For the purpose of this list, I shall define columnar shrubs as woody plants that are multi-branching low to the ground, and are, in general, shorter than 15-20′ in height but much less wide (maybe not more than 6′ wide). There are lots of ‘column’ shaped plants that are much larger. Like Incense Cedar and Sequoia, for example. But we consider them to be trees, not shrubs.

For SUNNIER Situations

Botanical Name Common Name Attributes*
Buxus sempervirens 'Graham Blandy' Columnar Boxwood E,F
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Barry's Silver' Barry's Silver Port Orford Cedar E
Chamaecyparis lawsoniana' Blue Surprise' Blue Surprise Port Orford Cedar E
Chamaecyparis nootktensis 'Jubilee' Jubilee Alaskan Cedar E,N
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Gracilis' Slender Hinoki False Cypress E
Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Splitrock' Splitrock Hinoki False Cypress E
Cupressus macrocarpa 'Karoonda' Karoonda Monterey Cypress E
Cupressus sempervirens 'Tiny Tower' Tiny Tower Dwarf Italian Cypress E
Cupressus sempervirens 'Totem' Totem Dwarf Italian Cypress E
Juniperus chinensis 'Blue Point' Blue Point Chinese Juniper E
Juniperus scopulorum 'Blue Arrow' Blue Arrow Rky. Mtn. Juniper E
Juniperus scopulorum 'Blue Heaven' Blue Heaven Rky. Mtn. Juniper E
Juniperus scopulorum 'Skyrocket' Skyrocket Rky. Mtn. Juniper E
Picea glauca pendula Weeping White Spruce E
Picea pungens fastigiata 'Wells Blue' Wells' Blue Totem Colo. Blue Spruce E
Taxus x media 'Bean Pole' Bean Pole Yew E,Ft
Tsuga canadensis 'Stranger' Stranger Hemlock E
*Attribute Codes: D=Deciduous; E=Evergreen; S=Semi-evergreen; N=Native; B=Bulb; F=Flowers; Fg=Fragrance; Ft=Fruit

For SHADIER Situations

Botanical Name Common Name Attributes*
Buxus sempervirens 'Graham Blandy' Columnar Boxwood E,F
Taxus x media 'Bean Pole' Bean Pole Yew E,Ft
Tsuga canadensis 'Stranger' Stranger Hemlock E
*Attribute Codes: D=Deciduous; E=Evergreen; S=Semi-evergreen; N=Native; B=Bulb; F=Flowers; Fg=Fragrance; Ft=Fruit

For information on understanding and using these plant lists see The Guide.

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