I want a brand new conifer for Christmas

Anyone remember the novelty Christmas hit single from 1953 titled, I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas? It has remained one of my very favorites since the first time I heard it. It just doesn’t quite seem like the Christmas holiday season without hearing this song at least once.

I was trying out one of those new online services that let you listen to tons of music on your computer – for free. My wife requested an evening of Christmas music, so I did a search and created a playlist. Sure enough, I found Gayla Peevey’s old recording. As we were enjoying our evening, working on our hand-crafted gifts, my mind began to wander as Gayla’s voice filled the room – what if I changed the lyrics just a little bit to better fit my Christmas wish – here is the result:

I want a brand new conifer for Christmas
Only a brand new conifer will do
Don’t want a bulb, no stinky Amorphophallus titanum
I want a brand new conifer to plant in my arboretum

I want a brand new conifer for Christmas
I don’t think Santa Claus will mind, do you?
He won’t have to use our dirty chimney flue
Just bring it through the front door, that’s the easy thing to do

I can see me now on Christmas morning, creeping down the stairs
Oh what joy and what surprise when I open up my eyes
To see a brand new conifer potted there

I want a brand new conifer for Christmas
Only a brand new conifer will do
No Rhododendrons, no silly little crocuseses
I only like colorful coniferususes
And colorful coniferuses like me too!

May you all have a holiday filled with the people you love.

Conifer Lover

13 thoughts on “I want a brand new conifer for Christmas

  1. Hi Ed, hope you had a Merry Christmas! We are enjoying our first winter with our new little conifers, and we are loving them! We even think it will be a good idea to replace a (rather ugly) chokecherry tree with a pyramidal conifer. It’s a small front yard, and a small garden, and the tree will go at the corner of the house, which is one-storey. Do you have any suggestions on one that will look good and fit for a number of years? We really trust and appreciate your input!


    1. Thank you, yes, we had a delightful Christmas.

      I do have some ideas for you. You mention ‘Boulevard’ in your next message, and, although it may be sheared with great success, at this stage in my life, the fewer plants that need annual maintenance in my garden the better. If you do not keep up with the shearing, your ‘Boulevard’ will become quite large.

      What immediately comes to mind is a Picea pungens ‘Sester Dwarf’. It will provide a similar effect as the sheared ‘Boulevard’, with its blue color and narrow, pyramidal form, but without the need for more than the occasional snipping of an errant branch or two. Of course, it will get large in time. The old specimen planted in the gardens at Iseli is close to 20 years old and seven or eight feet tall. You will want to be careful to not plant it too close to your house or under any overhanging eaves.

      Now, a perfectly delightful, dark green, small needled and slow growing (albeit rare) option would be Picea abies ‘Barryii’ Growing at perhaps half the rate of ‘Sester Dwarf’, ‘Barryii’ has a similar pyramidal form. Starting with a small plant, it will take many, many years for this one to outgrow its space.

      One last thought is Picea pungens ‘Pendula’ with its great blue color and irregular, weeping habit, it would make a stunning corner specimen. You would simply stake it to you desired height and then let it flip and flop with its own unique character.

      Be sure to let me know what you end up with!


      1. Fantastic! I really appreciate your advice! We won’t make a decision until planting time, but I’m excited to plan! I will definitely let you know what we plant! Thanks for taking time to answer me!


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