- Evergreen Tree Varieties – Learn About Common Types Of Evergreen Trees
- Evergreen Trees for Landscaping
- Types of Evergreen Trees
- Cedar Tree Care: Tips For How To Grow Cedar Trees
- Facts About Cedar Trees
- How to Grow Cedar Trees
- How to Care for a Cedar Tree
- Cedar Tree Problems
- How to Landscape With Cedar Trees
- Japanese White Pines
- Mugo Pines
- Dwarf Austrian Pine
Evergreen Tree Varieties – Learn About Common Types Of Evergreen Trees
Evergreen trees and shrubs retain their foliage and remain green year round. However, not all evergreens are the same. By distinguishing common evergreen tree varieties, it will be easier to find one that fits your particular landscape needs.
Evergreen Trees for Landscaping
Most evergreen trees are needle bearing while evergreen shrubs also include broadleaf varieties. In addition, their growing characteristics vary greatly among species. Therefore, it’s important to recognize the differences between them before adding these plants to the landscape.
Needled evergreen trees make great additions to the landscape, especially when scattered amongst other plantings. They have an extraordinary range of shapes and sizes and are well adapted to many soil types and growing conditions. That said, some evergreen tree varieties thrive better in certain locations and temperatures than others.
The most preferred use of these trees is for ornamental purposes. However, some varieties can offer suitable shade or screening too. Distinguishing the differences between popular evergreen trees will make it easier to find a suitable tree that not only fits your particular landscape needs but also serves its intended purpose.
Types of Evergreen Trees
Pines are probably the most notable of evergreen tree types. While most of them have long, needlelike foliage and are cone bearing, not all pine trees are the same. Each has their own unique characteristics to contribute. Some of the most common varieties include:
Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) – this fast-growing species reaches 80 feet (24 m.) or more. It makes an ideal choice for use as a specimen planting or for screening and shade.
Monterey Pine (P. radiata) – this
evergreen tree grows quickly and reaches anywhere from 80-100 feet (24-30.5 m.) tall without pruning. It’s considered a finicky pine and not tolerant of arid conditions or cool temperatures.
Allepo or Mediterranean Pine (P. halepensis) – unlike Monterey, this pine tree thrives in poor soils and drought-like conditions. It also tolerates heat and windy conditions. It’s a fast-growing tree between 30-60 feet (9-18 m.).
Red Pine (P. resinosa) – this tree has interesting reddish-colored bark. The Japanese red (P. densiflora) variety is an excellent slow-growing pine suitable for small areas.
Japanese Black Pine (P. thunberglana) – this pine has unusually dark gray to black bark. While it is a fast grower, reaching up to 60 feet (18 m.), it easily accepts pruning. In fact, it is oftentimes used as a popular bonsai specimen for pots.
Scots or Scotch Pine (P. sylvestris) – it may not always be well adapted to landscape settings but is commonly used as a container plant or Christmas tree for its interesting yellow to blue-green foliage color.
Spruce trees, with their attractive short needles and hanging cones, also make excellent additions to the landscape. Popular choices here include the following:
Norway Spruce (Picea abies) – this tree grows up to 60 feet (18 m.), has attractive dark green foliage on drooping branches and produces decorative, purplish-red cones. It enjoys cool conditions and makes an excellent choice for windbreaks or specimen plantings on large properties.
Colorado Blue Spruce (P. pungens glauca) – blue spruce is another tall grower at 60 feet (18 m.). This specimen tree is popular for its pyramidal shape and blue-gray foliage color.
White Spruce (P. glauca) – this is a pale green species of spruce. The dwarf variety (Alberta) is commonly found growing in pots or as border and foundation plantings. It has feathery needles and is available in pyramidal or columnar shapes.
Fir trees make useful specimen plantings and have erect cones. Some of the most commonly planted firs include:
White Fir (Abies concolor) – this fir tree has soft, gray-green to silvery blue-green foliage. It makes a lovely contrast with dark-colored evergreens. This species grows between 35-50 feet (10.5-15 m.).
Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) – this is an attractive, fast-growing evergreen tree that gets quite large, about 50-80 feet (15-24 m.) tall. It’s great for use as specimen, screening or group plantings. It also makes an ideal Christmas tree.
Fraser Fir (A. fraseri) – the Frazer fir has a narrow pyramidal shape and grows up to 40 feet (12 m.). It, too, makes an excellent choice for Christmas or placed in the landscape as border specimens or container plants.
Other Evergreen Trees
Other interesting evergreen trees include cedar, thuga, and cypress. Each of these trees offers their own unique qualities too.
Cedar (Cedrus spp.) – cedar tree varieties make elegant specimen plantings. Most have clustered needles with small erect cones. They grow anywhere from 30-60 feet (9-18 m.)with dwarf types available.
Thuja – also known as arborvitae, is a commonly seen accent among many landscapes, either as a foundation planting or screening. This evergreen has shiny, scale-like leaves and reaches up to 40 feet (12 m.).
Cypress (Cupressus spp.) – cypress trees have a soft, feathery-like texture and symmetrical shape. They are most often used in creating privacy hedges and borders. Favorites include Arizona (C. arizonica) and Leyland (Cupressocyparis leylandii).
Evergreen trees make excellent choices for the landscape. They provide year-round interest, shade and screening. Yet, not all evergreen tree types are the same, so you’ll have to do your homework in order to find just the right one for your landscaping needs.
Cedar Tree Care: Tips For How To Grow Cedar Trees
Attractive and normally trouble free, cedar trees can be great additions to the landscape. To learn more about cedar tree care or how to grow cedar trees, you may find the following information helpful.
Facts About Cedar Trees
There are many types of cedar trees. All cedars are large coniferous evergreen trees. Because of their size, these trees are not often found in gardens and are usually seen lining streets or in parks. However, they make an excellent windbreak and are suitable on large pieces of property to add a living hedge or winter interest. They grow fast and can be found in a wide range of climate zones.
How to Grow Cedar Trees
Cedar trees are not hard to grow and will give elegance to any space where they have room to spread. The trees start easily from seed but require a 48-hour soaking period and another month in the refrigerator, along with some potting soil in a zip lock bag. The soil must be kept moist during this time.
After a month, seeds can be placed in a paper cups with compost and potting soil mixture. Cups should be placed in a sunny window, and the potting soil should be kept moist.
Plant the seedlings outside when they are 6 inches tall. Select a sunny location carefully and do not plant trees any closer than five feet apart. Dig a hole that is three times the size of the cup and use high quality compost and native soil mixture to fill the hole.
Place a 2-foot stake next to the tree and gently attach the seedling to the stake with garden twine.
How to Care for a Cedar Tree
Keep a 2-inch layer of mulch around the tree, but not touching the trunk, to prevent moisture loss and protect the tree. It may be necessary to use a wire cage to prevent injury from mechanical devices as well. Protect young trees with a covering of landscape fabric if you live in a very cold climate.
Water small trees regularly and allow them to dry out completely between each watering.
Fertilizer is generally not necessary unless the soil is very unhealthy.
Once the tree is mature, cedar tree care involves little more than regular mulching and removal of dead or diseased branches.
Cedar Tree Problems
While there are not too many cedar tree problems to deal with, several pesky insects are attracted to cedar trees including the cypress tip moth, root weevil, mites and juniper scale. Infested trees generally exhibit symptoms including brown or yellow foliage, reduction of plant sap, white cocoons or black, sooty mold. Horticultural oil or insecticide may be needed if infestation is extreme.
Cedar trees are also yummy to dogs and rodents who enjoy munching on the bark. This can cause extensive damage if left unattended. Proper diagnosis and treatment is essential to prevent tree loss.
How to Landscape With Cedar Trees
Cedar trees come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They are a member of the pine family and are often used for their fragrant, rose-colored wood. They are often used in landscaping for their unique shape and evergreen leaves. Cedar trees can grow for centuries and depending on the species can reach 100 feet in height. Home landscapers should consider the mature size of the cedar tree when planting. Follow the simple steps below to landscape with cedar trees.
Plant along a fence line. Tall, thin varieties of cedar, such as Arborvitae, provide the perfect barrier between your property and your neighbor’s. A line of cedars creates privacy and adds a clear sense of space to any outdoor area.
Use as a shade tree. Choose a location in need of shade, such as the middle of a yard or pasture, and plant a Red Cedar tree. Though it may take several years to grow large enough to create sufficient shade, a healthy cedar will benefit generations to come.
Mix with seasonal plants. Cedar trees stay green all year long and are a great way to add color to your yard in cold, winter months. Plant a few Northern White Cedar trees near your perennial garden or interspersed with seasonal trees to keep the area green all year round. These trees are often used as shrubs and are easy to keep on the smaller side.
Plant near a window. Many cedar trees grow tall in height and can provide a nice window display. Plant a cedar tree 10-15 feet from a first or second story window and watch it grow as years pass. Not only is it enjoyable to look at, once it reaches maturity is will help deflect cold winds and afternoon sun. Try an Incense Cedar as they grow tall but stay between 10 to5 feet at the base.
Plant along water. A small pond or lake is wonderfully accented by a ring of cedars. Plant several rows of Atlanta Cedar saplings along the edges of a body of water for an attractive weeping effect. Eastern Red Cedars will also grow well near water and produce plenty of berries for birds and mammals. At full height, they will both provide shade for swimmers and a bustling natural habitat.
Evergreen trees are beloved by many people. They are special as they keep their leaves throughout the year. Their leaves do not change color, leaving the tree to look both plentiful and green no matter what season it is. That’s why so many people wish to have their very own evergreen tree displayed in their yards. But, not everyone can fit a full-grown evergreen on their property.
Thankfully, there are now smaller options available, even dwarf evergreen trees!
If you have always wanted to add an evergreen tree to your yard, you can now make that dream a reality as these dwarf evergreen trees are perfect for almost any yard, no matter how much space you have available.
Here are some recommended options if a dwarf evergreen is the one for you:
The Dwarf Alberta Spruce will grow to a maximum 12 feet tall with most falling between 10 to 12 feet tall and 7 to 10 feet wide. They do, however, grow extremely slow at just 2 to 4 inches each year. Additionally, since the needles are quite densely packed they give the Dwarf Albert Spruce a fuzzy look. While these trees rarely produce pine cones, their green needles give off a nice aroma.
With its classic Christmas tree shape, it has become a pretty popular choice for plantings all over the U.S. In fact, it is one of the most recognizable trees used in landscaping. You have likely noticed two Dwarf Albert Spruces marking the entryway to a house, for example, giving it a more formal look.
These trees are also popular as they do not require much care. Since they grow very slowly, they hardly ever need to be pruned. They also thrive in a climate of cool summers and struggle in areas that have high heat and humidity, making this a good choice if you are looking to plant dwarf evergreen trees here in the Pacific Northwest.
There are a few different types of Hinoki Cypress trees. One of the more popular ones is the Slender Hinoki Cypress which is a bit taller than the Dwarf Alberta Spruce, but more compact. These trees reach a maximum of 15 feet tall at their maturity but only grow to about 5 feet wide. As this may still be a bit too tall for some yards, there is also the Nana Gracilis trees, which only reach about 9 feet at maturity.
One distinct feature that makes the Hinoki Cypress tree stand out is that it has arching branches and a nodding top. The branches droop at their tips, too. These elements give the tree a soft appearance. Additionally, in younger trees, the branches look as though they are going in all different directions, giving it an even more profound look.
Its needles are scale-lake and, similar to the Dwarf Alberta Spruce, these trees also tend to be found in pairs adding beautifully symmetry to your landscape. They, however, cannot be planted under any trees that shed leaves as the leaves will get caught in the needles of the Hinoki Cypress tree.
As you may have speculated, this tree does need a bit of upkeep and will require pruning.
Japanese White Pines
If the above two plants are still a bit too tall for you, the Japanese White Pines will fix that. These trees tend to grow to only about 3 feet tall and less than 2 feet wide. This size is perfect for smaller yards.
One distinct feature of these trees is that the needles are blue-green in color. Between this beautiful color and their dense branches, Japanese White Pines are one of the more aesthetically pleasing dwarf trees. People who choose this type of dwarf evergreen tree tend to plant it in front of a light-colored background, such as a plain wall or a fence, to further showcase the beautiful color of the tree.
For best growth, this tree should be planted in full sun. Due to its extremely slow growth, it will need little, if any, pruning. Since it does grow slow and not to a large height, these trees are perfect to put in smaller spaces such as in the beds in your yard and complementary planters by your front door.
These trees come in quite the variety, each with different shapes and characteristics. For instance, some have a broad spread shape whereas others are more of a pyramid. The most popular type of dwarf Mugo Pine is referred to as “Mops” and only reaches about 3 to 5 feet in height at maturity. This type does have a broad spread, reaching about 10 feet wide. Because of this feature, most people plant this tree as a low hedge or as a groundcover.
In order to cultivate for best growth, these trees should be in partial shade to full sun. They are not compatible in areas that are known for hot summer making this another great choice to plant here in the Pacific Northwest. And, the deep green color of the needles looks great year round.
“Mops” trees are also simple to care for. You can shape them as you desire, and if the tree does become larger than you would have originally liked, you can remove part of the new needles that will arrive come spring. This will help slow the growth rate of the tree even more.
Dwarf Austrian Pine
Named Hornibrookiana, this Dwarf Austrian Pine reaches anywhere between 4 to 10 feet at its maximum height. It is a round tree as it also reaches between 4 to 10 feet in width at its maturity. Also, the growth rate is not too fast as it only grows about 6 inches a year, both in terms of height and width.
These trees are quite compact and have more of a shrubby look to them. They consist of rounded pines that have long needles that are a dark green color. These trees are another great choice if you are looking to fill a smaller space rather than a larger yard.
To reach maximum growth, these trees need to be planted in full sun.
Whether the yard you are looking to plant in is big or small, there is a dwarf evergreen tree that will definitely fit there! Bring that beautiful aroma and aesthetic to your yard by choosing any of the above types of trees. And if you need help caring for your new trees, reach out to our team at Mr. Tree. We can’t wait to see how you’ve made great use of your small space!
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