Favorite January plant

Is there anything more beautiful in winter than snowfall lingering on the branches of an evergreen? It’s a reason to ensure you have at least one species planted in your landscape. For those who want to branch out, try introducing a more unusual variety to the mix. We like wandering the Tanger Arboretum on the grounds of the Lancaster County Historicial Society for inspiration. There, mature specimens allow you to see the eventual size and shape your plantings will take. After this week’s snow, we loved the Blue China-fir, Cunninghamia lanceolata, which is part of the bald-cypress family. Although from a distance it looks like a majestic evergreen, up close, its long blue flattened needle-like leaves and rounded scaly cones give it an exotic look that makes for a conversation piece in your landscape. The shape of this Chinese native is pyramidal with a slight weeping habit and can grow up to 75 feet with a 30 foot spread if given room. We are at the limit to its hardiness zone, so try to plant in a moist, well-drained site protected from wind.

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