Columnar Tree Collection

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Columnar Tree Collection

Indiscriminately planting a tree without considering the true context of its growth and habit can lead to determental problems years down the road. Many homeowners want to plant a tree next to their house or yard for the shade, privacy, or aesthic appeal they provide but permanent buildings, property lines, and nearby powerlines inhibit the possibility. One of the most interesting and useful growth habits for locations such as those previously mentioned is the fastigiate or columnar growth form. Though fastigiate (10:1) and columnar (5:1)  differ slightly in height to width ratios, they are in reality variations to a similiar theme; their narrow and upright growth habit is accompanied by the ability of their side branches to extend vertically for better light absorbtion.

Columnar trees are best used in one of two ways; either grouped in multiples for a vertical screen or as a specimen plant for sculpturesque interest. Because of their narrow growth habit, groupings of columnar trees are planted closer together. When planted in a row, the minimum length of the planting is recommended to be around 1.5 the mature height of the tree itself. Therefore, a columnar tree maturing to a height of 40 feet would need a 60 foot run of trees. As a specimen plant, columnar trees can provide a focal point to the landscape, in addition to provide shade around foundation beds, entryway gardens, or island plantings.

The arboretum established the columnar tree collection in 2017 with the planting of two memorial trees. Future development of this collection has gained increased interest of our visitors and guests.

*This collection page was last updated on June 3, 2019.