You may wonder why evergreens have been a popular landscaping choice for many years. I’ll be giving you the answer to that shortly and recommend the best evergreen trees for landscaping.
So, why are evergreens a popular choice? It’s because they are beautiful and have foliage throughout the year.
Their leaves keep growing, even as others fall off, and that’s why they are called “evergreen”.
Types Of Evergreen Trees For Landscaping
It is common for pines and Christmas trees to come to mind when the word “evergreen” is mentioned. However, the term isn’t limited to those two alone.
Any other tree that maintains its green foliage all year-round regardless of the weather condition is evergreen.
LIST: Dwarf Conifers for Landscaping
What You Need To Know About Evergreen Trees
As I have already mentioned, evergreens retain their green foliage 247/365 days yearly, but this doesn’t make them all the same, as they each have different characteristics.
Knowing the different types of evergreens will help you determine which is best for your landscaping plans.
Besides their varying physical appearances, they also grow at different speeds. For this reason, it would be wise to first recognize their differences before adding the evergreens of your choice to your landscape.
Take needled evergreen trees, for instance. They come in several shapes and sizes and can be grown in many soil types and weather conditions. Some evergreens do better in certain soils and weather conditions than others.
Most people plant evergreens for ornament’s sake. However, they can also provide good shades and privacy screening.
Knowing their variations will make it easy for you to select the ones that suit your needs and soil types.
Below are my top picks.
These are arguably the most popular evergreen trees. Many, but not all of them, have long, pointy foliage. They are also cone-bearing.
Remember that not all pines are the same, as they all have distinct features.
Here are some landscaping options for pines.
Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) – If you want a pine tree growing fast, this would be an excellent option for your landscape.
At maturity, they reach heights of up to 80 feet (24 meters). Some have been recorded to grow taller.
Their fast-growing characteristic makes them excellent tree species for screening purposes.
Pinyon Pine (P. edulis) – This pine doesn’t grow as fast as the previously mentioned species. At full maturity, it reaches a height of about 15 feet (4.5 meters).
For this reason, it is best grown in pots or used for shrub borders.
Monterey Pine (P. radiata) – This is a fast-growing pine, reaching about 80 to 100 feet. This is perfect if you’re looking for shade or adequate screening.
This is a particular species and is not tolerant of cooling or arid temperatures, so be advised.
Allepo or Mediterranean Pine (P. halepensis) – This is one of the most adaptive evergreens you will find, as it can do well in poor soils and conditions similar to drought.
They are fast growers and reach an average height of 60 feet (18 meters) at full maturity.
Red Pine (P. resinosa) – One of the most unique features of this tree is its bark, which has a unique reddish-like color.
If you love a good color mix, then the reddish bark and greenish foliage will give your landscape a distinct look.
Japanese Black Pine (P. thunberglana) – A stand-out feature of this pine is its black/dark gray bark.
It is a fast-growing evergreen that reaches up to 60 feet at full maturity. It also accepts pruning, and it’s a famous Bonsai pot specimen.
Scots or Scotch Pine (P. sylvestris) – This pine has a delicate yellow-green colored foliage, so it’s popularly used as a container plant. Some others prefer to use it as a Christmas tree.
Enough of the Pine Tree. Let’s take a look at some of the best spruces for landscaping.
Spruce trees have eye-catching needles, which are short in length. They also feature hanging cones.
They are popular landscaping trees which you would like to consider.
Below, I will recommend some of the best spruce trees for landscaping.
Norway Spruce (Picea abies) – This spruce can reach up to 60 feet. It features drooping branches that are covered in lovely foliage.
It also produces cones that are purple/red, which is excellent for decorative purposes.
It thrives in cool weather conditions, and it works well for windbreaks. Planting these spruces on a large property will be a great idea.
Colorado Blue Spruce (P. pungens glauca) – The blue spruce ranks among the spruce family’s giants, reaching heights of about 60 feet.
It has a pyramid shape, and its foliage has a unique blue/gray color.
White Spruce (P. glauca) – This tree doesn’t have the brightest colored foliage, as it is pale green.
There is a sub-species of this tree called “Alberta,” which you can grow in pots, or use as border plants.
The needles have feather-like features and appear to be shaped like pyramids.
Another tree I’d also like to place on my list of best evergreen trees for landscaping is the Fir tree.
They are beautiful, so they are great for specimen planting. They also have eye-catching erect cones.
Below I will list some of the best Fir trees for landscaping.
White Fir (Abies concolor) – It is characterized by its soft foliage, which comes in quite an interesting color mix of silver/blue-green.
It reaches a mature height of about 50 feet.
Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) – This beautiful, fast-growing evergreen reaches an incredible mature height of about 80 feet.
If you’re looking for the right specimen tree or want to screen, this is a good choice.
Fraser Fir (A. fraseri) – This narrow pyramid appearance can reach up to 40 feet at mature height.
Not bad for Christmas decors!
Other Evergreen Trees To Consider For Landscaping
Besides those mentioned above, you can also consider the following: they are great for landscaping.
- Thuja tree
- Cedar tree
- Cypress tree
These trees also have their unique characteristics. The Cedar tree, for example, has clustered needles and tiny erect cones.
The Thuja has shiny leaves, which appear to have scales on them. It can grow up to 40 feet at full maturity.
And the Cypress has leaves that are textured, similar to soft feathers. They are great for setting up privacy hedges.
Popular choices include –
- Arizona (C. arizonica)
- and Leyland (Cupressocyparis larizonica)
How Fast Do Evergreen Trees Grow?
As you pick evergreens for your yard, you need to consider their full mature height and balance that with the space in your yard.
If you plant fast growers in a small yard, you will have to prune them more or earlier than necessary just so they can fit in, and this will be unhealthy for your tree.
Do you want fast growers or slow growers? A fast grower is your best bet if you’re planting for privacy.
Many evergreen trees can reach up to 60 feet. Taller ones can hit 100 feet. As for the dwarfs, they can reach up to 6 feet tall.
If you have a small yard, small or medium-sized evergreens are your best option. You wouldn’t want them to outgrow the space in your yard.
When to Plant Evergreen Trees?
Evergreen trees are very adaptive, yet, you should plant them during the right season.
Spring and fall are usually the best times to plant evergreens. Spring planting will allow their root systems enough time to develop in the growing season.
On the flip side, it would be wise to wait until the fall season if you are planting in a dry-weathered environment. This is because “baby” evergreens do not do well in hot or drought-like conditions.
During the fall, the soil conditions are excellent for planting, all thanks to abundant moisture. Be warned, though. Make sure you plant before November, as this will spare your evergreens from damage caused by winter.
Common Diseases Suffered By Evergreens
These include –
- Cytospora Canker of Spruce
- Rhizosphaera Needle Cast
- Cercospora Blight
- Diplodia (Sphaeropsis)
- White Pine Weevil
Cytospora Canker of Spruce
It decays the stem and browns the needles. Symptoms also include lower dying branches.
This disease is common among evergreens aged 15 years and above.
Rhizosphaera Needle Cast
This disease is pretty hard to detect, as the branches do not show any signs of infection until about five months.
This can infect Junipers, Pines, Spruces, and Arborvitae.
The good news is that it is easy to detect, as you will spot a bag of silk dangling from the evergreen.
This is caused by the overcrowding of plants, which limits the amount of sunlight each plant receives.
It begins at the tree’s base and goes up to the higher branches.
It usually occurs during the summer months.
Rare species of evergreens are the primary victims of this disease. It begins by damaging the top of the tree’s needles, leaving them with an unpleasant brownish color.
I trust this article on the best evergreen trees for landscaping has been helpful.
READ: Compare Spruce, Pine, And Fir Trees
Remember always to consider your yard space and soil type before you plant.