Botanical name: Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Nana Gracilis’
What it is: A compact, slow-growing, upright, soft-needled green evergreen with a loose pyramidal form.
Size: About 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide in 15 years.
Where to use: Superb specimen by front door, next to patio, at house corner or backdropping the falls of a water garden. Full sun or part shade.
Why I like it: This one is such a versatile evergreen. It’ll take full sun or part shade, is tough enough to deal with nearby tree roots, and it’s also elegant enough to be the star evergreen by a front door.
Give it the 5 to 6 feet that ‘Nana Gracilis’ needs, and you won’t have to prune it all for at least a dozen years. It grows very slowly. It’s also got character – every one takes on its own slightly different loose pyramidal form, so it’s not one of those green-meatball evergreens that everyone has. Definitely don’t plan to shear it!
Hinoki cypresses seldom run into any bug or disease problems either, which makes this an ideal substitute for the mite-ridden dwarf Alberta spruce.