Each winter, the bright colors of spring and summer seem to fade away, and what’s left is a vast landscape of grey. However, there is a not-so-secret weapon that landscapers and savvy homeowners use to give their winter landscape a boost: the evergreens.
What Is an Evergreen?
An evergreen is a plant that has foliage that remains green and functional through more than one growing season. This also pertains to plants that retain their foliage only in warm climates and differs from deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.
Types of Evergreens
There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees, and shrubs. Evergreens include:
-Most species of conifers (e.g., pine, hemlock, blue spruce, and red cedar)
-Live oak, holly, and “ancient” gymnosperms, such as cycads
-Most angiosperms from frost-free climates, such as eucalypts and rainforest trees
-Clubmosses and relatives
Evergreen Landscape Benefits
Evergreens add year-round visual interest. They provide continual color, texture, and food, and shelter to various wildlife and birds.
Evergreens also help improve air quality. Through photosynthesis, trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, using it to fuel plant structure and function. In return, they give off fresh, clean oxygen into the air. During winter, when air pollutants are at their highest and photosynthesizing leaves are limited, the evergreen steps in to save the day. When cold air prevents pollutants from escaping the atmosphere, they’re the only trees that continue to purify our air.
Evergreens provide privacy. Dense coniferous branches and evergreen hedges provide a natural privacy screen for your yard, allowing you to enjoy winter activities, such as bonfires and get-togethers, without feeling like you are visible to others.
Where To Plant?
-Property lines for privacy
-Patios or decks for shade and privacy
-Open backyard spaces for visual interest
-Front yard landscape for curb appeal and privacy
-Side yard for wind shelter, shade, and privacy
A Few of Our Favorite Evergreens
‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae (Thuja) — The “Green Giant” variety makes a splendid landscape tree. It can grow to more than 40 feet tall, offering a formal but soft silhouette.
Oriental Spruce (Picea orientalis) — For deep green color and formal shape, the reliable Oriental spruce is a landscape favorite. It can thrive in this region and grow to about 50 feet tall.
Nordman Fir (Abies nordmanniana) — This species grows slowly as young plants, but can tower up to 60 feet tall, featuring deep, almost blackish-green, glossy needles.
Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani var. stenocoma)
Lebanon cedars start out as narrow conical specimens but tend to spread at the base and middle as they age. Needles are short, medium green and produced in star-like clusters along the branches.
A Symbol of Christmas
And let’s not forget, the evergreen fir tree has traditionally been used to celebrate winter festivals for thousands of years and is now the popular choice for the modern Christmas tree. So be sure to grab some lights for your landscape evergreens when decorating for Christmas this year. Whether you go white, multi-color, or flashing, evergreens offer the perfect canvas for your holiday decorating.