Columnar or fastigiate trees refer to a narrow form of a tree. They are used for small spaces because they aren’t as wide as other trees. Columnar trees can be planted closely together to form a tall privacy screen or used alone as a specimen in formal gardens.

Carpinus ‘Frans Fontaine’

The narrowest form of Hornbeams, this variety grows 35′ tall by 15′ wide. To achieve a privacy screen, you can plant several trees together in rows. The dark green foliage offers seasonal interest by turning yellow in the Fall.

Carpinus ‘Fastigiata’

Another variety of Hornbeam, this cultivar is grown more commonly as a large shade tree. When young, it is a very narrow tree, eventually forming an oval at maturity. Grows 35′ tall by 25′ wide.

Photo by J. Schmidt

Acer rubrum ‘Armstrong Gold’

A very narrow form of Red Maple, growing 40′ tall by 12′ wide. The summer color is medium green, followed by golden orange leaves in the Fall.

Podocarpus macrophyllus

Yew Pines are often used as a privacy hedge which grows very tall but can be pruned to maintain size. The dense foliage makes this tree great for sound pollution if you live somewhere noisy. Plant closely to achieve a hedge, or grow alone as a large lawn tree. It grows 50′ tall by 15′ wide at maturity, although it is very slow growing.

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Photo by Monrovia

Podocarpus ‘Maki’

This cultivar of Yew Pine is even slower growing than Podocarpus macrophyllus. It is also much smaller, only growing 15′ tall by 4′ wide. It is an excellent choice for a corner that needs tall privacy near the house and can be planted in a container.

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Photo by Monrovia