Columnar Trees

Small yards are the norm today. Selecting a tree that won’t take up the entire yard can be difficult; however there are many columnar trees that are invaluable in small yards. Columnar trees not only provide ornamental appeal but grow in restricted areas.

Here are some beautiful ornamental trees with columnar habits:

Evergreens:

Juniper

Blue Arrow Juniper - a very narrow tight columnar tree that grows 13' (4m) high and 3' (90cm) wide.  Dense bright blue-green needles hold their colour year round. Drought tolerant once established.  A great tree that is good for small spaces, screens, borders, or in groups.

Blue Point Juniper - a dense, narrow pyramidal shrub that grows 10' (3m) high and 5' (1.5m) wide.  Dense sharp blue-green needles; require shearing to maintain shape.  Drought tolerant once established.

Cologreen Juniper - a compact, narrow upright tree that grows 13-16' (4-5m) high and 5-7' (1.5-2m) wide.  Dense bright green needles year round.  A low maintenance variety that is tolerant of cold, dry, and windy conditions.

Gold Cone Juniper - a narrow columnar shrub that grows 3-5' (90-150cm) tall and 2' (60cm) wide.  New growth emerges bright yellow and matures to blue-green.  Slow growing shrub that is ideal for small landscapes.

Idyllwild Juniper - a narrow tree with an upright branching habit.  Grows 16' (5m) tall and 7' (2m) wide and has dense dark green needles year round.  Heat and drought tolerant once established.  Great as a specimen, hedge, or screen.

Moonglow Juniper - a dense, rounded, pyramidal tree that grows 10' (3m) high and 4' (1.2m) wide.  Silvery-blue needles hold their colour year round.  This tree has excellent cold, drought, and pollution tolerance.  Great hedge, windbreak, or privacy screen.

Skyrocket Juniper - a narrow, upright tree that grows 16' (4m) high and 3' (90cm) wide.  Soft bluish-green needles year round.  Use as a foundation, screen, or in groups.

Christina Norway Spruce - this hardy, small columnar tree grows 23-26' (7-8m) tall and 3.5-5.5' (1.1-1.75m) wide.  Short dark green needles emerge lime-green in the spring.  A narrow tree that is great as a specimen, for a screen, or as a vertical accent.

Pine

Columnar Mugo Pine - a very narrow uptight tree that grows 7-10' (2-3m) high and 3-4' (1-1.2m) wide.  Dense dark green needles, small ornamental cones, and red-orange bark.  A colourful ornamental the is ideal for small spaces.

Columnar Scots Pine - a dense, tight upright tree with pointed twisted blue-green needles.  Grows 20' (6m) high and 4' (1.2m) wide and has showy peeling orange bark.

Mountain Pine - a hardy, upright, pyramidal tree that grows 13' (4m) high and 7' (2m) wide.  Long dark green needles year round and round brown cones.  Great as a specimen, accent, or screen.

Tannenbaum Mugo Pine - a perfect Christmas tree shaped tree that grows 10-12' (3-3.6m) high and 5-6' (1.5-1.8m) wide.  Dense emerald green needles have a grey-blue tint.  A beautiful compact, uniform upright tree that is great for a screen, specimen, or group planting.

Spruce

Columnar Blue Spruce - this is a great upright, narrow spruce that grows 16-20' (4-6m) tall and 7' (2m) wide. Needles emerge powdery-blue and mature to a silver-blue. A slow growing tree that is great in borders, as a screen, in groups, or as a specimen.

Columnar Norway Spruce - a pencil thin, straight, upright evergreen with dark green needles.  This dense growing tree grows 6' (1.8m) tall and 2' (60cm) wide.  Ideal for small landscapes, windbreaks, or privacy screens.

Pyramidal Norway Spruce - a very narrow, upright, columnar tree that grows 20' (6m) high and 4-8' (1.2-2.4m) wide.  Short dense dark green needles year round and reddish-brown cones.  A tight upright tree that is valuable for small landscapes.

Deciduous Trees

Aspen

Swedish Columnar Aspen - a very popular landscape tree with a tight, narrow upright growth habit that grows 40' (12m) high and 7' (2m) wide.  A fast growing tree with glossy round leaves that turn yellow in the fall.  Branches have a unique twisting habit and the trunk becomes white with age. Swedish Aspens are great for screens, as a vertical accent or as a specimen.

Birch

Dakota Pinnacle Birch - this North Dakota State University introduction is a beautiful narrow, upright tree that grows 23-26' (7-8m) tall and 7' (2m) wide.  It produces dark green leaves that turn bright yellow in the fall and develops chalky white, peeling, papery bark.  This selection is tolerant of heat and drought and is resistant to bronze birch borer.  This striking ornamental tree offers multi-season interest for the landscape.

Parkland Pillar Birch - this dense, narrow, upright tree grows 23-30' (7-10m) tall and 6-7' (1.8-2.1m) wide.  Discovered at Parkland Nurseries in Red Deer this columnar tree offers multi-season interest.  It produces a canopy of dark green leaves that turn bright yellow in the fall and develops chalk white, peeling papery bark.  This hardy tree makes a great accent or screen.

Caragana

Sutherland Caragana - this tall, narrow, vase-shaped tree makes a great vertical accent or screen.  This tree has smooth olive-green bark, small light green leaves that turn yellow in the fall, and bright yellow flowers in the spring.  This versatile plant is great for exposed sites, poor soils, and hot/dry sites.  Grows 16'(5m) tall and 5-7'(1.5-2m) wide.

Crabapples

These striking ornamentals add colour to the landscape.  There are many different varieties to chose from, each offering ornamental appeal.

Courageous Crabapple - 10-20' (3-6m) tall and 5-10' (1.5-3m) wide with bronzy-red leaves that mature to green.  This seedless variety produces masses of pink flowers in the spring.

Emerald Spire Crabapple - 15' (5m) tall and 6' (1.8m) wide with coppery-green leaves that turn yellow-orange in the fall.  This dwarf disease resistant tree produces pink  flowers in the spring and sparse red fruit in the fall.

Gladiator Crabapple - 20'(6m) tall and 9'(3m) wide with glossy burgundy-purple leaves, showy pink flowers in the spring, and small purple fruit in the fall. This narrow, colourful, columnar tree makes a great specimen in the landscape.

Pink Spire Crabapple – 16-20'(5-6m) tall and 10-13' (3-4m) wide with purplish-red leaves that change to bronzy green in the summer and turn yellow-orange in the fall. It produces masses of lavender-pink flowers in the spring followed by small dark red fruit in the fall. This showy narrow, upright tree is great as a screen, in the border, or as a specimen.

Purple Spire Crabapple - 15ˈ(5m) tall and 6ˈ(1.8m) wide with glossy purple-green foliage that becomes an intense purple in the fall, produces sparse pink flowers in the spring, and small purple fruit in the fall. An outstanding compact columnar crabapple that is ideal as an accent or as a screen.

Rosthern Crabapple – 15-20ˈ(5-6m) tall and 7ˈ(2m)wide with glossy dark green leaves that turn yellow in the fall, and produces masses of fragrant white flowers in the spring followed by small dark red fruit. This showy columnar tree makes a great accent or screen in the landscape.

Linden

Lone Star Linden - a dense, upright oval headed tree that grows 30' (10m) high and 12' (4m) wide.  Heart-shaped green leaves turn yellow in the fall.  Fragrant yellow flowers are produced in the summer.  A stunning tree that is good as a screen, accent, or specimen in the landscape.

Mountain Ash

Pyramidal Mountain Ash - this is a spectacular slow-growing, upright pyramidal tree that grows 20' (6m) high and 7' (2m) wide.  This tree offers multi-season interest with white flowers in the spring, orange-red berries in the fall that persist through the winter, bright orange-red fall colour, and smooth grey-brown bark.  A great tree for small spaces.

Red Cascade Mountain Ash - This narrow compact oval headed tree grows 18' (5.5m) tall and 8' (2.4m) wide.  A tree that offers multi-season interest starting in the spring with white flowers, orange-red berries in the fall, bright orange-red fall colour, and smooth brown bark.

Poplar

Tower Poplar - a very popular tree with a narrow upright growth habit that grows to 40ˈ(12m) tall and 10ˈ(3m) wide. This fast growing tree has glossy dark green leaves with silver underside that turn yellow in the fall. This is a seedless variety that makes a great screen, specimen or vertical accent.  

Oak

Regal Prince Oak - an upright tree with glossy dark green leaves that turn yellow in the fall.  This hardy tree grows 40' (12m) tall and 20' (6m) wide and is tolerant of a wide range of soil and urban pollutions.  A great shade tree or vertical accent.