Rich's Foxwillow Pines Nursery, Inc

Rich's Foxwillow Pines Nursery, Inc


Advice & How To's »


What are dwarf conifers? Dwarf conifers are cone-bearing evergreens that for some reason fail to attain the size and stature of the parent plant.

(Exception: Ginkgos, junipers and yews produce seed in berry-like fruit instead of cones)


The American Conifer Society has adopted the following four size categories for conifers.

Category/Symbol Annual Growth * Approx. size at 10 years **
Miniature (M) <1" <1'
Dwarf (D) >1"-6" >1'-6'
Intermediate (I) >6"-12" >6'-15'
Large (L) >12" >15'

* Size may vary due to cultural, climatic, and geographical region

** Refers to growth in any direction

Our ten-year growth averages are based on our 35 years of experience in Zone 5a. The numbers are estimates based on average soil and moisture conditions in the first 10 years of the plant's life from graft. Extraordinary growing conditions could modify information. West and East coast growth estimates can be quite a bit different.


Many garden conifers display a rainbow of colors from shades of green, yellow, oranges, blue, lavender or purple. Others have bicolor needles of stripes, spots or patches. Many go through seasonal changes and provide interest in the winter landscape. Some new growth is not only a lighter shade but emerges as a bright yellow or red. Some display two colors of needles. On others the cones and seed bearing fruits are brightly colored and decorative during certain seasons of the year. What a color show! (paraphrased from American Conifer Society's A Brief Look at Garden Conifers Pamphlet)

Broad_Pyramid.jpg Broad Pyramid
Broad conical form.
Mounding Mound
Low rounded form with textural exterior.
Shrub Shrub
Lower treeform, dense and irregular.
Globe Globose (Latin-Globosa)
Globe-like or rounded in general outline.
Pendulus Pyramid Pendulous Pyramid
Upright with varying degrees of weeping branches.
Broad Upright Broad Upright
Includes upright plants which do not fit into other categories.
Prostrate Prostrate (Latin- Prostrata or Procumbens)
Ground-hugging, carpeting plants without an inclination to grow upward.
Spreading Spreading
Wider than tall.
Irregular or Erratic Irregular
Erratic growth pattern.
Narrow Upright Narrow Upright (Latin-Fastigiata)
Much taller than broad. Includes plants referred to as fastigiate or columnar.
Vase Vase
Funnel-shaped, sometimes with a hollow center.