Trees have different shapes based on natural tendencies or the environment. A gingko may be an irregular tree in some environments or have a pyramidal shape in others. Trees can also be one shape when young and change as they mature. The trees listed on each slide are commonly found in those tree shapes, but this doesn't necessarily mean that they only grow in these shapes.
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Columnar Tree Shape
Columnar trees are tall and thin with a very narrow, upright shape and upright branches. Another term often used to describe this shape is fastigiate, though there are some subtle differences. Columnar trees usually have just one trunk and occur naturally as mutations.
Some examples of columnar trees include:
Continue to 2 of 8 below.
- Columnar apple (Malus spp.)
- Columnar peach (Prunus persica 'Crimson Rocket')
- Dawyck gold beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Dawyck Gold')
- Leyland cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii)
- Lombardy poplar (Populus nigra 'Italica')
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Fastigiate Tree Shape
This is Irish yew or Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata.' Fastigiate trees, as noted in the previous slide, are very similar to columnar trees. However, fastigiate trees are usually composed of multiple trunks and are created through nursery selection instead of natural mutation.
Some examples of fastigiate trees include:
Continue to 3 of 8 below.
- Upright European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata')
- Fastigiate Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo biloba 'Fastigiata')
- Upright European beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Fastigiata')
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Irregular Tree Shape
Sometimes trees have no exact shape. This is called an irregular tree shape. Irregularly shaped trees add a unique dimension to their landscape.
Some examples of irregular trees include:
Continue to 4 of 8 below.
- Scarlet curls willow (Salix matsudana 'Scarlet Curls')
- Honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa)
- Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris)
- Tartarian maple (Acer tartaricum)
- Pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)
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Oval Tree Shape
These trees are upright with a strong central trunk that branches into a thick round or oval-shaped crown. They make strong shade and may have such dense foliage that the branches are concealed.
Some examples of oval trees include:Continue to 5 of 8 below.
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Pyramidal Tree Shape
Evergreens, among other trees, often have a pyramidal tree shape.
Some examples of pyramidal trees include:Continue to 6 of 8 below.
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Round Tree Shape
The round tree shape, as its name implies, is round and full like a sphere. Round trees can be taller or shorter, depending on the species.
Some examples of round trees include:
Continue to 7 of 8 below.
- Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia)
- Red oak (Quercus rubrum)
- Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra)
- Red maple (Acer rubrum)
- White Ash (Fraxinus americana)
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Vase Tree Shape
The vase tree shape gets its name from its vase-like quality, where the branches spread out at the edges of the tree, narrowing down to the trunk. It's almost as if the branches of these vase-shaped trees were contained in their own vase.
Some examples of vase shape trees include:Continue to 8 of 8 below.
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Weeping Tree Shape
A good choice for specimens are trees with a weeping shape, where the branches droop down and sweep the ground.
Some examples of weeping trees include:
- Weeping cherry (Prunus subhirtella 'Pendula')
- Weeping larch (Larix decidua 'Pendula')
- Weeping blue atlas cedar (Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula')
- Weeping beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Purpurea Pendula')
- Young's weeping birch (Betula pendula 'Youngii')