Conifers are trees and shrubs that produce cones, although that does not apply to all trees in this category. The foliage is commonly needle shaped and some species bear fruit (yews).

Conifers come in many shapes and sizes. They are smallest and tallest types of trees in the world. Their wide range of colors and textures provides beautiful seasonal interest. Conifers are commonly labeled as evergreens, meaning that the plant keeps it foliage year round. There some exceptions to this rule. The Larch genus drops its needles during the winter and explodes with baby soft needles in the spring.

Conifer trees vary so wildly that it’s difficult to access reliable information as reference books often conflict with one another, but here are some identifiers we’ve learned through our many years of experience.


The range between coniferous trees is so large that there is no specific height associated with coniferous trees. They can be as small as 12 inches at maturity or a towering 100’ or more. Conifers are produced from seeds or grafted onto rootstock grown from seed.

At our nursery garden center you will find various dwarf and unusual conifers that are best suited for your home garden plants.


Most coniferous trees prefer areas with good drainage as they may suffer from root diseases when surrounded by too much moisture. Most varieties prefer full sun and acidic soil. Some conifer varieties that have yellow needles prefer afternoon shade. Many conifers have only one growth spurt annually which makes them perfect for smaller gardens. In fact, unneeded pruning causes more problems that just letting it mature with little interference.

When decided on adding a conifer to your landscaping design, consider that large trees are known to compete for water sources with surrounding plants and will likely become the bully of the garden, hindering nearby growth if not well watered.

Additionally, use chemicals, like herbicides, sparingly. Unlike deciduous trees, coniferous trees are not able to shed their leaves and go dormant in times of stress and are, therefore, more susceptible to harm.