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Evergreen trees for Colorado landscapes

Needled evergreen trees, also called conifers, provide year-round interest, color and texture to any landscape. Before selecting evergreen trees at a nursery, evaluate the intended planting location for good soil drainage, sufficient sunlight and space adequate enough to accommodate the desired evergreen at its mature size. Determine whether the tree's growth might later infringe on overhead utility lines.

white firWhen planting several different species of evergreen trees in the landscape, plant those with similar water needs in the same general area. Don't mix species with widely different water needs. Evergreens such as pines and junipers that need less moisture may not do well in lawn areas because grass needs much more water. Avoid planting any conifer in soggy areas that drain poorly. And remember, some evergreen trees don't do well in elevations above 6,000 feet.

Large conifer trees include white fir, Douglas fir, Austrian pine, ponderosa pine, Colorado blue spruce, Englemann spruce and Norway spruce.

Medium conifer trees include eastern red cedar, limber pine, Scotch pine and black hills spruce.

rocky mountain juniperSmall conifer trees include Chinese juniper varieties such as Spartan, Robusta Green and Keteleeri; Rocky Mountain juniper varieties such as Grey Gleam, Sutherland and Wichita Blue; and others such as pinyon pine, bristlecone pine, dwarf Alberta spruce and arborvitae.

Many dwarf varieties of conifers are available for use in smaller spaces.

Before planting anything in your yard, call the underground utility notification hotline at 1-800-922-1987 to avoid damaging any underground utility lines.

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).


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Updated Tuesday, November 19, 2013