Crimson Queen Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum dissectum
While most Japanese Maples are stump grafted to help make their roots stronger and more secure, this tree has a significant graft. The Dwarf Crimson Queen Japanese Maple was grafted to a much larger maple stump and has grown to a height of 14 feet and over 12 feet wide. Typically, this species of maple only grows to about 10 feet high over 20 years or more. This spectacular specimen with its bright red leaves that remain for most of the fall is one of the main features in our rock garden. The bark and leaves are so sweet that we constantly have to fight to keep the squirrels and deer from nibbling on the tree. It is a fair amount of work, but we think this tree is worth the effort.
Dwarf Eastern Hemlock
Tsuga canadensis "Hussi"
The little stand of hemlocks in our front rock garden are only a little over 4 feet tall so they look like very young trees. In fact, they are loaded with tiny pinecones and since Hemlocks do not put out pinecones until they are about 15 years old, these are at least 30 years old. Hemlocks grow well in forests because they do not require much sun, but will also grow well in full sun. This dwarf hemlock variety grows very slowly to a height of three to four feet and a width of about three feet. For the past several years Eastern Hemlocks have been under attack by an aphid-like insect from Asia called a Woolly Adelgid and have been dying by the thousands despite efforts by various groups to treat these beautiful trees. Guy and I love these trees enough that we took a class to learn how to treat and plant them.
Dwarf Scots Pine
Native to both Northern Europe and Asia, this pine was cultivated to be compact, and ours has been pruned in a Japanese style. We cut the candles back every spring to keep it about the same size and shape. It is at least 40 years old.
Picea abies "Acrocona" Norway Spruce
This unusual evergreen has raspberry-red cones in the spring and beautiful spruce needles. We added it to the nursery garden to highlight some of the other dwarf trees. It was expensive so we bought a 3-gallon size, and will feature it in a large ceramic pot. It will eventually grow to about 10 feet tall and will be moved from the pot directly into the ground. It requires well-drained soil and good air flow.
Dwarf Hinoki Cypress
Chamaecyparis obtusa "Nana Gracilis"
This gorgeous deep green evergreen makes a wonderful garden feature. It is slow growing and thrives in partial to full sun, needing no pruning, so it is very easy to maintain. It will grow three to six feet high and two to four feet wide, but is very slow growing. One of the three we have in our yard is planted in a large pot in our front garden and pruned in the Japanese style. The deer do not enjoy the taste of this evergreen so it happily presides over a number of smaller and younger more common garden shrubs that the deer actually do seem to enjoy.
Whipcord Western Red Cedar
Thuja plicata "Whipcord", "Iseli Introduction"
This is a new dwarf in our rock garden. We took out several large cryptomeria and have created a nursery of eight new evergreens. This plant is from the family of the giant forest tree, the “Western Red Cedar”. Whipcord has drooping glossy foliage that looks somewhat like a mop head. It is slow growing and never gets larger than four feet high and four feet wide.