Considering Columnar Trees

During Tree Week, the Missouri Botanical Garden is celebrating its large and diverse collection of trees. It may also inspire you to consider adding more trees to your home landscaping. 

If you have a smaller space, you might want to consider columnar trees. Columnar trees are characterized by being taller than they are wide at maturity and having upward facing branches that are nearly parallel to the trunk.Their narrow shape makes them ideal for small spaces and urban locations.

Here are a few you may consider adding to your landscape.

Regal Prince Oak Tree

These trees offer the timeless beauty and hardiness of oaks without the enormous canopy spread. Like most columnar oaks, the “long” regal prince oak  is a hybrid selection of English oak. It reaches up to 60 feet tall and 25 feet wide at maturity.

These oaks are easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. 

‘Columnaris’ sargent cherry

The ‘Columnaris’ variety of sargent cherry has upward sweeping branches and will reach up to 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide at maturity. Its attractive clusters of pink flowers that bloom in spring make it an excellent choice for beautifying your yard. 

The sargent cherry can grow in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. 

Taylor Juniper

This variety of juniper is a great choice if you are looking for a narrow, upright evergreen that will do well in the St. Louis area. Mature trees reach up to 20 feet tall and only 4 feet wide. Its berry-like cones are attractive to many birds.

Taylor junipers are easily grown in average, dry to moist, well-drained soils in full sun. They can tolerate a wide range of soils and growing conditions.

‘Fastigiata’ Maidenhair Tree 

Many columnar selections of trees will include the name “fastigiata” as either the form or cultivar name. This comes from the Latin fastigium, meaning “peak.” This ‘Fastigiata’ is a male selection of maidenhair tree that will reach up to 50 feet tall and 15 feet wide at maturity. 

This variety of maidenhair is easily grown in average, medium moisture soil in full sun. It prefers moist, sandy, well-drained soils. 

For guidance on the best techniques for tree planting, check out our blog on planting a new tree.

Catherine Martin
Public Information Officer

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