By Joe Julian, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension agent, Natural Resources and Agriculture
If you're looking for an evergreen that would fit into a smaller landscape, a good choice would be the Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata). Bristlecones can grow up to 20 feet tall but rarely spread more than 10 feet wide. Their growth rate is considered slow but they do not require much water so would be a good choice for a naturalized area in a yard. Bristlecone pines are well known for surviving in harsh environments and living for many years without needing much care.
They are distinctive with their gnarled and twisted growth, sticky white resin on the needles (some people confuse the resin for pine needle scale), and dark green needles that are displayed in bundles of five.
There are other choices for evergreens in a naturalized area of the landscape but the Bristlecone Pine would certainly fit the description of specimen tree.
Photographs courtesy of Judy Sedbrook.
© CSU/Denver County Extension Master Gardener 2010
888 E. Iliff Avenue, Denver, CO 80210
Date last revised: 01/05/2010