Since they remain green and beautiful throughout the year, evergreens are popular in almost any setting. Landscapers and homeowners love evergreen trees and shrubs because of the relatively low maintenance and lasting appearance, retaining the same look year-round and, of course, no leaves to rake.
Each variety of evergreen thrives in a specific temperature zone and type of soil. Hundreds of species of evergreens prevail around the world with nearly every country being the home of at least a few types.
While leaf-bearing deciduous trees provide shade and glorious color changes through the spring, summer and fall, evergreens remain constant as a color contrast, windbreak, and protection for animals in the winter.
Evergreens do lose their “leaves,” often in the form of needles, as new growth replaces old. Moreover, there are even some species of deciduous trees, like the Live Oak, that remain green year-round.
The various species of evergreens are not necessarily related to each other.
For North Americans, conifers are notably the most recognizable class in the evergreen category. These hardy specimens can withstand cold and windy environments best and typically thrive in regions such as the central and northern areas of North America. A short list of this group of conifers includes many species of pines, spruce, fir, juniper, hemlock, cypress, and yew.
Tropical Hardwood Evergreens
These hardwoods are found in tropical areas where they are never exposed to frost. As a result, these do not go dormant nor lose their leaves. Each remains green throughout the year. In this category are mahogany, tamarind, and ironwood trees.
Bamboo is a tropical evergreen that is actually part of the perennial grass family.
Also, palm trees are tropical evergreens common in beach and sandy areas that grow slowly but can achieve a height of 25 feet or more.
As mentioned, some groups of trees are generally deciduous even though they include a few members that can be regarded as evergreens. The European Holly is an evergreen though most other holly varieties are not. The temperate broadleaf group includes the European Holly and Rhododendron.
Choosing Your Evergreen
When selecting evergreens for planting, it is necessary to consider the appropriate types for your soil and wind conditions. Owners should also consider growth potential and space limitations of each tree to ensure that they don’t outgrow the space in a few years.