growing a tree in a container

Asked March 12, 2017, 12:37 PM EDT

Please offer suggestions for growing an evergreen tree in a container. The location is Denver CO. I have a 13th floor balcony ,facing east which provides long sunny mornings. Wind can be an issue. Tree selection and container size ideas will be appreciated.

Denver County Colorado

1 Response

It's hard to guess what might work in such challenging conditions without knowing details about the dimensions of your space and your design vision. For example, is there an overhang above your balcony? Or is there a view you want to preserve - or block? Are there other design elements in the space - furniture? other flowers?

You may have to keep your expectations about plant longevity low if you go with evergreens, coniferous or broadleaf. If you get a few hours of morning sun before the sun passes over the balcony above, candidates like a Columnar Arborvitae (Thuja) or Yew (Taxus) might be happy with the sun aspect but probably will desiccate in dry, windy, winter conditions. You could try a Dwarf Albert Spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica'), but that, too, might not like winter conditions that high.

Does it have to be evergreen? What about a Yellow Groove bamboo (Phyllostachys aureosulata) or an ornamental grass (almost any species with an upright form) for the vertical element and then cluster smaller evergreen shrubs in additional containers around the base of the bamboo container. The evergreens could be stationed so they receive protection from the wind and their smaller size would allow you to cover them (or drag them indoors ) if a steep drop in temperatures is forecast.