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Looking into getting a conifer

Hi there, I'm looking to build up a small rockery and as a centrepiece I'd like to plant a conifer. However my concern is that as the garden is only about 5-6 metres across at the most (with fences either side) that this won't be enough room for the roots to spread safely - i.e. without causing problems to the fencing and other structures nearby. I'm prepared that the conifer would need regular maintenance and would likely only want to keep it to a maximum height of around a metre which I imagine would help with keeping the roots contained. Cheers, Andrew


  • Shoxt3rShoxt3r Posts: 196

    Thanks for the help! Hmm it seems that growing something that goes outwards rather than upwards is the way to go for rockeries then? I like the sound of the Coppershine. Unfortunately it doesn't seem as though many places have them within the local area but I'll keep an eye out for them.

    What would be your opinion on me getting a Monterey Cypress Goldcrest? Would this be a suitable shrub for rockeries or would one of the other varieties you mentioned be a better option?

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,138

    Monterey Cyprus goldcrest can grow up to 40ft tall (12m).  Not what you need image

    I'm sure Verdun can suggest a reliable online supplier or two who will have the plants you need image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • If you want to stunt its growth plant whatever it is you like- rather than what doesn't grow aggressively etc.- in a tub, i.e. build it into the rockery.  It shouldn't need to be too big to restrict it to around a metre and it'll be almost maintenance free!.

  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,525

    As Tetley says, look for "Nana" in the name. This has nothing to do with Zola's novel and everything to do with size, in this case small. My favourite, just for the name alone, is Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana Gracilis', or look on this RHS page for dwarf conifers.

    There are plenty out there that will not grow into forest trees.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,572

    Picea glauca Albertiana Conica springs to mind

  • Shoxt3rShoxt3r Posts: 196

    Great, thanks for the suggestions - will be on the lookout for "nanas", "yews", crypotomerias and junipers! image

    Good suggestion about building it into a tub, Bob. Assume it's unlikely that the roots will grow up and out of a least not for a good while?

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,572

    Verdun, I don't doubt you for a moment,but I've never seen red spider mite outside.

  • Good suggestion about building it into a tub, Bob. Assume it's unlikely that the roots will grow up and out of a least not for a good while?


    I think you'd be good for several decades with any half-decent tub.  You can always make a concrete one yourself when building the rockery (don't forget a drainage hole) if you're worried a plastic tub might fail!

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