5 Unusual Conifers For The Middle Lane. Types And Varieties, Cultivation Features. Photo

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5 Unusual Conifers For The Middle Lane. Types And Varieties, Cultivation Features. Photo
5 Unusual Conifers For The Middle Lane. Types And Varieties, Cultivation Features. Photo

Video: 5 Unusual Conifers For The Middle Lane. Types And Varieties, Cultivation Features. Photo

Video: 5 Unusual Conifers For The Middle Lane. Types And Varieties, Cultivation Features. Photo
Video: Conifers: Pine, Cedar, Spruce and Cypress 2023, December

The most popular conifers of the middle lane are known even to people far from gardening. Spruce and Scots pine grow in our forests. Juniper is widespread in landscaping and is difficult to confuse with other crops. Thuja, with its characteristic flat twigs, is also familiar to most. In this article, I would like to talk about the less common, but rather winter-hardy conifers, which are successfully grown in the gardens of the middle lane by experienced gardeners. But beginners, as a rule, if they know about them, are mistaken for exotic cultures, with which it is better not to get involved.

5 unusual conifers for the middle lane
5 unusual conifers for the middle lane

1. Microbiota

The microbiota of the cross- fallow (Microbiota decussata) is a unique analogue of juniper for partial shade. With its semi-lying, spreading bush and small scaly needles, the microbiota really resembles some varieties of juniper. But this is a completely different plant, although it belongs to the same Cypress family.

At a young age, the bush has an almost creeping shape, but as it grows, it rises above the ground and bends in an arcuate manner. In the wild, this shrub is found in the Far East, but its numbers are declining. To date, the microbiota of the cross pair is listed in the Red Book.

At the same time, the popularity of the culture as a garden ornamental plant is growing. In their homeland, the microbiota can reach over one meter in height and several meters in diameter. But this shrub grows very slowly, in culture at the age of 10 it reaches only 40 centimeters.

Today, new varieties have begun to appear in the microbiota. In particular, the Jacobsen microbiota is outwardly similar to the species plant, but it has a more compact form and rarely exceeds 60 centimeters in height and 1.5 meters in width in adulthood. Microbiota "Carnival" has a very elegant appearance, due to the fact that against the background of bright green needles, it has separate areas painted in bright yellow. It is also quite a powerful variety, which grows to a meter in height with age with a crown span of several meters.

Another variety of microbiota "Gold Spot" has the same motley yellow-green outfit, and its main difference is the pleasant lemon scent that the needles exude when you break a small twig. For small gardens, the dwarf variety of microbiota "Lucas" is more suitable, whose height does not exceed 25 centimeters with a crown diameter of about a meter.

This coniferous breed tolerates a haircut well. The microbiota is a very winter-hardy plant, and tolerates frosts down to -40 degrees. In addition, its strong branches do not break under the snow and can support the weight of a person or large animal. A striking feature of the microbiota - in the cold season, its needles become copper-brown.

The breed grows best in partial shade, the soil should be moisture-consuming, and when the top layer dries up, it is necessary to water it. The culture can easily perish both from flooding and from severe drought. The rest of the microbiota is quite unpretentious.

Microbiota decussata 'Gold Spot'
Microbiota decussata 'Gold Spot'

2. Hemlock

At home in the northeastern part of North America , the Canadian hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) grows into a real giant. But in our country, basically, undersized and dwarf varieties have become widespread. Outwardly, the hemlock looks a bit like a yew, thanks to the characteristic arrangement and shape of the needles.

Needle leaves are usually 15 to 20 millimeters long. Flattened, thornless, with rounded tips, green or yellowish-green on top, grayish-brown on the back with two wide clearly visible stomatal stripes. The cones are small, brown in color, 2 centimeters long.

In the botanical gardens, you can find species of Canadian hemlock. But in the middle zone, these broad-pyramidal trees are usually low in height and do not grow more than 10 meters. In ornamental gardening, dwarf varieties of Canadian hemlock are mainly represented.

Tsuga ' Jeddeloh' - dwarf slow growing shrub, reaching a height of 1 meter and 1.5 meters in width. The bush has a funnel shape with arched branches, making it an alternative to the original cushion-ate Nidiformis» ('Nidiformis').

Hemlock ' Pendula' - a falling weeping form with a tent-shaped crown, growth depends on the height of the trunk, but most often there are specimens from 60 centimeters to 2.5 meters with a crown diameter of 1.5 meters (over time, the crown diameter can reach 3.5 meters) … The needles are shiny, bright green.

The hemlock variety ' Cole's Prostrate' is often used as a creeping ground cover plant. It is a low-growing creeping plant with a maximum height of no more than 50 centimeters at maturity with a diameter of up to 1 meter. The needles are dark green, the growths are bright green. Also attractive is the graphics of curved bare branches in the center of the bush.

Most often, low-growing hemlock is used for landscaping the banks of reservoirs, in rock gardens and on retaining walls. Canadian hemlock prefers areas with mildly acidic or neutral soils rich in nutrients and moist but well-drained soil. Also reacts positively to high air humidity. Grows well in light partial shade. Winter hardiness up to -29 degrees. On my site, there were no problems with the wintering of the hemlock.

Canadian Hemlock "Jeddeloh" (Tsuga canadensis 'Jeddeloh')
Canadian Hemlock "Jeddeloh" (Tsuga canadensis 'Jeddeloh')

3. Yew

In the West, yew is very popular as a plant for hedges and topiary sculptures. Most often, the berry yew (Taxus baccata) is used for this, which grows in the southern regions and in favorable conditions is a spreading tree up to 25 meters high.

In the climate of the middle zone, we do not have the opportunity to use yew so widely, but this does not mean at all that this coniferous species cannot be grown in our area. There are more winter-hardy yew species that tolerate the conditions of the middle lane well. In particular, these include medium yew (Taxus × media), Canadian yew (Taxus canadensis) and pointed yew (Taxus cuspidata). These species are referred to the 4 (maximum, 5) frost resistance zone, which means they can withstand the winter temperature of 29-34 degrees below zero.

These varieties grow in the form of wide spreading shrubs and, depending on the species, can reach different heights: pointed yew - on average 2 meters; medium yew - up to 5 meters; Canadian yew - 2 meters.

Several adult yew bushes, more than 2.5 meters high, grow on the territory of the city of Voronezh. They are more than a dozen years old, which means that they have experienced the harsh Russian winters more than once. And, judging by their lush dense crown, they like the climate of the middle zone.

At our summer cottage in the Voronezh region with a cooler climate (since it is located outside the city and in the lowlands), a yew seedling grows for about 10 years. During this time, I did not notice any damage to the plants after winter. This yew, on the other hand, has shown itself to be a very resistant, "unkillable" plant that successfully coped with both flooding and a period of severe drought.

Another important advantage of yew is its high shade tolerance, which is not very common in conifers. I have this shrub thriving on the north side of the country house and does not need special care. Yew grows rather slowly, and at a young age the growth rate is no more than 5 centimeters.

However, this feature makes the yew ideal for small areas, as it is also easy to trim. It can be shaped into various shapes and preserved as a short bush. The young growth looks incredibly elegant, which in the middle yew has a golden hue and contrasts well with the main dark green needles.

Yew can grow well even on poor neutral soils, but acidic soils will not work for it.

Medium yew (Taxus × media)
Medium yew (Taxus × media)

4. Pea cypress

Most cypress species are thermophilic and it is better not to grow them in the climate of the middle zone. More winter-hardy pea cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera), which belongs to zone 4-5.

The most popular Bolevard variety is a fluffy bluish bushes. However, I would not recommend planting it in the garden, since it also suffers in our climate. This variety needs a higher air humidity, in the middle lane it is prone to spring burning, as well as fungal diseases of the needles. Rarely in what garden can you find the Bolevard cypress tree without extensive areas of reddish needles, which greatly spoils the handsome man's appearance.

The only cypress trees that will successfully grow in the gardens of the middle zone are representatives of the "Filifera" group of varieties. The name 'Filifera' means 'having filamentary foliage'. Such a cypress, indeed, has a very remarkable appearance: its thin hanging shoots, similar to threads or thin ropes, are covered with small scales. Because of them, a filamentous cypress bush looks like a huge wig or a shock.

There are several varieties of "Filifera" type cypress. Pea cypress "Filifera" has bright green needles. It is a slow-growing shrub, eventually reaching a height of 3-3.5 meters and a width of up to 2.5 meters. The shape of the crown is wide-conical with weeping ends of the branches.

The "Filifera Nana" cultivar also has dark green needles, but it is more compact in size (on average 80 centimeters in height and 1.5 meters in width). At a young age, the needles are cushion-shaped, but over time they become asymmetrical, flat-rounded.

Cypress "Filifera Aurea Nana" - yellow coniferous variety. The scales in the center of the bush are yellowish-green, but the drooping ends of the shoots are very bright - golden-yellow. The height of an adult plant is just over one meter, width is about two meters.

Also, the cypress variety "Sangold" has golden needles, which is a dwarf form (about 1 meter high and about two wide) and has a flat-shaped crown.

Pea cypress grows well in moist but well-drained soil. We tolerate different types of soil, but prefers slightly acidic. Can grow in full sun or light partial shade. Filamentous varieties do not burn in the spring sun and tolerate frosts down to -29 degrees. But, as practice shows, they also tolerate lower temperatures well.

Pea cypress "Sangold" (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Sungold')
Pea cypress "Sangold" (Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Sungold')

5. Korean cedar

True cedar (Cedrus) is not a plant for the middle lane. Only a few cedar species can grow in temperate climates with shelter. But even in this case, the cedar will rather survive and will not turn into a luxurious plant. But on the territory of our country there are own local winter-hardy "cedars", in particular - the famous cedar pine, which is often called "Siberian cedar". But not everyone knows that this "cedar" has a close relative - the Korean cedar pine, or the Korean cedar (Pinus koraiensis).

Like all five-conifers (needles are collected in bunches of five) pine, Korean cedar looks very delicate and fluffy. Its needles are thin, delicate and not at all prickly to the touch; in length they can reach about 12 centimeters. The most important external difference between the Korean cedar pine and the Siberian pine is that the Korean cedar has a very beautiful bluish-gray needles. In its natural habitat (Korea, northeastern China, Mongolia, the Russian Far East), it can reach 30 meters in height, but in culture it usually does not exceed 15 meters.

These are pyramidal trees with gray or brownish bark, which peels off to reveal a reddish inner layer. Korean cedar forms large brown cones identical in shape to those of Siberian cedar, 15 centimeters long. The seeds (nuts) of Korean cedar pine are also very tasty and healthy. And if in Russia pine nuts are more often found on sale from Siberian cedar pine (Pinus sibirica), then the majority of pine nuts in the European and US markets are Korean cedar seeds.

Cedar pines begin to bear fruit very late. When growing Korean cedar for the sake of the harvest, it is better to purchase grafted varieties that begin to bear fruit much faster. But most often, Korean cedar pine is grown in private gardens as an ornamental plant.

Even species specimens of Korean cedar pine are very effective, especially if formative pruning is applied to them. But there are also several decorative forms. The Korean cedar pine "Glauka" has longer needles and a particularly pronounced bluish tint of the needles. Vinton is a bushy variety and grows more in width than in height. Silveray is distinguished by a narrow columnar shape.

Korean pine is tolerant of various soil types and adapted to urban conditions. Young seedlings can grow in partial shade, but an adult tree needs maximum sunlight. This pine grows best in cool climates with very cold winters (up to -40 degrees.)

Korean cedar pine, or Korean cedar (Pinus koraiensis)
Korean cedar pine, or Korean cedar (Pinus koraiensis)
Korean cedar looks very delicate and fluffy
Korean cedar looks very delicate and fluffy

Dear Readers! All the cultures described in the article have been growing in my garden for more than one year and perfectly tolerate the conditions of the middle lane. Therefore, I am pleased to recommend these unusual conifers in our area to anyone who grows gardens in similar climatic conditions.