Evergreen trees and shrubs are more expensive in general than deciduous trees (trees that drop their leaves in winter). But they are worth their cost because of their year-round beauty, hardiness and longevity. Evergreens range from broadleaved shrubs like rhododendron and laurel to tall-needled cone-bearing pines and stately spruces.
The giant spruces and firs are most effective as windscreens; spreading evergreen shrubs are widely used not only because of their attractiveness but also because they can be shaped and trimmed and do well in shade (such as for foundation planting).
Pine is most commonly known of evergreens. White pine is noted for its long, soft, light silvery-green needles and rapid attainment of its 60- to 80-foot maturity. Red pine, as well as white pine, is splendid for backgrounds and windbreaks. Ponderosa pine, a broad, compact tree, is used for protection and ornamental screens.
Austrian pine (black pine) with its rich, green color and spreading branches has great favor in Midwest. Globe mugho pine is a small, rounded tree for ornamental planting.
Norway Spruce is probably most widely planted windbreak evergreen. Quick growing and. hardy, it has short needles of dark green; is a compact, pyramidal shape. Black Hills spruce grows toy 40 feet in time, is hardy and drought-resistant. A slow grower, it can remain in close quarters for many years.
White spruce has short, thick, light blue-green needles; it matures at 60 to 70 feet and is good for landscaping and screens. Colorado blue spruce is a good specimen tree and hardy, too, but it suffers in heat and drought. Of cedars, red cedar is a fine ornamental evergreen for hedges and windbreaks. It withstands dry weather and thick green foliage has a bronze in winter.
Douglas fir is best fir for windbreaks and screening. Hardy, healthy, drought-resisting, it grows quickly and compactly, and its lofty pyramid makes a good lawn specimen. Balsam fir, Christmas tree, is noted for its fragrance and lustrous foliage. White fir, a specimen, has an attractive silvery color.
Arbor vitae, like cedar, furnishes flat evergreen branch found in flower arrangements at Christmas. It is an ornamental tree of many varieties, and is best located in moist protected places. Un-trimmed, it is a broad pyramid, 35 to 50 feet tall, but it shears to any size or shape.