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Winter Wonderland: Trees to Put Wonder in Your Winter

  • 12/1/2015 6:52:00 AM
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Spruce up your yard or acreage and put some wonder in your winter with these trees and shrubs that will look good all year long. 

Have an acreage? See below for details on seedling offers for these species.

White pine

The only common pine in Iowa, the white pine has long narrow cones and soft plumy grass-like needles in bundles of five. Its curved upper branches provide hauntingly beautiful asymmetry. The white pine will grow 50 to 80 feet tall and likes well-drained, sandy soil.

White spruce

With dense foliage and a pyramid shape, the white spruce can withstand extremes of heat and cold and grows to be 50 to 80 feet tall.

Redosier dogwood

This shrub grows from 4 to 20 feet tall and displays vibrant red stems, attractive white flowers and white berries. It tolerates wet soil well.

Gray dogwood

Its white flowers, white berries and blue-green foliage provide great winter interest. This shrub tolerates wet soil and will grow 10 to 15 feet tall.


This shrub keeps things interesting in the winter with its brown shaggy peeling bark and white to slightly pink flowers. It’s drought tolerant and grows 6 to 10 feet tall.

While you’ll want to wait until spring to plant the pine and spruce, the shrubs can be planted yet this year until the ground freezes.


In December only, you can purchase a Winter Wonderland seedling packet from the Iowa State Forest Nursery. The packet includes 50 of each species above – that’s a total of 250 seedlings for the price of 200. Packets will ship in spring 2016.

Put some wonder in your winter by planting a dogwood | Iowa DNR

Put some wonder in your winter by planting a white pine | Iowa DNR
White pine
Put some wonder in your winter by planting a redosier dogwood | Iowa DNR
Redosier dogwood

 Put some wonder in your winter by planting a white spruce | Iowa DNR