10 Evergreen Trees Every Gardener Should Know

Evergreen plants are plants that retain their leaves year around. As their leaves fall off more are growing to replace them. While the term “evergreen” brings to mind Pine and Christmas Trees, there are others that are evergreen and these work ideally for privacy screens, windbreaks and to simply add beauty to any yard.

There are many varieties of evergreen trees. These include tiny dwarf trees and shrubs to exceptionally tall trees. They add a lovely character to any yard and are an ideal way to enhance the landscaping. In warm weather, evergreens offer up a lovely background of visual interest and blossoms as well as foliage. In the winter months, they offer some visual interest in an otherwise barren area.

These evergreens will offer a new and vibrant appearance to any yard or garden area regardless of the time of year. Keep in mind that not all evergreen species are a true green, there are other colors interspersed in the color scheme.


Colorado Spruce

Colorado Spruce photoWhat makes this plant extra unique is that it comes in several shades ranging from blues to greens to silvers. If you’re seeking something with a bit of color, this may be what you’re looking for. It will grow from ten to fifteen feet tall and from seven to ten feet wide.

Prefers Full sun and a medium amount of water. This plant is hardy in zones 3 to 7.

Bonus: The deer leave this plant alone.

False Cypress

False Cypress photoIf a smaller sized evergreen is your wish then this plant will work well. Ideal for containers or a hedge, it’s a boxwood style plant. With a broad leaf, it forms a very dense 2-foot sphere when mature. Will grow from six to ten feet tall and five to six feet in width.

Prefers Full to partial sun and a medium amount of moisture in a well-drained soil. This plant is hardy in zones 5 to 7.


boxwood photoIf you’re looking for some color, this boxwood offers you a lovely yellow-green for the yard, deck or garden. Ideal as a container plant, you’ll love the delicate thread-like foliage that still retains its color in the dead of winter. Growing to about eighteen to twenty-four inches in height and width it’s perfect for any area that needs a little something, but not too much.

Prefers: Full to partial sun and a medium damp well-drained soil. This plant is hardy in zones 4 to 9.

Cherry Or English Laurel

cherry Laurel photo

You’ll love the versatility of this evergreen. You can prune it back to keep it as a hedge or allow it to grow and it can grow up to ten feet in height. There are a few different varieties of this plant including the “Otto Luyken” with shiny green leaves and a cream-white flower that is very fragrant in the springtime. This plant is three to five feet tall and two to four feet in width.

Prefers: Full to partial sun. It requires a medium amount of moisture. This plant is hardy in zones 4 to 8.

Japanese Holly

Japanese Holly photo

You’ll love this chartreuse option. Ideal as a low growth hedge you can enjoy this just about anywhere. With a growth of six to ten feet tall and ten to twelve feet wide you’ll enjoy some privacy with a touch of color. This plant can be invasive if not pruned back.

Prefers: Full sun to partial shade. Water to damp and wait for the plant to dry out. This plant is hardy in zones 6 to 8.

Blue Atlas Cedar

Blue Atlas Cedar photo

Ideal as a focal point for your garden, this plant has a weeping habit. It can draw the eye to your favorite focal point or you can put it in a setting that needs a bit of drama and attention. Growing eighteen to twenty-four inches tall and wide, it lends itself well to a landscape requiring a focal point.

Prefers: Full sun to partial shade and requires medium watering. This plant is hardy in zones 5 to 8.

Japanese Yew Or Emerald Spreader/Creeping Juniper

Creeping Juniper photo

If you’re seeking a ground cover that will carry some color throughout the winter months, consider this creeping juniper. Long branches form thick mats over the years and look like fans or fronds lying on the ground. This plant will grow to three feet tall and twelve feet wide. Ideal for any location that needs a ground cover.

Prefers Full sun and medium water. This plant is hardy in zones 6 to 7.

Christmas Fern

Christmas Fern photo

If you want a touch of color for an otherwise boring corner in your yard or garden, the Christmas Fern is an ideal choice. This plant sports clumps that will grow up to two feet in height. The plant will spread slowly over the area and propagate via rhizomes.

Prefers: Full sun to shade and medium moisture. Soil should be well drained. This plant is hardy in zones 3 to 9.

Cryptomeria Trees

Cryptomeria Trees photo

Renowned for their rich red-brown bark that frequently peels away in strips, this handsome cone shaped tree is ideal for areas where tall trees would enhance the landscape. Growing upwards to 35 to 45 feet, this plant has needle type leaves forming spiral scales on the branches. Plant large varieties 15 to 20 feet apart for best results. Smaller or dwarf versions of the plant may be planted 2 to 6 feet apart.

Prefers: Partial shade to full shade and a dry to a medium dry soil. This plant is hardy in zones 3 to 9.

Western Red Cedar/Thuja

Western Red Cedar photo

The Western Red Cedar can grow upwards to 230 feet tall and 13 or more feet in diameter. Yet, it remains a favorite among gardeners everywhere. Plant this in an area that will allow for plenty of growth expansion.

Prefers: loosened soil in the first few years as it reestablishes itself. Water often. This plant thrives in sun or shade. This plant is hardy in zones 6 to 8.

Fed up with a dull winter garden? Invest in evergreen trees and you'll have greenery right around the year. Ideal for making the most of the winter months, or as a source of screening.

Photo by jonesworth, F. D. Richards, S. Rae, caligula1995, Plant Image Library, wlcutler, F. D. Richards, Cranbrook Institute of Science, Starr Environmental & Holy Outlaw