Evergreen trees and shrubs retain their leaves year round; unlike deciduous plants which lose their foliage completely during winter. Due to this reason evergreens are a popular choice among gardeners, as they provide greenery to a landscape throughout the year. While deciduous shrubs or trees during winter lose their foliage, and can give a garden a drab look.
There are different types of evergreen trees. Mainly, there are six groups, which include the broadleaf, palms, needleleaf, tree ferns, cycad, and ginkgo tree. The largest group of evergreens is the broadleaf in which there are elms, maples, ashes, etc. Many broadleafs tend to lose all their leaves, however some remain evergreen year round, like live oak and holly. Other groups which are tree ferns, cycads, and palms are evergreen throughout the year.
How to Identify Them?
Evergreen shrubs have a limited height till 5 meters and multiple stems. It is quite easy to identify these shrubs. You can also learn to distinguish evergreen flowering shrubs from the non-flowering varieties. From November to April most flowering plants are just brown twigs and the branches are covered with snow. Evergreen tree identification can be hard, however, once you have the leaf specimens you can easily categorize them into groups.
How do the Trees Remain Evergreen?
A tree is deciduous or evergreen because it adapts to the nutrients available in its surrounding. Being an evergreen tree requires less amount of work for the tree, while deciduous trees require a lot of energy and nutrients in spring, when they are putting out new foliage. They slowly conserve energy and nutrients by slowly growing up new foliage throughout the year. This can be very beneficial in regions where supply of nutrients is limited, and the tree has to endure a rough season. The leaves of evergreen tree keep shedding at a slower pace throughout the year, the falling leaves provide an insulation for the tree, and prevent damage to the trunk. The leaves also help for fertilizing the tree and provide mulch for the roots.
They are used in landscaping for their ornamental qualities, as they keep green throughout the year. They also provide a beautiful and stylish landscape, if placed properly. It is important to choose the right kind of evergreen tree. These trees come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and foliage. Evergreen trees for shade, like conifers are particularly good as they add good texture and greenery and are great small trees as they grow within bounds. Shade-tolerant species are fir, yew, thuja, and hemlock. For species which you can plant in sunny sites go with cedars and junipers.
Maintaining the Trees and Plants
For evergreen tree care, water them when the leaves or needles appear to be dry. They can survive normal rainfall, but during long periods of droughts, you need to water the plants. You should water the plant before the soil freezes during winter. A good quality organic mulch will help the plant to maintain soil moisture and reduce weeds, you can also use pine needles as mulch to enhance the soil and provide a rich ecosystem for the roots of the plant. Use a high nitrogen fertilizer during early spring to help encourage new growth or help the plant fight a disease. However, avoid using such a fertilizer to a newly transplanted plant, as it can burn up the roots. To maintain shape and health of the plant, pruning out the diseased and dead leaves should be done.
So, buy a variety of evergreen tree sapling and follow the above care instructions, and enjoy a green garden throughout the year.