When we think of evergreens, we typically imagine a pine or fir tree. These trees are covered with needles year-round. Not all needle-like trees are evergreens, but most of them are. However, a tree does not need needle-like leaves to be evergreen. Botanists consider these trees broadleaved evergreens.
For many reasons, you will choose broadleaved evergreens for your backyard or garden. These trees will give your yard a full feeling year-round. These types of trees are excellent choices for privacy hedges.
Another great advantage to choosing species that retain their leaves all year is that you do not have to rake or mulch them in the Fall. In areas with shorter or colder autumns, this is one less chore you need to do before winter comes.
Year-round tree canopies also support the local wildlife. They create windbreaks and protection from poor weather. Additionally, small animals and birds can live inside these canopies. Trees with leaves through the winter months have a higher demand for additional water than other trees.
In the growing season, trees will absorb water from the ground. However, in winter, this process is more difficult. Overall, there is less water in the soil, and the soil can be frozen. You must support your trees by watering them before and during long freezes.
Top 5 Trees That Retain Their Leaves
- Holmstrup Eastern Arborvitae
- French Dark Green Scots Pine
- Taylor Juniper
- Nellie Stevens Holly
- Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar
1. Holmstrup Eastern Arborvitae
The Holmstrup Arborvitae is an evergreen conifer that is part of the cypress family. Overall, it grows very slowly, but it is an excellent choice for a privacy hedge. The Holmstrup Arvorvitae will only grow one foot per year. By ten years, the width is 2.5 feet.
From a distance, the foliage on this tree appears to be like any other conifer, needle-like. However, when viewed closely you will see that the leaves resemble scales and are densely packed together.
The scaly leaves are dark green and hold that color year-round. Because of the thick canopy and small size, many homeowners choose this species to create living privacy fences.
The Holmstrup Arborvitae is a high-maintenance tree. It does not handle drought well and needs frequent watering. Without water, the leaves will turn yellow and die. Overall, it is cold and heat-hardy. The only places you will not find it thriving are in the southernmost locations of the United States. Southern Florida, Texas, and California are too hot for it to survive.
2. French Dark Green Scots Pine
The Scots pine is a stunning evergreen conifer. Altogether, the needles are soft to the touch and display a blue-green color. In the early years, the tree resembles a pyramid. As the tree matures, the canopy opens and spreads.
In nature, the Scots pine reaches 50 feet in height with a 30-foot spread. However, many farmers choose this species for Christmas trees. These trees are cut at shorter heights of 5, 8, or 10 feet. Most often, the Scots pine will grow 1 to 2 feet per year. Many people love the red-orange bark hidden behind the canopy of needles.
Overall, the Scots pine is tolerant of various soils. Moreover, it tolerates heat and frost reasonably well. It can survive a small drought, but flooding will destroy the root system. Make sure to plant your Scots pine where it can receive ample sunlight. This tree absolutely loves the sun and thrives in it.
3. Taylor Juniper
The Taylor Juniper is another excellent choice for a privacy hedge. It is a smaller tree, but the branches are full of scaly leaves. The canopy is thick and difficult to see through. Overall, it is easy to shape the Taylor Juniper to the space you need it to fit in. Additionally, the Taylor Juniper lives for many years.
The foliage is dark green. In the spring, the Taylor Juniper produces light blue berries. What makes this tree stand out is how resistant it is to drought. The Taylor Juniper grows to 20 feet in height with a 5-foot spread. It is worth noting that the tree will turn a dark brown in the winter, but the scaly leaves will remain.
Altogether, the Taylor Juniper is easy to grow. It tolerates a variety of soil types and drainage types. However, it cannot tolerate flooding and wet soils. Additionally, the Taylor Juniper needs as much sun as possible.
4. Nellie Stevens Holly
The Nellie Stevens Holly displays dark green, shiny leaves. In fact, the leaves will hold this striking color throughout the winter months. When spring brings blossoms, the Nellie Stevens Holly produces small white flowers. In the winter, red berries appear to stand in contrast to dark green leaves.
Unlike the other trees on our list, the Nellie Stevens Holly is tolerant of shade. However, it does not tolerate flooding. Once established, you will not need to do much to maintain your tree. In cases of severe drought, you will need to water your holly to avoid it from wilting.
If you live in a warm climate, your Nellie Stevens Holly will grow at an amazing rate. Some say that it even grows 3 feet per year. Of course, with a quick growth rate and a thick canopy, the Nellie Stevens Holly is a perfect choice for a privacy hedge.
5. Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar
The Horstmann Blue Atlas Cedar is a semi-dwarf tree. The foliage appears bright blue to the human eye. Overall, this tree grows slowly. At the most, the Blue Atlas Cedar will reach 10 feet with a 6-foot spread. However, it will take ten years for this tree to reach this size.
Whenever the tree is absent of water, in hot summers or long winters, you should water your Blue Atlas Cedar. The canopy grows relatively thick and conical. With a thick canopy, you can choose this tree as a privacy hedge.
The Blue Atlas Cedar cannot grow in areas with deep frost. Otherwise, it is tolerant of many climates and soil conditions. The color of the needles will stand out against the white snow and dark green leaves of other broadleaved evergreens.