Feature Trees



Podocarpus macrophyllus

Care & Maintenance

Plant Code: L8348

Light: Part Sun - Morning Sunlight Only

Water: Semi-Moist

Bloom Time: Prized for Foliage

Flower Color: Green

Average Size: 20' H x 10' W

Spacing: 10'

Cold Hardiness: Zone 8 (20 to 10°F)

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About This Plant

Feature trees are a focal point in the landscape. These trees are best placed in a prominent area so a special form or unique characteristic can be admired. Great feature characteristics include interesting bark and weeping branches. A feature tree can be large or small but needs to fit comfortably in its environment. For instance, use a smaller feature tree next to an entryway and a larger one in more open areas. Evergreen feature trees maintain their leaves year round while deciduous varieties loose their leaves in the fall and re-leaf in the spring. Smaller feature trees can also be used in containers to enhance outdoor patios or balconies.


Screen, Hedge, Container, Specimen, Topiary, Houseplant


  • Small, pyramidal evergreen
  • Tolerates heavy pruning
  • Can be trained as topiary
  • Good screen, hedge or accent plant

How To Water

  • New plants require more frequent watering than established plants. After planting check for water regularly until fully rooted and established.
  • For large plants; build a soil ring around the plant to use as a water reservoir. This will assist in watering until the plant is established.
  • Always water slowly and deeply making sure the root ball is completely saturated.
  • Don't water at night if possible. Watering in the morning helps prevent disease.
  • If new plant wilts between watering, increase the frequency of watering.
  • Plants in hot, humid or sunny areas need more frequent watering than plants in cool climates.
  • Plants in containers may require more frequent watering than plants in the ground. This will depend on plant variety, pot size and soil.
  • Add a 2-3" layer of organic mulch around plant to maintain and conserve soil moisture. Mulch will reduce watering frequency and speed root establishment.

How To Plant

  • Dig a hole 2 times the width of the root ball and a depth slightly less than the height of the root ball. Allow the top surface of the root ball to rest 1/2 inch higher than the soil line.
  • Amend native soil dug from hole by mixing with organic soil conditioner according to directions.
  • For container grown plants, carefully remove plant by squeezing container and slowly removing the root ball. Never pull on the plant trunk. Instead let the root ball slide out by tipping the container. If the plant is heavily rooted, loosen roots by gently pulling a few away from the root ball. This encourages stronger root growth. Set root ball in hole making sure the top of the root ball is slightly higher (1/2 inch) than ground level. Place soil mix under root ball if too low. Backfill soil mix around plant to ground level and tamp lightly removing all air pockets.
  • For balled and burlaped plants (B&B), do not remove any materials surrounding the root ball yet. This includes any string, wiring, nails, cages or burlap. Set root ball in hole making sure the top of the root ball is slightly higher (1/2 inch) than ground level. Place soil mix under root ball if too low. Remove any ties around the root ball. Backfill soil mix around plant to ground level and tamp lightly removing all air pockets. Cut the burlap away from the trunk and be sure all edges are buried well below the soil surface. This helps prevent the root ball from drying out.
  • For bare root plants, trim any broken, twisted or discolored tips. Determine the original soil line by the change in color on the plant trunk. Set the plant in the hole so the soil line is above the surrounding soil. Space the roots evenly. Backfill soil mix around and between the roots and tamp lightly removing all air.
  • Water thoroughly to settle the soil around the plant. Add more soil mix around plant if necessary after watering.  Apply a root stimulator to encourage new root growth and fast establishment.
  • Build a soil ring around the plant, 6" beyond the edge of the hole, to use as a water reservoir to assist in watering until established.
  • Add a 2-3" layer of mulch around plant to conserve soil moisture and eliminate future weeds.
  • For trees, it may be necessary to secure the trunk by using three stakes placed at equal distances around the tree.

How To Fertilize

  • Fertilize just before and during the plants active growing cycle. Fertilization should begin just prior to new growth and end three or four weeks before the first frost.
  • Choose a fertilizer recommended for trees or shrubs. Frequency will depend on the type of fertilizer. Liquid (water soluble) and granular quick release fertilizer require more frequent application; slow release granular types require less.
  • When using granular fertilizer be sure to sprinkle fertilizer pellets away from the plant stems or trunk to prevent possible burning. Also, make sure the fertilizer application extends to the drip line of the tree. Water thoroughly after application. This dissolves or releases the fertilizer into the soil.  Apply water soluble fertilizer by thoroughly drenching the leaves and soil.
  • Always follow fertilizer package directions.

How To Prune

  • Prune trees to encourage growth, increase flowers or enhance a natural form.
  • When pruning, make angled cuts just above the bud.
  • Reduce disease and pests by pruning crossing or rubbing branches. This will help to increase air flow through the tree canopy.
  • Remove damaged or dead limbs back to live wood.
  • Prune branches that could easily fall and cause damage to people or property. Have a professional remove any limbs located near power lines.
  • Use proper tools such as shears, hand pruners, pole pruners and pruning saws. Make sure all equipment is clean and sharp.
  • Fertilize after pruning to help speed new growth.

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Product Checklist

  • Planting MixPromotes strong healthy growth and more flowers
  • Potting SoilReady to use mix for indoor and outdoor containers and hanging baskets
  • Plant StarterHelps plants quickly establish to their new home
  • Slow Release FertilizerFeeds for months with one application. Safe to use on new plantings
  • Organic MulchPrevents weeds for months, saves water and beautifies
  • Planting ToolsShovels, trowels, cultivators and other tools to make planting easy
  • Pre-emergent Weed ControlApply to ground after planting to prevent new weeds from sprouting
  • Soaker HoseEasy to use, conserves water, and reduces chance of leaf diseases
  • ContainersChoose from light weight resin, clay or ceramic for patio or porch
  • Landscape EdgingKeeps beds defined, easy to maintain, and free of lawn grass
  • Hose & Wire Tree Staking KitGrow-straight support for young trees