6 favorite conifers and the cones they produce

6 favorite conifers and the cones they produce

In a great deal of the state, much of the landscape goes barren from slide by way of spring. Evergreens are commonly the workhorse vegetation that carry us by.

But not all evergreens are designed equivalent. A subset termed conifers supply not only yr-round greenery but ornamental cones that command interest, feed birds (and from time to time human beings), and can be used for crafts.

“Conifers are the cornerstone of the landscape and supply wonderful elegance and functionality,” Vincent A. Simeone, horticulturist and community yard director, advised me. And he really should know: Simeone is the writer of “Great Landscape Evergreens” (Chicago Assessment Push), a 2008 manual to much more than 80 species of trees and shrubs that can be applied in borders, or as hedges, environmentally friendly fences, privacy screens or to cover unwanted views.

Outlined as trees or shrubs that bear cones, conifers have “thin, needle-like foliage and normally a dense habit that can be powerful as a specimen, display screen or tall hedge,” he mentioned.

“There are many common conifers, as perfectly as a couple of lesser-acknowledged species, that current wonderful-textured foliage ranging from loaded inexperienced to blue green to gold. Conifers add a unique textural excellent that provides 4 seasons of landscape desire.”

And their cones are as assorted as the trees by themselves. Right here are six of Simeone’s favourite conifers suited for American gardens. Look at planting a person or far more for extraordinary off-time curiosity.

1. Jap white pine (Pinus strobus), hardy in zones 3-7, has 4- to 7-inch cylindrical, curved pine cones that give an critical wintertime meals supply to chickadees, finches, woodpeckers and other birds.

2. Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis), hardy in zones 3-7, displays 4- to 6-inch-very long “robust” brown pine cones. Within just each individual cone, you’ll obtain tasty pine nuts. Roast them for a take care of.

3. Himalayan pine (Pinus wallichiana), hardy in zones 5-7, delivers “very large, robust banana-formed light brown cones, reaching among 6 and 10 inches prolonged,” Simeone explained. They’re not only attractive in the backyard and on the mantle, but also present a superior meals source for birds, he explained.

4. Korean fir (Abies koreana), hardy in zones 5-7, displays targeted traffic-halting “violet-purple cones that stand straight up on the major 50 percent of the tree,” Simeone claimed. “The blend of foliage and cone screen is fantastic.”

5. Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis) is greatly adaptable, with optimum functionality in zones 4-7. Simeone mentioned “the ideal characteristics of this decorative are the male flowers, which are carmine pink and resemble strawberries, followed by 2- to 4-inch extended purple cones that flip brown when they experienced.”

6. Eastern crimson cedar (Juniperus virginiana), hardy in zones 3-9, is “dioecious,” which signifies there are separate male and female trees inside of the species. The girls, Simeone mentioned, show “bunches of silvery gray, fleshy fruit that are not only decorative but a superior supply of foodstuff for birds these as cedar waxwings.”


Jessica Damiano writes common gardening columns for The Linked Press. She publishes the award-successful Weekly Dust E-newsletter. Signal up right here for weekly gardening tips and advice.

For far more AP gardening stories, go to https://apnews.com/hub/gardening.