It’s that time of year again! Time to deck the halls and trim that tree. While we wish you lots of luck with your Christmas tree, today we’re going to talk about evergreen tree types that you can plant in your yard. Because these trees remain green all year round, they make a great addition to any landscape. While the rest of your trees shed their leaves and stand naked and your grass dulls and dries, evergreens will add a sense of brightness and life with their gorgeous green color. Today we’re going to run through some of the most popular evergreen tree types available. Focusing on their height, age, bark, and needles, we’ll give you a good overview of each tree. Please note, however, that there are many varieties of each of these evergreen tree types, so don’t assume that all firs, pines, and spruces look like the trees in the images you see below.
Evergreen Tree Types
Arborvitae trees (also known by their technical name, thuja) are 10-200 feet tall and have stringy, reddish-brown bark. Their shoots are flat and single-planed with leaves growing 1-10 mm long. They make great ornamental trees and hedges, especially if you’re seeking privacy. The wood is soft and aromatic and during its youth, the tree can grow up to 80 cm each year.
Cedar trees can grow up to 50 feet tall and they have short, soft foliage. Their bark is reddish-brown and can be peeled off in strips, and if you chop up the wood, you can use it to repel irksome insects like moths and ants.
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Cypress trees can grow up to 70 feet tall, although the shape and height depend on the type of Cypress (Leyland vs. Monterey vs. Arizona vs. Gowen, etc). They vary in color, from light blue-green to very dark green and their needles are usually overlapping and hair-like. They bear small cones and, because their branches are so sturdy and their needles make great nests, they are a favorite amongst birds.
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Fir trees grow to be 30-260 feet tall (depending on the type) and have needle-like leaves that attach to their twigs with a small base that looks like a suction cup. These needles are often flat and whitish on the bottom. Unlike some other evergreen tree types, fir trees’ cones stand up like candles. Nordmann, Noble, Fraser, and Balsam Fir trees are all popular Christmas trees.
Holly comes in many forms (trees, shrubs, climbers, etc.), but today, we’ll focus on holly trees. These trees can grow up to 82 feet tall, but they grow slowly, so don’t expect your holly to sprout up like Jack’s beanstalk! Holly has beautiful, spiny-toothed leaves and drupes (commonly thought to be berries) that are often red but can be found in other colors as well (brown, black, green, yellow). If you truly love the holidays, a classic holly tree should be a welcome addition to your yard.
Pine trees come in many different species (there are between 105 and 125 species accepted by authorities) and most grow to be 40-150 feet tall. The bark is thick and scaly and the branches grow in a tight spiral around the trunk. They live a very long time (sometimes over 1,000 years!) and usually have needle-like leaves that grow in clusters.
Spruce trees grow to be quite tall (20-60 feet usually) and grow in a conical shape. The needles grow in a spiral around each branch and each needle is shed when it reaches 4-10 years of age (leaving behind a peg-like structure called a pulvinus). Like pine trees, spruces often reach very old age. In fact, a Norway Spruce in Sweden that has reached the age of 9,550 years is thought to be the oldest tree in the world!
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All of these evergreen tree types are large and hardy, and I’m sure that at least one of them will work well in your area’s climate and your yard’s soil. Try to start with a tree that already has a 1- to 1.5-inch trunk diameter and plant it in the spring or summer for best results. If planting an evergreen is too much to handle, contact Nixa Lawn Service about our tree services. Whether you need trimming or planting, give us a call at (417) 724-0318 or request a quote online.