Form

Tree species and cultivars vary widely in form or crown shape, depending on their branching pattern. Crowns can be tall and narrow (columnar), short and wide, weeping, round, conical, or vase-shaped. Some trees keep their lower branches and foliage as the crown grows (for example junipers (Juniperus species), spruces (Picea spp.), true firs (Abies spp.)) while others readily lose their lower branches as they are shaded from above (for example most pines (Pinus spp.), cottonwoods, elms (Ulmus spp.)). Preferred crown form is a matter of personal taste, but crown form also may be an important factor in matching a tree to a site or to the function it will serve. For example, columnar trees are useful in narrow areas, trees used in windbreaks and visual screens need to retain their lower branches and foliage, and sidewalks and driveways should not be obstructed by low or weeping branches.

Pyramidal

Pyramidal

Round

Columnar

Vase

Layered

Layered

Round

Columnar

Wieeping

Wieeping

Oval

Vase

Shrubby

Shrubby

Oval

Tree shape varies widely and is an important consideration when selecting a species or cultivar. Common shapes include pyramidal, rounded, columnar, weeping, broad, oval, vase-shaped, layered, and shrubby.

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