Conifer Growth Habits (a.k.a. Shape)
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.
Here is the key to some examples of conifer growth habits found in the Conifer Database.
|Broad Upright or Oval|
|Columnar: a gradually tapering column.|
|Conical: sometimes called pyramidal, although a true pyramid has a square base which can only be achieved with strict pruning.|
|Cushion or Bun Shaped|
|Globose: globe-like or rounded in general outline.|
|Mounding: with varying degrees of arching, weeping branches.|
|Narrow Upright: much taller than broad; includes plants referred to as fastigiate, columnar, narrowly pyramidal or narrowly conical.|
|Prostrate: ground-hugging, carpeting plants without an inclination to grow upward.|
|Spreading: wider than tall.|
|Symmetrical: regular, neat branching and foliage.|
|Irregular: uniquely erratic growth pattern.|
|Culturally Altered: pruned or trained into formal or imaginative shapes, such as high grafts or standards.|