation planting.
Fallingwater (Don Shadow introduction)
Straight species – Give these beauties LOTS of room! There are countless mature specimens around town and all I can tell you is they get HUGE! 80 to 100 feet for sure!
Odon (Gold Rush) – Not a dwarf, but has more yellow foliage. Absolutely beautiful foliar color.
Miss Grace (Weeping)
Hamlet’s Broom (Dwarf) 8x6