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Evergreen Trees

What are evergreen trees?

Evergreen trees are a type of tree that keeps their green leaves year round, or through more than one growth season. Though most people associate evergreen trees with colder climates, many tropical trees are considered evergreen because they keep their green leaves year round, slowly shedding leaves as they age and dry out, and then growing new leaves throughout the year. In comparison, most people think of trees as deciduous trees, which shed their leaves in the fall, and grow new leaves in the spring. Certain types of evergreen trees, such as the Silver Fir tree, can keep the same leaves for more than two years. Evergreen trees are often more hardy than their deciduous cousins, growing faster and being able to tolerate shade, poor soil, drought, and low water conditions.

What season should I plant evergreen trees?

As long as the weather isn’t hot, you can plant evergreens in the spring or fall. It’s also important to avoid drier times when planting evergreens. For colder climates, you can plant evergreen trees as soon as the soil has thawed in late winter or early spring. The best season to plant Evergreens is the early spring and spring. This allows your Evergreen tree an entire growing season to establish itself. The late winter months of January and February should also be strongly considered for planting Evergreens, depending on the region, if the ground has thawed. The spring months of March and April are also good times to plant, as long as April isn’t too hot. (Just make sure your newly planted Evergreen tree gets plenty of water if planting in April.) In addition to the rain spring brings, the spring months allow the tree to establish its root system before the high temperatures of summer weather.

For planting evergreen trees, the mid to late fall months of October and November are acceptable, though the cold of winter may result in stunted root growth. Planting in late September, October and early November allows the Evergreen tree to acclimate and set roots down before the cold of winter. September in some regions might still be too hot for planting evergreens. Unlike most trees, Evergreen trees do continue to grow, if a bit more slowly, in the winter months. The months of October and November offer the advantages of temperate, cool weather and plenty of sunlight, but lack the potential heat of early Fall (depending on your region).

Where is the best place to grow evergreen trees?

While many evergreen trees can handle full sun, many are fine with partial shade. Here are the light requirements for Evergreen trees sold here at The Eastern White Pine needs only four hours of sun per day, the Leyland Cypress, which is also known as Leylandii, and often used as a Christmas tree, can tolerate full sun to partial shade and the Loblolly Pine needs at least six hours of sun.

Consider your specific space needs before choosing your Evergreen tree. It’s important to plan for the mature height and width of your evergreen tree when choosing where to plant. If your evergreen tree grows too large for its space, that could lead to annoyance and potential damage to buildings and/or the Evergreen tree. The Eastern White Pine can grow up to a maximum of seventy feet at maturity, the Leyland Cypress can grow to a maximum of seventy feet at maturity and the Loblolly pine can grow to a maximum of ninety feet at maturity. However, most Evergreen trees don’t grow as wide as their deciduous relatives, with the Eastern White Pine growing to a maximum of twenty to forty feet wide, the less wide Leyland Cypress growing to a maximum of fifteen to twenty-five feet wide and the Loblolly Pine growing to a maximum of thirty-five feet wide.

The Eastern White Pine tree is highly adaptable to many soil conditions and climates and requires moderate watering. The Leyland Cypress tree likes moist, well drained soil and needs regular watering during dry seasons. Similar to the Eastern White Pine, the Loblolly pine tree is also highly adaptable to soil conditions, but requires more water, with a need for moderate to heavy moisture.

If possible, choose a place with soil that is not sandy or full of heavy clay. In general, Evergreen trees prefer well drained soil, and neutral ph levels. So, make sure you check your soil’s ph level before planting. Some Evergreen trees require acidic soil, such as the Colorado Blue Spruce tree. You can test your soil’s ph level using a home kit. Test kits range from ten dollars to over two hundred. Start simple with your test kit choice, and work your way up from there as needed.

How do I care for evergreen trees?

First of all, know that a little bit of browning on your evergreen is natural and normal. There’s no need to panic. Next, make sure any dead branches are promptly removed. This allows the tree to continue its healthy growth. You can do this yourself, or you can hire professional tree trimmers. Make sure your Evergreen tree receives 1-3 inches of water each week. This can come in the form of rainfall, so be sure to stop watering during naturally wetter weeks. Watering deeply and thoroughly less frequently leads to the growth of long healthy roots, whereas shorter, more frequent watering encourages the growth of more shallow, short roots. While Evergreen trees generally require less fertilization than their deciduous relatives, they need occasional fertilization, and especially if they are lacking in color and growing more slowly than expected. Evergreen trees, like most trees, need more fertilization when young and after having been planted. Some key things to look for when deciding when to fertilize more than regular are: more than some discoloration, needles that are growing shorter than normal, if the tree is planted in a less than optimal site, such as soil with heavy clay or soil with a lot of sand, if the tree has suffered from excess insect damage, if the tree has had a disease or if you are encouraging a young Evergreen tree to grow at a greater speed.