What is: Upright Trees

Upright trees, also known as columnar trees, are a popular choice in landscaping and gardening. These trees are characterized by their narrow, upright growth habit, which makes them ideal for small spaces or for adding vertical interest to a garden. In this glossary, we will explore the characteristics, benefits, and popular varieties of upright trees.

Characteristics of Upright Trees

Upright trees are known for their tall, narrow shape, which sets them apart from other tree varieties. They typically have a single, straight trunk that grows vertically, with branches that grow upward rather than spreading out. This growth habit allows upright trees to fit into tight spaces and create a vertical focal point in a garden or landscape.

One of the key characteristics of upright trees is their ability to reach impressive heights while maintaining a narrow profile. Some upright tree varieties can grow up to 30 feet tall, making them an excellent choice for adding height and structure to a garden without taking up too much space.

Another characteristic of upright trees is their dense foliage. These trees often have compact branches that are covered in leaves, creating a lush and full appearance. The dense foliage not only adds visual interest but also provides privacy and shade in a garden or outdoor space.

Benefits of Upright Trees

Upright trees offer several benefits that make them a popular choice among gardeners and landscapers. One of the main advantages of these trees is their space-saving nature. Their narrow growth habit allows them to be planted in small gardens or tight spaces, making them a valuable addition to urban landscapes or compact yards.

Additionally, upright trees can be used to create visual interest and add vertical elements to a garden. Their tall and slender shape creates a striking contrast to other plants and structures, adding depth and dimension to the overall design. They can be strategically placed to frame a view, create a focal point, or provide a backdrop for other plants or features.

Furthermore, upright trees are low-maintenance and easy to care for. They typically require minimal pruning and can withstand various weather conditions, making them suitable for both novice and experienced gardeners. Their dense foliage also helps to reduce weed growth and provides a natural barrier against wind and noise.

Popular Varieties of Upright Trees

There are several popular varieties of upright trees that are commonly used in landscaping and gardening. One such variety is the Italian Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), which is known for its tall and slender growth habit. These trees can reach heights of up to 60 feet and are often used to create a formal and elegant look in gardens and estates.

Another popular upright tree is the Columnar Oak (Quercus robur ‘Fastigiata’). This tree features a narrow and upright form, with dense foliage that turns a beautiful shade of red in the fall. It is a hardy tree that can withstand harsh weather conditions and is often used as a specimen tree or for creating a vertical accent in a garden.

The Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’) is another widely used upright tree. This evergreen tree has a compact and narrow growth habit, with dense foliage that maintains its vibrant green color throughout the year. It is often used as a privacy screen or hedge due to its dense foliage and ability to tolerate pruning.


In conclusion, upright trees are a valuable addition to any garden or landscape. Their tall and narrow growth habit, dense foliage, and space-saving nature make them an excellent choice for adding height, structure, and visual interest to outdoor spaces. With a wide range of popular varieties available, there is an upright tree suitable for every garden style and climate. Consider incorporating upright trees into your next landscaping project to create a stunning and dynamic outdoor environment.