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Tony Tomeo Highlight: 'Icee Blue' yellowwood

Colorado blue spruce has some competition.

No, it is not an oxymoron. 'Yellowwood' is the common name for a few specie of Podocarpus. The evergreen (or 'everblue') foliage of 'Icee Blue' yellowwood, Podocarpus elongatus 'Monmal,' really is as silvery grayish blue as the name implies. It can be as striking as some cultivars of Colorado blue spruce. It grows slowly in narrow columnar form to only about 15 or 20 feet tall.

The finely textured evergreen foliage is ideal for both formal hedges and informal screens, although it takes awhile to fill in, particularly for larger hedges and screens. Tip pruning of lanky growth of informal screens improves density. The narrow leaves are about 2 inches long. Fresh new foliage may be lighter and slightly greener, which can contrast nicely with more mature foliage.

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'Icee Blue' yellowwood will tolerate a bit of partial shade, but exhibits the best color in full sun. It prefers to be watered somewhat regularly while getting established. As it matures, it becomes less reliant on watering. Like many other Podocarpus, it is susceptible to infestation by scale insects and the ants that cultivate them. Scale produce sticky honeydew that blackens with sooty mold. -- Tony Tomeo

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