A conifer is a tree or shrub that bears cones, usually with needle-shaped or scale-like leaves. All are woody plants, and many are evergreen. Selecting coniferous trees for zone 8 can be difficult – not because there is a shortage, but because there are so many beautiful trees from which to choose. Read on for information on growing conifers in zone 8.
Growing Conifers in Zone 8
There are countless benefits to growing conifers in zone 8. Many provide beauty throughout the bleak months of winter. Some provide a barrier for wind and sound, or a screen that shields the landscape from less attractive landscape elements. Conifers provide much needed shelter for birds and wildlife.
Although conifers are easy to grow, some zone 8 conifer varieties also create a fair share of cleanup. Keep in mind that some zone 8 conifer trees drop a lot of cones and others may drip sticky pitch.
When selecting coniferous trees for zone 8, be sure to factor in the mature size of the tree. Dwarf conifers may be the way to go if you’re short on space.
Zone 8 Conifer Varieties
Choosing conifers for zone 8 can be daunting at first since there are many conifers for zone 8 to choose from, but here are a few suggestions to help get you started.
Australian pine is a tall, pyramidal tree that reaches heights of up to 100 feet (34 m.).
Scotch pine is a good choice for difficult areas, including cold, damp, or rocky soil. This tree grows to a height of about 50 feet (15 m.).
White spruce is valued for its silvery green needles. This versatile tree may attain heights of 100 feet (30 m.) but is often much shorter in the garden.
Montgomery spruce is a short, rounded, silvery green conifer that reaches mature heights of 6 feet (2 m.).
Coast redwood is a relatively fast-growing conifer that eventually reaches heights of up to 80 feet (24 m.). This is a classic redwood with thick, red bark.
Dawn redwood is a deciduous type of conifer that drops its needles in autumn. Maximum height is about 100 feet (30 m.).
Bald cypress is a long-lived deciduous conifer that tolerates a range of conditions, including either dry or wet soil. Mature height is 50 to 75 feet (15-23 m.).
Leyland cypress is a fast-growing, bright green tree that reaches heights of about 50 feet (15 m.).
Deodar cedar is a pyramidal tree with grayish green foliage and graceful, arching branches. This tree reaches heights of 40 to 70 feet (12-21 m.).
Cedar of Lebanon is a slow-growing tree that eventually attains heights of 40 to 70 feet (12-21 m.). Color is bright green.
Himalayan fir is an attractive, shade friendly tree that grows to heights of nearly 100 feet (30 m.).
Silver fir is an enormous tree that can reach heights of more than 200 feet (61 m).
Standish yew is a yellow, columnar shrub that tops out at about 18 inches (46 cm.).
Pacific yew is a small tree that reaches a mature height of about 40 feet (12 m.). Native to the Pacific Northwest, it prefers temperate, moist climates.