How tall will Podocarpus get?

Answered by Edward Huber

Podocarpus, also known as podocarp or yew pine, is a versatile plant that can be grown as a shrub or trained into a tree form. When left unpruned and allowed to grow naturally, it can reach a height of 30 to 40 feet. However, it is worth mentioning that this height can vary depending on various factors such as growing conditions, climate, and pruning practices.

In its natural form, Podocarpus can develop a beautiful tree-like appearance with a well-defined trunk and a canopy of dense foliage. The lower branches can be pruned or removed to expose the attractive light brown bark that peels off in strips, adding an interesting texture to the tree’s overall aesthetic.

It is important to note that the height of Podocarpus can also be influenced by the pruning techniques employed by gardeners or landscapers. Regular shearing or trimming can limit its upward growth and maintain a more compact shape, making it suitable for hedges or formal landscaping. When pruned in this manner, Podocarpus can be maintained at a lower height, typically around 6 to 10 feet.

However, if you prefer to allow Podocarpus to grow taller and showcase its natural tree-like form, you can opt for minimal pruning or selectively removing lower branches to create a higher canopy. This can result in a more statuesque appearance with a taller height range of 30 to 40 feet.

In my personal experience, I have seen Podocarpus trees reaching impressive heights in landscapes where they were allowed to grow freely. I have witnessed specimens that easily exceeded 30 feet, providing a striking presence in the garden. These taller Podocarpus trees created a sense of verticality and added a touch of elegance to the overall landscape design.

To summarize, Podocarpus has the potential to grow to a height of 30 to 40 feet when not regularly sheared or pruned. Its natural tree-like form, with lower branches removed, can reveal the beautiful peeling bark and create an attractive focal point in gardens or landscapes. However, it is essential to consider the desired height and shape when pruning or training Podocarpus, as regular shearing can maintain a more compact size suitable for hedges or formal settings.