Dwarf Conifer Collection



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The Dwarf Conifer Collection features some of the most unusual trees at Denver Botanic Gardens. These trees are mutants, selected for their unique genetics that make them wildly different sizes, shapes and colors from their more common forms.

Even though some of these trees are very small and others are very big, all are considered to be dwarf. The term “dwarf ” doesn’t refer to the size of a tree, but rather the tree’s growth rate. A tree is considered dwarf when it only grows between one and six inches every year, meaning that over time, even a dwarf conifer can become very large.

Many of the trees in the Dwarf Conifer Collection are native to the Rocky Mountains and were donated from the personal collection of Jerry Morris, an American horticulturist who has discovered and propagated hundreds of unique conifer mutations from Intermountain West. These trees are already adapted to the difficult growing conditions of Colorado making them particularly vigorous and well suited for the Gardens.

The Dwarf Conifer Collection was first planted in 2002 on the slope facing the Birds and Bees Walk. In 2004, the collection was expanded to include the west facing slope. The Dwarf Conifer Collection offers exceptional year-round interest including color, texture and winter interest. In addition to dwarf conifers, this garden also includes many low-growing perennials and spring-blooming bulbs. During your visit be sure to take note of the dwarf scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris 'Glauca Compacta'), a Colorado State Champion Tree.

For a list of plants in the Dwarf Conifer Collection, click here.

Dwarf Conifer Collection Gallery - Click Images to Enlarge

Images © Denver Botanic Gardens

Dwarf Conifer Collection in December
Dwarf Conifer Collection in December
Dwarf Conifer Collection after a hard freeze, Nov. 21, 2014
Dwarf Conifer Collection after a hard freeze, Nov. 21, 2014
Dwarf Conifer Collection in November 2018
Dwarf Conifer Collection in November 2018
Dwarf Conifer Collection in November 2023
Dwarf Conifer Collection in November 2023

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Location Map for Dwarf Conifer Collection Map Help

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Photography © Denver Botanic Gardens

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