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Crazy for conifers

  • Written by Molbaks

When you hear the word conifer, what do you think of? Aromatic cedars, needle-heavy pines, or perhaps one of the many firs that cover our countryside?

Here in the Pacific Northwest, land of the tall trees, we tend to take conifers a little for granted, and sometimes forget how varied and dramatic these plants can be.

Conifers are a garden staple at Molbak’s. Often called the "backbone" of landscape design, they bring four seasons of color and texture to your yard. And contrary to popular belief, they aren’t just green anymore. You can choose from a wide array of colors: steely- blue, bold gold, vibrant plum and needles iced with snowy-white, many with textured bark and bold, vivid cones that add a splash of color that can change with the seasons.

Conifers come in many sizes, from mini to mighty.  And they grow in a variety of silhouettes — round, weeping, arching and spreading — so whether you use them for tall accents, as background, hedging, as low edging, in containers or even as groundcovers you will find that there is indeed a conifer for every spot.

And the best thing about conifers is that for the most part, they are low maintenance and drought tolerant. Once established, they are largely plant-and-forget shrubs and trees. That’s right – no pruning!

When you are looking to add conifers to your yard, we suggest you take a look at some of these distinctive types we have in our nursery.

Native to Japan, Hinoki cypress are beautiful additions to Pacific Northwest gardenscapes. Unfurling ruffled fans of lacy, textured foliage in gold, plum, white or green, these easy-care conifers come in heights from tiny to tall and a variety of silhouettes. One of the more unusual varieties is "Chirimen," a rare Hinoki cypress  named after Japanese silk.

Cryptomerias are another Japanese native that thrive in our area. These carefree evergreens spread delicate, fine needles in shades of green that change color with the seasons. Accents of red, shredded bark and tiny cones add a mix of texture and dimension. Choose from a variety of silhouettes, from mounding shrubs that are soft to the touch to tall, airy trees. 

Robust Korean firs are prized for their curved, thick needles in shades of green, gold and silver that are arranged in spirals around their branches. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of these easy-care conifers are their large bold purple or red upright cones accented with golden winged seedpods, standing at the end of their branches. One favorite variety is "Silberlocke," boasting elegant silvery needles and large purple cones.

Of course, Molbak’s stocks endless varieties of your other conifer favorites – firs, spruces, yews, pines, junipers and more, most sun-loving, and some for the shade – and all easy to grow and care for. So when you are ready for some carefree color and texture – Go Crazy for Conifers.

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Want to learn more?

March 1, 10-11am

Molbak’s FREE SEMINAR:  Crazy for Conifers

Featuring Jock Demme, Iseli Nursery

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