Some conifers perform well in the Southeastern U.S. while others struggle, if barely survive. A Blue Spruce that may only take 2 years to become well established in northerly climates may take 5 or more years in this part of the south. For the more northerly climate conifers such as Spruce and Fir, warm summers and heavy clay soils in the southeast region, particularly wet clay soils, are the biggest enemy. High nighttime air temperatures, along with increased soil temperatures lead to increased respiration rates. When clay soils are wet, air pockets are filled with water. Therefore, the soil does not provide the oxygen level that the root system demands, due to the plants increased respiration rate. The end result is root death, and an undesirable or dead tree. When planting conifers in the south which are generally suited to northern climates, these conditions must be taken in to consideration. Proper siting combined with proper planting becomes critical. This applies to those areas of the southern region, outside of the Appalachian Mountain region and below 2500 feet in elevation, minimum. Growing conditions of hot/humid summers and mild winters found in such areas as the Coastal Plain, is not conducive to the cooler season conifers. In general, except for Momi Fir and Nikko Fir, the success of the majority of Fir in the southeast region is non existent. Many people like to push the envelope so to speak, including I, and try plants removed from their region. I've seen a Blue Spruce (if one could truly call it that), in Beaufort, South Carolina, the heart of the Lowcountry. Many things can be done if one wants to put forth the effort, albeit not with the success that nature can. Whether it lives or not it's still a learning experience, and that's what this journey is about. Many conifers are slow growing, measured in just a few inches per year. Patience is a necessity, but the rewards are great.

Background photo - Conifers surrounding the administration building at Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Ky.

Botanical Name

 Abies firma

Abies homolepis

Cedrus deodara

Cedrus deodara 'Albospica'

Cedrus deodara 'Aurea' 

Cedrus deodara 'Kashmir' 

Cedrus deodara 'Shalimar'

Cedrus deodara 'Silver Mist'

Cedrus deodara 'White Imp'

Cedrus libana (ssp. atlantica) glauca

Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula'

Cedrus atlantica 'Fastigiata'

Cedrus libani 'Nama'

Cedrus libani pendula

Cedrus libani brevifolia

Cedrus libani var. stenacoma

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula'

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Green Arros'

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Van de Akker'

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Crippsii'

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Compacta'

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Kerdalo'

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Pyramidalis'

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Boulevard'

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Filifera Aurea'

Chamaecyparis thyoides 'Blue Sport'

Cryptomeria japonica 'Sekkan Sugi'

Cryptomeria japonica 'Vilmoriniana'

Cunninghamia lanceolata 'Glauca'

Cuppressus arixonica var. glabra 'Blue Ice'

Cuppressus arizonica 'Blue Sapphire'

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba 'Autumn Gold'

Ginkgo biloba 'Magyar'

Glyptostrobus pensilis

Juniperus chinensis 'Torulosa'

Juniperus scopulorum 'Tollesons'

Juniperus virginiana

Larix kaempferi

Metasequoia glyptostroboides

Picea abies

Picea abies Pendula

Picea abies 'Remontii'

Picea glauca 'Sanders Blue'

Pinus x hakkodensis

Pinus nigra var. nigra

Picea omorika

Pinus densiflora 'Umbraculifera'

Pinus elliotti

Pinus flexilis 'Vanderwolf Pyramid'

Pinus flexilis 'Glenmore'

Pinus pinea

Pinus strobus

Pinus strobus 'Pendula'

Pinus sylvestris 'French Blue'

Pinus sylvestris 'Mitsch Weeping'

Pinus taeda

Pinus thunbergiana

Pinus virginiana

Pseudolarix amabilis

Taxodium ascendens

Taxodium distichum

Taxodium distichum 'Cascade Falls'

Thuja occidentalis 'Filiformis'

Thuja plicata

Thuja x 'Green Giant'

Thuja plicata 'Stoneham Gold'

Tsuga canadensis 'Golden Splendor'

x Cuppressocyparis leylandii

x Cuppressocyparis leylandii 'Post Sentinal'

x Cuppressocyparis leylandii 'Caslewellan'

x Cuppressocyparis leylandii 'Naylors Blue'

Common Name

Momi, or Japanese Fir

Nikko Fir

Deodar Cedar

White tipped Deodar Cedar

Golden Deodar Cedar (Possibly 'Well's Golden'? but was labelled 'Aurea'

'Kashmir' Deodar Cedar

'Shalimar' Deodar Cedar

'Silver Mist' Deodar Cedar

'White Imp' Deodar Cedar

Blue Atlas Cedar

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar

Upright Blue Atlas Cedar

Dwarf Cedar of Lebanon

Weeping Cedar of Lebanon

Cyprus Cedar

Hardy Cedar of Lebanon

Weeping Alaska Cedar

'Green Arrow' Alaska Cedar

'Van den Akker' Alaska Cedar

'Crippsii' Hinoki Falsecypress

Hinoki Falsecypress cultivar

Hinoki Falsecypress cultivar

Hinoke Falsecypress cultivar

Boulevard Japanese Falsecypress

Golden Threadleaf Falsecypress

'Blue Sport' Atlantic Whitecedar

Japance Cryptomeria cult.

Japanese Cryptomeria cult.

Blue Chinafir

'Blue Ice' Arizona Cypress

'Blue Sapphire' Arizon Cypress


'Autumn Gold' Ginkgo

'Magyar' Ginkgo

Chinese Swamp Cypress

Hollywood Juniper

Tolleson's Blue Weeping Juniper

Easter Red Cedar

Japanese Larch

Dawn Redwood

Norway Spruce

Weeping Norway Spruce

Norway Spruce cultivar

'Sanders Blue' Dwarf Alberta Spruce


Austrian Pine

Serbian Spruce

Tanyosho Pine

Slash Pine

Limber Pine cultivar

'Glenmore' Limber Pine

Italian Stone Pine

Eastern White Pine

Weeping White Pine

French Blue Scotch Pine

'Mitsch's Weeping' Scotch Pine

Loblolly Pine

Japanese Black Pine

Scrub Pine

Golden Larch

Pond Cypress

Bald Cypress

'Cascade Falls' Weeping Bald Cypress

Weeping Threadleaf Arborvitae

Western Arborvitae

'Green Giant' Arborvitae

Western Arborvitae cultivar

Canadian Hemlock cultivar

Leyland Cypress

'Post Sentinal' Leyland Cypress

'Castlewellan' Leyland Cypress

'Naylor's Blue' Leyland Cypress