You may wonder why evergreens have been a popular landscaping choice for many years. I’ll be giving you the answer to that shortly, as well as recommend the best evergreen trees for landscaping.
So, why are evergreens a popular choice? It’s because they are beautiful, and they have foliage all through 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 considered to be evergreen.
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 the differences between them 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. Oh yes, some evergreens do better in certain soils and weather conditions than others.
Most people plant evergreens for ornament-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 will suit your needs and your soil-types.
Below are my top picks.
These are arguably the most popular of evergreen trees. Many, but not all of them have long, pointy foliage. They are also cone-bearing.
Keep in mind that not all pines are the same, as they all have their distinct features.
Here are some landscaping options for pines.
Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) – If you want a pine tree that grows fast, then this would be a great 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 options for privacy (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, and it reaches heights of about 80 to 100 feet. This is perfect if you’re looking for shade or adequate screening.
This is a finicky species, and it is not tolerant to cool 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, as well as conditions that are similar to drought.
They are fast growers, and they 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’re one that loves 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 popular Bonsai pot specimen.
Scots or Scotch Pine (P. sylvestris) – This pine has a special 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 in height. It features drooping branches that are covered in very beautiful foliage.
It also produces cones that are purple/red in color, which is great for decorative purposes.
It thrives in cool weather conditions, and it works well for windbreaks. It’ll be a great idea to plant these spruces on a large property.
Colorado Blue Spruce (P. pungens glauca) – The blue spruce ranks among the giants of the spruce family, as it reaches 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 you will find, 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 they also 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 out 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 amazing mature height of about 80 feet.
If you’re looking for the right specimen tree, or you want to screen, then this is a good choice.
Fraser Fir (A. fraseri) – This has a narrow pyramid appearance, and it can reach up to 40 feet at mature height.
Not bad for Christmas decors!
Other Evergreen Trees To Consider For Landscaping
Besides the above mentioned, you can also consider the following, as they are also great for landscaping.
- Thuja tree
- Cedar tree
- Cypress tree
These trees also have their own special characteristics. The Cedar tree, for example, has clustered needles and tiny erect cones.
As for the Thuja, it has shiny leaves, which appear as if they have scales on them. It can grow up to 40 feet at full maturity.
And the Cypress, it 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? If you’re planting for the sake of privacy then a fast grower is your best bet.
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, then small or medium-sized evergreens are your best options. You wouldn’t want them to outgrow the space in your yard.
When to Plant Evergreen Trees?
Evergreen trees are very adaptive trees, 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, if you are planting in a dry-weathered environment, it would be wise to wait until the fall season. This is because “baby” evergreens do not do well in hot or drought-like conditions.
During the fall, the soil conditions are great 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 with 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 after about 5 months.
This can infect Junipers, Pines, Spruces, and Arborvitae.
The good news is, it easy to detect, as you will spot a bag of silk dangling from the evergreen.
This is caused by overcrowding of plants, which limits the amount of sunlight each plant receives.
It begins at the base of the tree and works its way up to the higher branches.
It usually occurs during the summer months.
Rare species of evergreens are the main 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.
Remember to always consider your yard space and soil-type before you plant.