One of the finest conifers introduced to the Twin City landscape garden market is Chamaecyparis pisifera, Vintage Gold. Its advertised form is global, reaching about three feet in height.
A human generation or two ago the only golden foliaged conifers seen on anyone’s grounds, private or public, were dying arborvitaes. Dying junipers usually chose brown before yellow as their passage to death color.
Chamaecyparis pisifera, King’s Gold is a flimsier, fluffier foliaged cousin. It used to be called “Sun Gold” until a decade or so ago. No matter, its is or roughly is the same plant. It also is advertised as a global form which reaches four or five feet in height. I am guessing I have about a half dozen of these somewhere on my grounds already reaching twelve or more feet high. I have to prune and prune often to maintain any maximum height of seven feet or less. I think I have only two such globals left due to neglect as well as choice rather than any health problems.
All of these advertised statistics are nonsense. Chamaecyparis pisifera is a conifer TREE! I have two on my grounds planted thirty plus years ago now both over twenty feet tall. Beautiful things!!! That their name has Sungold or King’s Gold attached to it, infers that this marketed plant is a selection of the original tree.
Vintage Gold Chamaecyparis is likely to be a more robust fattish brilliant yellow conifer of an Arborvitae look. On my grounds all three retain their brilliant yellow foliage throughout the winter…..A couple of my Sun-King’s Gold types slide back to green until late February. I don’t think they are “reliably” hardy in horticultural zone 3….but it is worth the experiment especially if you plant your King’s Gold or Vintage protected from winter winds.
(Don’t forget to sign up for our ‘landscape garden classes’ advertised here a few days ago….call 612-919-5300 for more information.)