Top 10 Dwarf Conifers for Small Spaces

Small space gardening is made easy with our list of the top 10 dwarf conifers.

It’s easy to see why conifers are a staple of most backyard landscapes. They provide reliable shelter for birds, offer nice color and year-round structure in the garden and are mostly maintenance-free. Now you can have those same virtues in a smaller package, thanks to newer downsized varieties. While often referred to as “dwarf conifers,” many of these are technically just slow growers. They will eventually get larger in 20 or 30 years, but most stay fairly compact and are classified based on their growth rate and size at 10 years. With the help of conifer expert and author Richard L. Bitner (Timber Press Pocket Guide to Conifers, 2010), we put together this Top 10 list of dwarf conifers, specifically with small space gardening in mind.

Arborvitae

(Thuja occidentalis, Zones 3 to 7)

This popular species is easy to find almost anywhere. But if you have deer in your area, beware. They love to munch on the foliage! The tree is dense, with a pyramidal shape and clusters of small seed-bearing cones. Smaller cultivars include Golden Globe, Hetz Midget and Tiny Tim.

Why we love it: It has a classic conifer look, provides generous coverage for birds and offers plenty of cultivars to choose from.

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