How to Grow Evergreen Trees - Plant Care & Tips

By NorwichGardener Team   /   2024

Evergreen trees is one of the most popular trees to plant. Many people choose to plant them because they are low maintenance and provide year-round interest. They are also relatively easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions.

How to Grow Evergreen Trees - Plant Care & Tips

Also called

  • evergreen tree
  • conifer
  • Christmas tree
  • pine

Things to Know

  • Evergreen trees are a type of tree that keeps its leaves year-round.
  • The leaves of an evergreen tree are typically thick and needle-like.
  • Evergreen trees are found in many different climates, including cold, temperate, and tropical regions.
  • Evergreen trees are an important source of food and shelter for many animals.
  • Evergreen trees are also an important source of wood for many different purposes.
  • Evergreen trees are typically very slow-growing.
  • Evergreen trees can live for hundreds or even thousands of years.
  • Some of the most popular types of evergreen trees include fir, pine, and spruce trees.
  • Evergreen trees are often used as Christmas trees.
  • Evergreen trees are an important part of many people's landscaping.

Related plant:
Best Evergreen Shrubs

How to Grow

  1. For evergreen trees, first step is to find a location that has well-drained soil and full sun.
  2. Next, dig a hole that is twice the width of the tree’s root ball and just as deep.
  3. Once the hole is dug, place the tree in it and backfill the hole with the excavated soil.
  4. Next, water the tree deeply to help settle the roots.
  5. It is important to mulch around the base of the tree to help retain moisture and suppress weeds.
  6. Water the tree regularly, especially during the first growing season.
  7. Fertilize the tree yearly with a balanced fertilizer.
  8. Prune the tree as needed to maintain its shape.
  9. Inspect the tree regularly for pests and diseases.
  10. Enjoy your beautiful evergreen tree!

Related plant:
Evergreen Shrubs

Considering the Soil

About soil condition, evergreen trees as a whole prefer slightly acidic soil, though some varieties will tolerate neutral or even slightly alkaline conditions. They also tend to do well in nutrient-rich soils, though too much nitrogen can actually lead to problems such as excessive growth of soft, weak foliage that is more susceptible to damage from wind and rain.

About light

Not too different with other plants, evergreen trees need sunlight to produce food. They use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen in a process called photosynthesis. Evergreen trees generally have shallow root systems, so they don’t compete well with other plants for sunlight.

Good Temperature

The temperature condition is ideal for evergreen trees. They thrive in cool to moderate climates and can withstand extreme cold. Some species of evergreen trees are even known to survive in temperatures as low as -60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Humidity Aspect

Ideal humidity condition for this plant is around 50%. If the humidity drops below 40%, the leaves will start to turn brown and fall off. If the humidity gets too high, the leaves will start to droop and the plant will become susceptible to fungal diseases.

The Fertilizer

Regarding fertilizer, this family of plant is not too demanding and will do well with a yearly addition of compost or slow-release fertilizer in the spring. Be sure to apply it to the root zone and not on the leaves.

About light

Pruning evergreen trees is an important part of keeping them healthy and looking their best. Unfortunately, pruning is often overlooked or done improperly. This can lead to damage to the tree and an unsightly appearance. The best time to prune evergreen trees is in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. This gives the tree time to heal before the stress of summer. When pruning, make sure to remove dead, diseased, or damaged branches first. Then, trim back any branches that are rubbing against each other or growing in an unwanted direction. Finally, cut back any branches that are overcrowding the center of the tree. Pruning evergreen trees may seem like a lot of work, but it’s worth it to keep them healthy and looking their best. With a little care, your evergreen trees will thrive for years to come.

The Propagation

Propagation is the process of creating new plants from a variety of sources: seeds, cuttings, and division. All evergreen trees can be propagated from seed, but some, like pines and firs, require a period of cold stratification in order to germinate. Cuttings from evergreen trees can be tricky, as they often do not root well. The best time to take cuttings is in late spring or early summer. Evergreen trees can also be propagated by division, which is best done in early spring or fall.

Plant Growth

Usually, the plant growth rate is pretty slow. They might only grow about 6 inches a year. But, there are some evergreen trees that can grow up to 24 inches a year. The growth rate really depends on the tree species and the growing conditions.

Basic Problems

Common problems for this kind of plant are needlecast, dieback, and needle drop. Needlecast is a disease that causes the needles of the tree to fall off, while dieback is a condition where the tips of the branches start to die. Needle drop is when the needles of the tree drop prematurely.

List to Know

  • Remember to till the soil before planting.
  • Water your tree regularly, especially during hot weather.
  • Use a slow-release fertilizer for best results.
  • Don't forget to mulch around your tree to help keep the roots moist.
  • Prune your tree regularly to encourage new growth.
  • When transplanting, be sure to loosen the roots first.
  • If you live in an area with cold winters, consider planting your tree in a pot so you can bring it indoors during the colder months.
  • Avoid over-exposure to sunlight as this can scorch the leaves.
  • Check for pests and diseases regularly, and treat accordingly.
  • Have patience! Trees can take several years to reach their full potential.

Related Plants

  • Alder
  • Arbutus
  • Ash
  • Aspen
  • Beech
  • Birch
  • Cedar
  • Chestnut
  • Douglas fir

evergreen trees | Nebraska Extension
Choosing evergreens for your landscape | UMN Extension
Characteristics of Some Evergreen Trees | NC State Extension

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Reviewed & Published by Richelle
Submitted by our contributor
Shrubs Category