Grow different types of evergreen trees for winter color and make your garden more private!
Evergreen trees have green leaves all year round, so they are perfect for keeping some interest going in the backyard through the winter months. They will also add a bit of privacy to your garden. You’ll have foliage all year-round instead of bare stems in the winter.
There are many different types of evergreen trees, ranging from 3 feet tall to 300 feet! The leaves of evergreen trees vary widely too, from small narrow needles to enormous palm fronds.
We’ve picked out some different types of evergreen trees in this article to help you choose the ones that suit your garden the best.
Which are your favorite types of evergreen trees?
21 Different Types of Evergreen Trees
Common name: Monkey Puzzle Tree
These distinctive trees from the Southern Hemisphere have leaves arranged in spirals along their branches. The dark green triangular leaves end in sharp points. Monkey puzzles make an impressive statement in a large garden.
Common name: Evergreen magnolia, bull bay
The large fragrant flowers of magnolia can be enjoyed on an evergreen tree. Magnolia grandiflora has glossy dark green leaves and cup-shaped creamy blooms in late summer and autumn.
Common name: Tree-like rhododendron
Rhododendrons can be grown as shrubs or trees, and be deciduous or evergreen. Rhododendron arboreum is a large evergreen tree that produces masses of flowers in early spring. The flowers can be red, white, or pink. They prefer acidic soils.
Common name: Pine
Some of the most familiar types of evergreen trees, pines can grow to over 40 feet if they have space. Their needles are often more spaced out than those of spruces and firs. Many have grey-green needles, like Jeffrey’s pine (Pinus jeffreyi).
Common name: Atlas cedar
Cedars grow into large spectacular trees. They are conical when they are young, but as they grow, the branches spread out widely. Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’, the Blue Atlas cedar, has blue needle-like leaves and stands out impressively in any big garden.
Common name: Juniper
Junipers are diverse types of evergreen trees that survive well in cold climates. Some grow low to the ground while others are upright and form pyramid shapes. The Rocky Mountain juniper, also known as ‘Skyrocket’, grows as a narrow grey-blue column and can reach 20 feet. It’s happy in hot, dry conditions.
Common name: Yew, common yew, European yew, English yew
The reddish bark of the yew stands out in any backyard against the tree’s attractive dark green foliage. There are low-growing and tall varieties, with around 30 different species in all. Yew is an excellent choice for a hedge because it is long-lived, and the foliage is dense.
Common name: Mediterranean cypress, Italian cypress
This evergreen tree is a familiar sight in the Mediterranean with its tall narrow shape and dark green foliage. Italian cypresses can reach 30 feet in 20 years and will continue to grow in an upright fashion. They look pleasing planted in rows.
Common name: Lawson’s cypress
Very tall, conical types of evergreen trees with drooping branches. Lawson’s cypress can get to 80 feet. Flat sprays of leaves are accompanied by small red-pink and green cones in the spring. The ‘Pelt’s Blue’ variety has striking grey-blue-green foliage.
Common name: Spruce
Spruces are coniferous evergreen trees with needles. There are many different shapes and sizes, from dwarf conifers to gigantic trees. Some spruces, like Brewer’s weeping spruce, have a drooping habit with branches of needles hanging in curtains.
Common name: Chinese hawthorn
Some types of Photinias lose their leaves in the winter, but Photinia serratifolia is an evergreen variety. The bark peels off in shades of grey and reddish-brown. The flowers are white in late spring, followed by bright red berries.
Common name: Fir
Firs are evergreen conifers with needles and cones. They are often chosen as Christmas trees. The Fraser fir, Abies fraseri, can reach about 50 feet, with cylindrical cones that have a dark purple color when they are young, changing to brown as they mature.
Common name: Eucalyptus, gum tree
Eucalyptus trees are incredibly hardy and will bring color and texture to your backyard. Eucalyptus pauciflora subsp. Niphophila is known for its colorful bark that looks like snakeskin. Be careful to plant your Eucalyptus well away from buildings, as they can cause subsidence.
Common name: Olive
For a touch of the Mediterranean, add olive trees to your garden. They are evergreen and bring a beautiful look to any patio. Olives will survive in the cold and actually need a couple of chilly months to produce flowers and fruit. If you live somewhere that gets below -10֯ C though, plant them in pots and bring them into a greenhouse in winter.
Common name: Evergreen oak, holly oak, holm oak
These types of evergreen trees are for big gardens and parks. This impressive evergreen oak tree has finely-cracked, black bark and yellow catkins in spring. It will reach 40 feet.
Common name: Holly
The unmistakeable shape of holly leaves often accompanies Christmas. There are many different types to choose from. Ilex aquifolium ‘Elegantissima’ grows into a small tree with dark green leaves edged with cream – and the classic red berries of course. For something different, ‘Bacciflava’ has yellow berries.
Common name: Tree fuschia
Did you know a fuschia can grow into a small tree? This one grows to about 6 feet tall, so it makes a wise choice for a small garden. The glossy green leaves will be on show all year round, accompanied by pink to purple flowers in the summer, and dark purple to blue-black fruits in autumn.
Common name: Strawberry tree
A great addition to the garden because there is something to look at all year round. This small evergreen tree grows to about 15 feet.
It has creamy urn-shaped flowers and red strawberry-looking fruits in the winter months. The leaves are dark green; the bark is an attractive brown and develops a rough, gnarly look as the tree ages.
Common name: Cotoneaster ‘Cornubia’
Cotoneasters are often grown as shrubs, but they can grow into small trees. The simple leaves are joined by small clusters of white or pink flowers in the summer, and then berries which birds love in the autumn. Cotoneaster ‘Cornubia’ can reach 20 feet.
Common name: Japanese camellia
A great plant to grow into a shrubby tree because it flowers from winter to spring when many other plants are not on display. Will get to 26 feet high by 23 feet wide. There are thousands of different camellias to choose from, so you should find the perfect one for your backyard.
Common name: Chilean myrtle
The aromatic leaves of the Chilean myrtle stay on the tree all year round. The tree is multi-stemmed and will reach about 25 feet ultimately. The flaking bark is a curious feature. You can eat the red-black berries which appear after the small clusters of fragrant flowers in spring.