Trees - Conifers

Trees - Conifers


Empire National Nursery, LLC has fast growing trees and conifers for home and garden planting projects The Conifers and Evergreens

There are many new items for next season, so keep the Catalog bookmarked for future reference...

The evergreens are generally thought of as pine trees or Christmas trees, but whichever term best suits you, we refer to this group as the conifers since most of the evergreens we carry are in the Pine Family (Pinaceae). These have a wide variety of uses in the landscape design, from bonsai and container plantings, specimen plants, to Christmas trees, focal points, shade, fence lines, privacy screens, and windbreak trees. There are as many uses for this broad group as there are species to chose from.

These are divided into the five groups:

True Firs - Spruces - Pines - Douglas-Fir - Others

Each of these groups are briefly introduced, giving some basic characteristics to inspire an appreciation of these trees. Rule of Thumb: Plant trees six to eight feet apart, full sun to partial shade, moderate amount of watering.

Empire National Nursery, LLC has fast growing trees and conifers for home and garden planting projects The True Firs

The genus is Abies, with over 40 species in the northern hemisphere. About a dozen species are grown in the United States as Christmas trees, plus another dozen or so varieties among these.

The firs are popular as Christmas trees, and as ornamental specimens in many landscape designs. They range from deep green to bluish shades, and are highly fragrant due to the high content of resinous sap. The needles are short, clustered in flat sprays, or surrounding the twigs, which tend to stay of the tree for several weeks. Firs are slow growing, but can grow about a foot a year commonly.

Plant them as specimens or in groups, and even in lines such a s along a fence. You can plant them as close as 4 feet apart, but generally 6 to 8 feet is more common.


Empire National Nursery, LLC has fast growing trees and conifers for home and garden planting projects The Spruces

The genus is Picea, with 35 to 40 species, about half of which are found in China. In the United States, there are seven native species, but another 10 to 15 have been introduced, and there are a few newer varieties among these.

Spruces are not widely used for Christmas trees partly because of the short sharp needles that surround the twigs. They tend to drop their needles quickly once they are cut, and spruces typically are not highly fragrant. They are very popular is the landscape as ornamentals, with needle colors from dark green to very blue. Spruces are slow growing, but once established, can grow a foot a year.

The spruces, like the firs, can be planted as lone specimens, or in clumps or lines. Plant them 6 to 8 feet apart, or as close as four feet for faster filling-in of a line.

Click here to see Colorado Blue Spruces. They are very popular because of the grayish blue color these spruces' have.


Empire National Nursery, LLC has fast growing trees and conifers for home and garden planting projects The Pines

The genus is Pinus, where 36 of the 100 species, are found in the United States. There are species that have been introduced, along with several hybrids among the more popular species.

Pines typically are not as popular as the firs or Douglas-Fir as Christmas trees, but several species are used. Pines don't hold their needles as long as the firs, and they often turn brown quickly. Note able exceptions to this, are the Austrian Pine and The Scots Pine; both hold their needles and color for several weeks. Pines range in color from medium green to a bluish-green, and often are very fragrant.

Pines likewise have a widespread use in landscaping. The growth of pines can be fairly quick, from 1 to 2 feet or more a year is common. Plant the pines 6 to 8 feet apart also. Empire National Nursery, LLC has fast growing trees and conifers for home and garden planting projects


Empire National Nursery, LLC has fast growing trees and conifers for home and garden planting projects Douglas-Fir

The genus is Pseudotsuga, where 2 of the six species are native in the western United States. One species has a very wide-spread range, and very popular as a Christmas tree. The other species has a very small range where these trees are found.

Douglas-Fir holds a medium color for a long time, and is very fragrant. The short needles vary somewhat from flat sprays to nearly surrounding the twigs. They also can be planted in the landscape. Their growth can vary, from a foot to over four a year,but once they get established, the general rule of "two feet a year" applies here.

Empire National Nursery, LLC has fast growing trees and conifers for home and garden planting projects Other Evergreens

As we keep adding items, there are new evergreens that don't fit into the other four groups like the Western Red Cedar, Port Orford Cedar, Incense Cedar, Leyland Cypress, Arbor Vitae, Canadian Hemlock, the Redwoods, Junipers, and the Cherry Laurel. These all have nice qualities, so we had to add them to our list of favorite trees.
Empire National Nursery, LLC has fast growing trees and conifers for home and garden planting projects

All these can be used as a screen or solid border, but vary as to their needs and habits. The cedars, hemlock, and Arbor-Vitae grows fairly slow, 1 to 2 feet a year depending on conditions, and they will get tall and broad, and like plenty of moisture. They can do well in shade and harsh winter conditions. On the other extreme is the Leyland Cypress. Empire National Nursery, LLC has fast growing trees and conifers for home and garden planting projects Leyland's prefer drier soils, full sun, and they grow fast (for an evergreen). The downside is that they are not tolerant of temperatures below the teens.

Now the Coast Redwood, Canadian Hemlock, Western Red Cedar, and Cherry Laurel are interesting trees. these can be planted in full shade to full sun, moderate to abundant moisture, but the growth rates can vary from very slow to fairly fast. We have seen six to ten feet of growth on redwoods commonly (under certain conditions), and good growth rates on the cedar and hemlock also. Given good conditions, even the conifers can grow well.

Empire National Nursery, LLC has fast growing trees and conifers for home and garden planting projects Speaking about "a fish out of water", the Cherry Laurel is a small to medium-sized evergreen broadleaf tree that we stuck in the Shrub section. They prefer full sun to part shade, but we have seen them grow in full shade (albeit poorly). This is an evergreen, and can be a pretty fast grower, and often planted as a shrub hedge. Frankly, we don't know where to place this one...


Empire National Nursery, LLC has fast growing trees and conifers for home and garden planting projects
The Redwoods - Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia are magnificent trees. Both can get extremely large, but for the next 50 to 100 years, they might get as high as 100 feet and three or four feet in diameter. In other words, for the home or other places in the landscape design, these trees are very usable. The coast redwood is not very cold tolerable, generally not below the 20's, and they like moisture. The Giant Sequoia is more cold tolerant, with the zero mark as about its limit, and these are more dry tolerant.

The really most exciting of the redwoods is the Dawn Redwood, a native of Manchuria China. It has been introduced to the United States in 1948, and can handle Zone 4 cold temperatures to minus 30 degrees! The Dawn Redwood is a "lacey looking" tree with the characteristic red shreddy bark, but in the fall, it loses its leaves like a hardwood! A deciduous conifer. Really a unique tree, great for the landscape design.

Ever see a Blue Redwood? If things work out, we plan to offer the Albo Spicata variety of the Coastal Redwood starting Spring 2006. It has beautiful blue-green foliage, one of the bluer hybrids, and something to we are excited about. There are other hybrids of this tree, like the Simpson's Silver and Soquel, among others. Click to the Redwoods page to learn more about the hybrids. The availability changes constantly...

Learn more and see more about the Conifers - Try these links:

Colorado Blue Spruce - click here.

The Conifers - ...click here.

The Redwoods - ...click here.


Click to the Catalog for all of the items available... click here.


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