Narrow Landscape Plants

Narrow Landscape Plants

We all have that area in our landscape that is tight and narrow.  The space between our homes and sidewalks, areas between our driveway and our neighbor’s yards, and corner spots that need something with height but not much width.  Columnar plants serve a much-needed purpose in our landscapes and offer solutions to many of these problems. Their slender growth habit means they don’t take up much horizontal space. Yes, some of these varieties grow quite tall, but even in the smallest of gardens, the sky is the limit

Columnar plants add power to the landscape. A single spire-like specimen can anchor a planting bed and provide a pleasing contrast of form to rounded or wide-spreading plants. Thoughtfully sited a pair of columnar plants can elegantly frame a doorway, window, or gate. A row of slim trees marching along your fence line can make an attractive declaration of your property boundary while creating a fine windbreak, noise buffer, or privacy screen. Narrow plants with their crisp, clean, columnar outlines and their tiny footprint ensure that they can always squeeze themselves in wherever some structure is needed.

Taylor Juniper
Taylor Juniper
Graham Blandy Boxwood
Graham Blandy Boxwood
Fine Line Buckthron
Fine Line Buckthorn

All of the following choices add vertical structure and interest. Include some of these trees for small spaces in your yard and enjoy everything they offer.

Arborvitae, Degroots Spire – A beautiful, tall, narrow form with rich green foliage that takes on a purple cast in winter. Its twisted texture on the pyramidal form tolerates shearing nicely. Afternoon shade.  Grows 15-20 feet tall and 4-5 feet wide.

Arborvitae, Emerald Green – A narrow, pyramidal evergreen with dense, emerald green foliage that holds its color throughout winter. Plant in full or partial shade. Grows 12-15 feet tall and 3-5’ wide.

Arizona Cypress, Raywood Weeping – The branches of this handsome bluish grey conifer hangs straight down making it a very upright, narrow tree if the central leader is staked. Plant in full or partial shade. Grows to 20 feet tall and 2 wide.

Barberry, Orange Rocket – Vibrant coral-orange new foliage ages to mid-green, then turns ruby red in autumn. Plant in sun to partial sun. Grows  5′ tall and 2′ wide.

Dee Runk Boxwood – A larger growing evergreen that forms a tall tight column with dark green leaves. Plant in partial shade. Slow grower reaches up to 10 feet tall yet only 2 feet wide.

Boxwood, Graham Blandy – Evergreen shrub with very columnar growth habit. Small oval leaves remain green throughout winter. Plant in partial shade. Matures at 9 feet tall and 2 feet wide.

Boxwood, Green Tower – Evergreen with very columnar growth habit and dark green leaves. Fragrant creamy yellow flowers in April-May. Plant in partial shade. Grows 9′ tall and only 1-2 feet’ wide.

Buckthorn, Fine Line Fernleaf –  Lacy fern-like foliage combined with a narrow columnar habit make this a fantastic plant for adding texture and shape to the garden. Foliage turns yellow in fall. Plant in sun or partial shade. Grows 5-7 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide.

Cedar, Karl Fuchs – Evergreen narrow conifer with bright blue new growth in spring that matures to green, resulting in a unique shimmering effect.  Plant in sun to partial shade. Grows 12-15 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

Euonymus, Green Spire – An excellent accent plant due to its tight columnar growth habit and dark evergreen leaves. Plant in sun to partial sun. Grows 6 feet high and 1 to 2 feet wide.

Holly, Emerald Colonnade – This handsome and versatile male evergreen holly with a natural pyramidal form with dense, glossy, bright green foliage. Small cream-colored flowers do not produce berries. Tolerant of shearing. Plant in sun to partial shade. Grows 10-12 feet tall & 6-8 feet wide.

Holly, Sky Pencil – Evergreen columnar shrub with small dark-green foliage. Plant in partial sun. Grows 6-8 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide.

Juniper, Blue Arrow – Evergreen upright juniper with tight, blue foliage.  Produces silvery blue berries from late spring to late winter. Plant in sun to partial shade. Grows 12- 15 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide. 

Juniper, Blue Point – Evergreen pyramidal tree with glowing blue-green foliage. Plant in sun to partial shade. Grows 10 – 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide.

Juniper, Spartan – Evergreen columnar tree that forms a stately, dark green, densely branched column. Plant in sun to partial shade. Grows 15 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide.     

Juniper, Taylor – Very densely-branched, conical, columnar habit and is considered by some to be one of the best forms for the Midwest plains. Foliage is attractive gray-green.  Plant in sun or partial shade. Grows 15-20 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide.

Oak, Regal Prince – A vigorous growing, upright and columnar Oak growing to 45 feet tall with a spread of 18 feet. The glossy, bright green foliage has silver undersides and turns golden yellow in fall.

Slender Silhouette Sweetgum – A stunning columnar tree perfect for an accent, grows 50 feet tall with only a 5-10 foot width. Striking fall colors.

Yews, Hicksii – An upright, almost columnar growing Yew that is extremely cold hardy. Deep green needles densely cover the plant which produces bright red berries in the fall. This slow grower reaches 6 to 10 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide. Grows in deep shade. 

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