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Explore the ConiferBase:

The ConiferBase is ACS’s proprietary database, full of conifer information, photographs and statistics. Members are encouraged to add their own pictures and offer commentary and suggested edits to the individual conifer records.  Click here to learn more about becoming a member of the American Conifer Society.  Get on base!

Learn About Conifers

Designing with Conifers

The uses of conifers in the landscape are limited only by the imagination. The strong silhouettes of many compact, slow-growing conifers can accent a corner of a garden bed, frame a doorway or add winter interest to perennial and annual flower beds. Learn More

Conifer Videos

Our Society’s mission is the development, conservation and propagation of conifers – with an emphasis on those that are dwarf or unusual -and educating the public about these fascinating trees. We hope these videos will inspire you to get involved with conifers – and The American Conifer Society! Learn More

USDA Zones

Using records of the lowest winter temperatures across the country, the United States Department of Agriculture maps that data against a plant’s known cold hardiness to create a color-coded picture of the country divided into 11 zones. These zones are used to guide the purchases of plants that will survive winter temperatures in your geographical area. Learn More

Conifer Sizes and Growth Rates

ACS has established four size categories for conifers- Miniature, Dwarf, Intermediate and Large – to aid in landscape design. Once established, these plants’ growth may vary some due to cultural, climatic and geographical conditions but these registered cultivars have, through trials and succeeding generations, maintained their described size. The individual plant records in the ACS Conifer Database contain this information. Learn More

Conifer Shapes

Conifer does not necessarily mean conical. These trees range in size and shape from giants of the forest to plants that are as flat as a pancake (i.e.,Juniperus horizontalis ‘Pancake’.) Their different growth habits give landscape designers many elements to work with. Learn More

Conifer Colors

While most conifers exhibit some shade of green, these hues can change during the season in many cultivars. Some exhibit various patterns of yellow and creamy white variegation in their needles but the new growth, the bark and the cones provide other color interest. Learn More

Division Hierarchy

Conifers, like all living things, have been grouped by scientists to better understand their place in the world. Plant taxonomy attempts to identify and classify all plants in relation to all other plants by an acute examination of a plant’s individual characteristics. However, taxonomy is a science always in flux as new technologies allow for the examination of plants at microscopic — even molecular — levels. Learn More

Conifer Origins

According to paleobotanists who study fossil plants, the first conifers appeared over 300 million years ago in parts of Europe and North America. However, most taxonomists working on plant nomenclature today are more concerned with the written record of a species or cultivar and that may only go back to the 19th century and the great era of plant exploration. Learn More

Horticultural Statuses

As noted elsewhere, nomenclature is a hotly debated topic in plant taxonomy, a science that, itself, is always in flux. More as a courtesy to professionals, the Conifer Database records contain a data field, called Status, that indicates the state of a plant’s provenance with a botanical registry. Learn More

Additional Resources
This is available to logged-in ACS members only. If you are a member and wish to view this information, please log in. If you are having problems logging in, please email If you’re not a member, join! We’d love to share conifer lore with you.

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