The Best Dwarf Evergreen Trees to Plant in Your Backyard (2023)

Dwarf Evergreen Trees
Dwarf Evergreen Trees

You’ve come to the right place if you want dwarf evergreen trees that stay naturally short, don’t need much care other than watering, and stay green all winter long. It might seem too good to be true to find all of these qualities in a single tree, but it’s not.

In fact, there are a lot of dwarf evergreen trees that give gardeners with small spaces all of these benefits and more. They are also good choices for people who don’t want to spend their weekends cutting back overgrown plants. Before I tell you about 15 of my favorite small evergreen pot trees, let’s look at what these plants can do for you.

Why should you plant small evergreen trees?

Putting in a few small evergreen trees in your yard and garden can help you in many ways.

Their naturally tight shape means that they don’t need much, if any, pruning to stay short.

Because they stay green all year, you’ll always have color and texture in your garden.

Dwarf evergreen trees are great for privacy because they don’t get too big.

Because these plants are small, they are easy to plant. You don’t have to fight with a big root ball or long branches.

Dwarf evergreens give birds a place to stay during the winter, and the ones that make cones also give them food.

The low-maintenance, compact evergreen trees on this list can grow in a wide range of conditions. This makes them good options for people who don’t have much time to take care of their plants.

The Best Dwarf Evergreen Trees to Plant on Your Backyard

Even though there are lots of small evergreens for small gardens, these 15 are the best ones I’ve worked with. As a gardener, I see many evergreen trees and bushes that are worth growing. But the plants on this list are some of the best small-statured ones that home gardeners can buy.

Picea Pungens ‘The Blues’ Weeping Colorado Spruce

This beautiful and very hardy weeping blue spruce variety is a real show-stopper. Even though it grows quickly, it only gets up to 10 feet tall and between 5 and 10 feet wide. The blue-green needles are close together on branches that hang down. The Blues is hardy down to -50°F and is one of the dwarf evergreen trees that deer don’t like. It does best in full sun, but it can also handle some shade.

Hinoki Cypress

A dense, slow-growing evergreen with soft needles and a sort of pyramidal shape.

Blue Wonder Blue Spruce

dwarf evergreen trees
Source: Fast Growing Trees

This cute little spruce can survive temperatures as low as -40°F. It has lovely blue-gray leaves and a nice, tight shape. This dwarf evergreen is a great substitute for dwarf Alberta spruce, and it also looks great in winter containers. Slowly growing to 6 feet tall, ‘Blue Wonder’ is only 3 feet wide when it’s fully grown, and its shape is naturally dense and cone-shaped.

Dwarf Balsam Fir

This compact plant should be on every list of dwarf evergreen trees. It is a round, short fir with lush needles. This variety can handle temperatures down to -40°F and grows slowly, so it’s great for people who don’t have the time or desire to prune their shrubs often. Like other balsam firs, this small one has dark green needles and branches that are close to each other. After many years of growth, it is 5 to 6 feet wide.

Chalet Swiss Stone Pine

I’ve always liked Swiss Stone pines, and this dwarf variety is no exception. “Chalet” has a lot to offer when it comes to dwarf evergreen trees. This small evergreen tree grows slowly and has a beautiful shape. It looks like a column and has many branches. This small evergreen has long, blue-green needles that give it a soft look. The ‘Chalet’ is a great choice because it can survive temperatures as low as -40°F. It grows to be 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide.

Tip Top Dwarf Swiss Stone Pine

So, to show that I wasn’t kidding when I said I liked Swiss Stone pines, here’s another type of these dwarf evergreen trees that are good for small gardens.

Dwarf Serbian Spruce

Source: Evans Nursery

This compact evergreen tree is a great choice for small garden beds and foundation plantings because it grows in a dense way and stays small. This dwarf form, like other Serbian spruces, has green needles with white stripes on the undersides. This gives the tree a soft look. Dwarf Serbian spruce grows slowly and only gets 3 to 5 feet tall and as wide at its tallest point. It does well in garden zones with winter temperatures as low as -30 degrees F. Shaped like a loose pyramid, and no pruning is needed.

Green Spire Euonymus

“Green Spire” euonymus can survive winters down to -10 degrees and behaves well, giving it a more formal look than some other options. The shiny, green leaves can be used to make a narrow hedge or screen. This naturally narrow shrub can grow up to 6 to 8 feet tall and only 1 to 2 feet wide. It also grows quickly.

Green Arrow Weeping Alaska Cedar

Green Arrow is one of the best narrow evergreen trees for small yards and gardens. It is tall and thin. “Green Arrow” has the thinnest trunk of all the weeping Alaska cedars. With a height of 20 feet and a width of 1 foot, you might not think of it as a dwarf, but its very small footprint makes it perfect for even the smallest backyards. The leaves on the weeping branches are soft and look like fans. “Green Arrow” is a great addition to the garden because it can survive temperatures as low as -20°F in the winter.

Dwarf Scotch Pine Green Penguin

When you see “Green Penguin,” you’ll understand why it’s called that. It’s a dwarf evergreen that is both big and neat. This dwarf scotch pine is very unique because its new growth looks like feathers and its old growth looks like long needles. It has a thick, pyramidal shape that never needs to be pruned, and it can handle temperatures as low as -40 degrees F. The tallest it can get is 6 feet, and it’s as wide as it is tall.

Dwarf Japanese Black Pine

Source: Calloway’s Nursery

This needled evergreen can survive temperatures as low as -20°F and only grows to be 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Its narrow growth habit and the way its new growth stands up straight in the spring make it a good choice for a hedge.

Dwarf White Spruce North Star

This small evergreen tree has a pyramidal shape and is covered with green needles. It is very hardy. “North Star” can grow up to 5 to 10 feet tall and 4 feet wide, and it can handle temperatures as low as -50 degrees Fahrenheit. It grows best in full to partial sun and needs little or no pruning to keep its shape. “North Star” is one of the best dwarf evergreen trees you can buy. It is easy to grow and can live in all but the wettest soils.

Upright Japanese Plum Yew

This evergreen with broad needles can survive temperatures as low as -10 degrees F. It grows straight up and thin to a maximum height of 8 feet and width of 3 feet. Even though it doesn’t have flowers, the Japanese plum yew has dark green needles that are close together on upright branches that look like bottlebrushes. The length of each needle is about 2 inches. It does best in full or partial sun, but in the hot southern summer, it likes to be in the shade in the afternoon.

Little Gem Dwarf Southern Magnolia

This small southern magnolia is lush and pretty, just like its bigger cousins. Traditional southern magnolias also have glossy, dark green leaves, but these ones are smaller. From late spring through summer, this dwarf evergreen columnar tree is covered with large, fragrant white flowers. In cooler places, there may be a second bloom in the fall. At full size, he stood 20 feet tall.


It’s hard to argue against the beauty, variety, and ease of care of these dwarf evergreen trees. There’s no doubt that giving one or more of them a place to live in your garden pays off all year long.

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