Short Conifers and Trees


Hi Can you please suggest a few christmas trees that will grow up to maximim around 15 feet and 5 ft wide and maintain shape for long time like a hundred years, prefer things like colarado blue spruce. also si there a white birch i can get that will be sleek and not gt grow too wide. and lastly a pine trees with nivce needles that tree will not grow more than 15 ft and around 6 ft wide lng term. thanks


Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your question regarding suggestions for small spruce and pine tree options, and a narrow white birch.  Thankfully, there are many small trees to consider!

Some specific varieties of small pine and spruce trees are:

  1. ‘The Blues’ Weeping Colorado Spruce (Picea pungens ‘The Blues’)– If you are looking for a low-maintenance show-stopping tree, then ‘The Blues’ is the right choice for you. This beautiful and extremely hardy variety of weeping blue spruce grows about 3 metres in high and spreads 1.5 to 3 metres. It has thick blue-green needles that hang downward on its branches. It thrives in full sunlight and can survive extreme temperatures to -45 C. degrees. It is one of the most deer-resistant dwarf evergreen trees.
  2. Blue Wonder’ Blue Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Blue Wonder’)– Also referred to as ‘Blue Wonder’, it can survive extreme winter temperature down to -40 C. degrees. It has a stunning and lovely compact blue-gray foliage, making it a great alternative to dwarf Alberta spruce. It can slowly grow up to 1.8 metres in height, and one metre wide at maturity. If you have limited space in your garden, the ‘Blue Wonder’ can add a striking accent throughout the year.
  3. ‘Tip Top’ Dwarf Swiss Stone Pine (Pinus cembra ‘Tip Top’)– The ‘Tip Top’ is another evergreen tree that is worth planting in your garden. It too is extremely hardy to -40 C. degrees. What makes this dwarf evergreen tree downright adorable is its long, soft needles with white undersides that give the tree a shaggy green puppet look. It grows to a maximum of 1.8 metres in height and one metre wide. Due to its narrow and conical characteristic, ‘Tip Top’ does not require any pruning to maintain its small stature.
  4. Dwarf Japanese Black Pine (Pinus thunbergii ‘Kotobuki’)– Popularly known as ‘Kotobuki’, the maximum height for this slow-growing, densely needled evergreen is just 1.2 metres and 60 cm wide. What makes Kotobuki excellent for small gardens is its upright candles of new growth and its narrow growth. Its needles measure about half the length of regular Japanese black pines. Hardy to Zone 5.

We also have a Garden Guide dedicated on evergreens suitable for hedges, which focuses on small evergreens and provides details including their expected height and spread along with planting information and growing requirements.  I think you should be able to find some good options that match what you’re looking for in terms of size and shape.  Garden Guides: Evergreens Suitable for Hedging

Birch trees also come in many sizes and shapes including narrow (columnar) forms.  In particular, I found a white birch that might suit your requirements called Parkland Pillar Japanese White Birch (Betula platyphylla ‘Jefpark’).  It grows to about 30 feet tall at maturity, but with a spread of just 6 feet. Under ideal conditions it can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

While size is one important consideration, I would also encourage you to match your tree choice with other growing conditions including soil and light requirements.   We have a Garden Guide, linked below, with guidelines to help ensure your trees’ long-term growing success.  Gardening Guides: Planting a Tree for Life

Good luck with your tree choices!

April 28, 2022