Thread: tall skinny conifers

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  1. #1

    tall skinny conifers

    could you good folks suggest a conifer, for the purpose of a windbreak? The trees will be planted along my driveway. The skinnier & taller, the better.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    RE: tall skinny conifers

    Lodgepole Pine and Douglasfir are a couple.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Eastern PA

    RE: tall skinny conifers

    Serbian spruce has a really narrow growth habit.

    Arborvitae would probably be the best for what I think you'lre looking for.

    To get an effective windbreak, you generally need depth to it, and a single row of narrow trees might not be the best solution. For one, packing them in a tight row will stress the trees, and when one (or more) fails, it will leave a noticeable gap.

    This article - - covers some thoughts on windbreak design, and there's plenty of others out there if you Google (or search-engine-of-choice) for them.

    If you're going with a single line because that's all the room you have (and I understand this ~ there's as little as 10' between my driveway and the neighbor's drive in most places), you may want to put a couple of larger evergreens in here and there, and then fill the rest in with a smaller "tapestry hedge" of different evergreens (false cypress, yew, juniper, etc.).

    One thing to keep in mind: most evergreens are slow growing. I joke that some of my hemlock screens will be beautiful in 300 years... (to be fair, they'll probably be noticeable in 5-10 years... =)

    Green Man Enviroscaping LLC

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Sylva NC zone 7

    RE: tall skinny conifers

    How about Thuja Green Giant. If you can find them in your local nursey I would not buy online they will be very small and take forever to even get to size Lowes and Home Depot has.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Southeastern Wisconsin

    RE: tall skinny conifers

    Black Spruce grow up to 60 feet tall, and never spread more than 10 feet out in any one direction, and never quite achieve the trunk size that some other conifers may get.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    Re: tall skinny conifers

    Quote Originally Posted by julie banks
    could you good folks suggest a conifer, for the purpose of a windbreak? The trees will be planted along my driveway. The skinnier & taller, the better.
    In order to give you suggestions that will grow in your area, we will need to know where you are located and cold hardiness zone may also be helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006

    RE: tall skinny conifers

    I didn't choose it and would never have plansted it but my whole property that is still exposed is bordered by the ubiquitous Eastern Red Cedar. It cuts the wind, creates a privacy fence, and gives us a green, low heavy border to the world. With no maintenance whatsoever. Many like it but for me it is an accepted tolerance.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Waco, Tx

    RE: tall skinny conifers

    Italian Cypress is probably the skinniest and tallest. It is probably limited to the more southern zones of the country. Some Eastern Red Cedar are pretty skinny if you can find the right cultivar.

  9. #9

    RE: tall skinny conifers

    Thanks so much for all the help folks. Ive gotten some helpul replies. Im sorry I forgot to mention that my hardiness zone is 6 & 7.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Central Oklahoma - Zone 7 for now

    RE: tall skinny conifers

    Its hard to find a tougher, more wind/cold tolerant 'windbreak' than the redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), and lots of cultivars to choose from Only bad thing is that they will not backbud, so once lower limbs get damaged, that's it for any 'low-down' growth. Takes many, many years, though, for that to be an issue, and some of the cultivars stay rather narrow with good colors as well (bluish, or silverish, etc...)

    I highly recommend more than one species as a precaution against weather/bugs/whatevers. Ellysian is spot-on with his recommends, IMO. Variety is good... Italian cypress definitely stays skinny/columnar (!!!), but makes for poor windbreak unless they are jammed tightly together; these are better for 'accent plantings', IMO. Spruces do good at branches intermingling for windbreaks, too. There's poplars that work good (& *fast*!!!), but not evergreen, of course. Drive around your area and see what's around you as it is a great indicator for what will live (or won't)... Will these trees have kids skateboarding into them (or other activity into branches, etc)? If so, you'll want something that will grow new branchings Redcedar typically won't, fwiw...


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