Popular Kinds of Evergreen Trees – All You Should Know!
What Are Evergreen Trees?
Evergreen trees are those trees that keep their leaves all year round. Unlike deciduous trees which lose their leaves in autumn, evergreen trees has foliage that remains green and functional throughout the growing season.
Multiple types of Evergreen trees work best for many reasons – as screening trees that are good for providing privacy in your garden, for ornamental appeal as their foliage makes your garden look beautiful and as shelter for birds and animals in winter.
- Popular Evergreen Tree Varieties
- What adaptations allow evergreen trees to keep their leaves year round?
These trees come in a variety of shapes and sizes. So, it becomes important to think carefully before choosing an evergreen tree – how the tree will impact the space in your garden and how large the tree will eventually become.
Before choosing your evergreen tree species, you should first check whether the tree suits your garden conditions, the soil type, cold tolerance and sun or shade.
In this guide, let us look at some of the best evergreen trees to plant in your garden. Let us talk about different kinds of evergreen trees!
Which Evergreen Tree Varieties Are Your Favorite?
1. Cypress trees
Of all evergreen varieties, Cypress trees are one of the best. They are a great addition to your landscape. They are pyramidal in shape with small, round, woody cones, shoots and scale-like leaves. These trees are yellowish green to green or grey in color. They grow up to 60 feet tall.
For cypress trees to do well, they require full sunlight. The soil should not be soggy, it should be moist at all times so watering these trees regularly is a must. While planting them, you should plant them 10 to 12 feet apart.
If you are creating a hedge, you should plant them 5 to 6 feet apart. Cypress does not require fertilization. However, if you decide to fertilize them, then you should go for a balanced tree and shrub fertilizer.
2. Cedar trees
This is one of the fast-growing evergreen tree species that are also the best evergreen trees to hail from Australia. Cedar trees have long, grey-green leaves, which when crushed emits strong menthol aroma.
They look attractive with peeling, colored bark. Un-pruned trees can reach a height of 20 meters. However, these evergreens can tolerate hard pruning and can be coppiced or pollarded.
If these trees are regularly pruned, their leaves become rounded and colorful, popular for flower arranging. These evergreen tree varieties are grown in full sun.
3. Pine trees
Pine trees are one of the best evergreen trees of all kinds of evergreen trees that are native to mostly all countries. They belong to the Pinaceae family. There are more than 126 species of pine trees all around the world.
Since pine trees are fast growers and are tall and straight, they are an important source of wood. Although the wood of pine tree is a softwood, they are used in construction as they are strong.
They are used to make furniture, timber, flooring and construction frames. They are also an important source of pulp for making paper.
Pines are different types of evergreen trees recognized by their needle-like leaves and seed bearing cones. Their bark is reddish-brown or grey. They are also well known for their egg-shaped cones found on their branches.
Some pines have large woody cones with straight and long scales. When these cones open they release seeds and then fall off. The needles of pines grow in clusters, while their cones hang down from the branches.
Pine needles grow in bundles of 2,3 and 5 needles. Longleaf pine has 45 cm long needles, while foxtail pine has 2.5 cm long needles.
Pines release a strong scent when disturbed. They are a very low-maintenance evergreens as compared to other evergreen tree species.
4. Thuja trees
Commonly known as arborvitaes, Thujas make amazing landscape trees of all the different types of evergreen trees. These evergreens have soft and aromatic, reddish-brown and textured wood. The shoots that come out on a single plane are flat, with long, needle-like leaves.
The leaves of these trees are in pairs of four. Certain species of these evergreen tree varieties have thicker foliage and larger cones. Thujas can adapt to a variety of soil types and weather conditions. The dwarf trees reach up to 10 feet and the giant ones reach 50 feet.reach 50 feet.
These evergreen trees are used for borders and hedges, as privacy screens and wind breaks. While planting your Thujas, make sure to grow them 8 to 10 feet apart so that they can achieve a height closer to 50 ft. in order to form a hedge, it is recommended to plant them 5 to 6 feet apart.
This will enable them to be around 30 feet or less. Although they are drought tolerant, it’s good to keep the soil moist around your trees. You can fertilize in the early spring and fall with a general evergreen tree fertilizer.
5. Spruce trees
Another one of the best evergreen trees, spruce trees are pyramidal trees with stylish cone-like and whorled branches. The trees have needles that are attached to the branches in a spiral-like formation.
Spruce trees can go up to 60 feet and taller. For dwarf trees they reach heights of 5 feet. Of all types of evergreen trees, these trees are usually grown as Christmas Trees. They do well in full to partial sun.
While planting spruce, keep them 20 to 25 feet apart. They need moist soil so make sure to water your trees regularly. These evergreen trees require plenty of sunshine and water, no need of any fertilizer.
However, if you decide to fertilize, pour one tablespoon of balanced tree fertilizer and on top of the ground around the tree.
6. Gum trees
As compared to the cider gum, the snow gum is much less vigorous. It is a neat small-growing tree with attractive, long, and slender grey-green leaves. Its trunk develops a ‘snakeskin’-like patchwork of green, grey and cream bark.
Sometimes in summer it bears small, snow-white flowers. The main attraction of the tree is its foliage and bark. Snow gum tolerates most types of soil and grows well in full sun.
7. Juniper trees
Juniper trees are one of the best evergreen trees with needle-like leaves. Although these evergreens are not actual cedars, they are also called cedars. These trees belong to Cupressacea family. They are species of the Juniperus. Junipers can grow up to average height of 15 to 20 feet, depending on the variety.
Juniper trees can be planted almost anywhere, except if you have apple trees in your yard. Sometimes apple trees become infected with cedar-apple rust. This kind of fungus can easily transfer onto junipers and can severely damage the tree.
It is recommended to plant junipers 3 to 6 feet apart. If you are planting shrubs, then plant them 2 to 3 feet apart in hedges. After planting them, you should water them thoroughly, two times weekly for a month.
In the following months, you can water them once a week in summers. Fertilize your junipers once yearly in spring using a slow release fertilizer. Make sure to spread fertilizer around your tree before watering or rain.
8. Tropical trees
Tropical trees are evergreens that can survive in hot and wet climates. Palm is one of the most common type of evergreen tropical. Some other popular tropical trees are banana, coconut, mahogany etc.
9. Fir trees
These trees belong to the Conifer family and have more than 30 species. They have unique needle shaped leaves that makes them look distinct.
What adaptations allow different types of evergreen trees to keep their leaves year round?
Some evergreen tree varieties are cone-shaped so that snow can easily slide off them and this protects the branches from breaking. The leaves or needles of some evergreen tree species have a thick, waxy coatings which helps them to reduce water loss.
Some kinds of evergreen trees hold onto dead leaves for insulation or use thick snow as blanket to protect themselves from cold. Evergreen trees also have a special valve in their cells that automatically seals frozen cells to prevent a chain reaction of freezing.
This is how evergreen trees hold on to their leaves round the year.
Related: How long do evergreen trees live?
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What evergreen tree grows the fastest?
A. Of all kinds of evergreens, Norway spruce is a fast-growing evergreen. They are suitable for colder climates and popular as Christmas trees. Norway spruce grows between 115 and 180 feet. Their cones are large and 7 cm long.
Q. What is the prettiest evergreen tree of all evergreen tree varieties?
A. Magnolia grandiflora is the most beautiful evergreen of all different types of evergreen trees. With fragrant citrusy flowers and lush green leaves, these trees add appeal to your garden.
Q. What is the fastest growing evergreen tree for privacy?
A. American arborvitae is the most well-known and hardiest evergreen tree species for privacy.
Q. What trees don’t drop leaves?
A. Evergreen trees keeps their leaves throughout the year, hence, evergreen are the trees that don’t drop leaves.
Q. Which are the best evergreen trees that don’t grow too tall?
A. Colorado blue spruce is an evergreen tree that doesn’t grow tall. They grow up to 49 feet tall. They have waxy, bluish needles that are 2.5 cm and pale brown 4 inch long cones.
These kinds of evergreen trees are recognized by their distinct blue color leaves and foliage. Their pyramidal shape, blue-green foliage and sharp, spiky branches make for a great addition to your garden.
Q. What are the narrowest evergreen tree varieties of all evergreen tree species?
A. Narrow evergreen white spruce is the narrowest and easy-care evergreen of all the different types of evergreen trees. It is a slender conifer with drooping branches and narrow pattern of growth. This evergreen grows between 12 and 40 feet and 5 feet wide.