Evergreen Trees

Year-round beauty, texture, and privacy

Evergreen trees are woody plants that have a central trunk with few to no branches on its lower portion and grow to a mature height of 13 feet or taller. But some dwarf varieties are available, which save space and fit nicely in containers. While some evergreen trees grow quickly with little care, some grow slowly, taking years to reach full maturity. Evergreen trees keep their leaves year-round and provide the garden with shade and/or privacy. They add structure and texture to the garden with year-round color and coverage, which supports garden wildlife.

Conifers (the cone bearers) tend to be very cold hardy and highly textured. They have tiered branches and characteristic needle or scale-like leaves and offer color options that range from silvery blue to pale green to bright gold. Architectural elements, conifers come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, including with pyramidal or slender columnar habits. They can be allowed to grow naturally for rustic appeal, or many can be pruned to maintain a desired appearance. Some have fragrant foliage and beautiful berries that offer a food source for birds and garden wildlife. They are perfect for hedges, windbreaks, and privacy screens.

Broadleaf evergreen trees tend to like a warm tropical to Mediterranean climate and are generally drought tolerant. They are typically smaller trees that make excellent focal points, such as the olive tree (Olea europeana). With its gnarled trunk and weeping habit of silvery foliage, it creates an especially lovely decorative display espaliered against a courtyard wall, its tasty fruits a mere bonus compared to its overall beauty. But some broadleaf evergreen trees bloom in flowers or produce berries.