So you would like to add trees to your landscaping, preferably trees that will have a visual impact – maybe throughout the year – and that are low-maintenance. Many homeowners immediately go to the tried and true standby species that do well in the Missouri climate. Oaks, maples, birches, Japanese Maples and dogwoods are all popular in our area, and for good reasons. They do well in clay-heavy soil, can stand up to winter temperatures that can fall to 0 degrees Fahrenheit, while reaching triple digits in the summers. They are also strong trees that can hold their own in windstorms and survive heavy snow and ice storms.
But when you’re considering expanding the species on your property, don’t overlook evergreens. It’s worth noting that all of the recommended evergreen options for this area are non-native, as there are no native evergreens besides eastern redcedar.
Why You Should Consider Planting Evergreens
While evergreens have a number of positive attributes, they are often overlooked when it comes to landscaping. And that can be a mistake. Consider the following:
- Evergreens hold their needles throughout the year, which brings a year-round visual effect to your landscaping. While deciduous trees such as oaks drop their leaves in the fall, evergreens keep their needles all year.
- Pines, firs, and other evergreen trees can provide a constant element in your landscaping. It also means they can be used to screen your home or portions of your home from view. If you’d like some privacy around your deck or hot tub, for example, a row of evergreens is an excellent, natural choice. And a stand of evergreen trees can also provide a noise buffer for nearby high-traffic streets.
- Evergreens can be low-maintenance additions to your landscaping. These trees require little care apart from occasional pruning, some feeding, and during not summer, some watering. They also hold up well during hot and dry weather. And they tend to hold their limbs well due to their strength and flexibility.
- The same strength and flexibility that make evergreens a low-maintenance choice also enable them to provide a windbreak for your home or property. A mature stand of evergreens may sway and bend in heavy wind, but they tend not to break. And their dense branch systems can slow those heavy winds.
- If you’d rather not rake leaves each fall, evergreen trees are the tree for you. As they have needles rather than leaves, evergreens don’t drop tremendous amounts of leaves every fall. This means less raking and leaf blowing and fewer bags of leaves to haul to the curb. Conifers, however, drop some needles throughout the year, and it’s not a bad idea to rake and dispose of them occasionally.
Evergreens Offer Variety
Don’t make the mistake of thinking all evergreens are essentially the same. Needles, cones, green, that’s an evergreen, right?
To a degree. But there are several species of evergreens you should consider. These include:
- Conifers such as pines, spruces and firs. These include Eastern White Pines, Japanese Black Pines, Norway or Red Pines, Scots pines and Douglas Firs, to name a few.
- Blue spruces, which are long-needled and have a blue-green color. An example of a blue spruce is the Colorado Blue Spruces.
- White fir trees are light blue-green in color, and offer an excellent contrast to darker evergreens. White firs can grow as tall as 75 feet.
- Chinese junipers are evergreens, but have a different appearance from pines or firs, for example. While there are many species of Chinese junipers, they are all shrub-like and have either spiky or needle-like leaves.
- Yew trees are available in many species, with most having dark green, needle-like leaves and red berries.
- Boxwoods also come in several species, all of which feature dense branch systems, small flat leaves, green coloration year-round and rapid growth. Boxwoods make excellent hedges.
Need Help Choosing The Right Evergreen?
As the above list of evergreen tree species is far from complete, the typical homeowner may well find choosing the right evergreen tree to be an overwhelming task.
If you would like to include evergreens in your landscaping and want to be certain you’re choosing the best possible species for your situation, contact our certified arborists today and get the help you need!