25 Types of Evergreen Tree to Add to Your Yard

Hemlock tree branch with cones.

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Grow a type of evergreen tree if year-round foliage is important to you. Because they don't drop their leaves in fall, evergreens furnish winter interest, but their usefulness goes beyond that. Because they're constants in the landscape, evergreens are referred to as the "bones" of your design. They provide the backdrop for other plants. Many are also deer-resistant. However, starving deer eat just about anything. All "deer-resistant" means is that the odds are in your favor that the deer will leave the plant alone.

Here are 25 types of evergreen trees.

What Is an Evergreen?

An evergreen is a plant that retains living leaves all year long, provided that it is growing in a suitable zone. Although there are strong associations between "evergreen" and "conifer," the two terms are not synonymous. The trees that are not evergreen fall into the "deciduous" category. While we usually think of evergreens as being trees or shrubs, some perennials are also evergreens, such as candytuft (Iberis sempervirens).

  • 01 of 25

    Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)

    Eastern white pine tree with watery backdrop.
    David Beaulieu

    You may have a friend who refers to all evergreen trees as "pines." While inaccurate, it does illustrate how popular pines are. And the eastern white pine, a native of eastern North America, is the best-known of the entire genus.

    In the wild, the eastern white pine grows to 80 feet tall, and older trees have deeply-furrowed bark. Such a plant can make a good shade tree, but many homeowners are looking for something shorter. The weeping white pine (Pinus strobus 'Pendula') becomes only 15 feet tall. Pines can be messy, so avoid planting them if you desire low-maintenance. Eastern white pines bear large cones that are valued for crafts but are a headache for homeowners when they must be raked up. The trees also drop pitch which is especially problematic if you'll be parking under them.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun to partial sun
    • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 50 to 80 feet tall, 20 to 40 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Good
  • 02 of 25

    Japanese Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys verticillata)

    Japanese umbrella pine tree right in a home's foundation bed.
    David Beaulieu

    The Japanese umbrella pine isn't a true pine, but it is an interesting plant to grow that offers novelty to the landscape. The needles are 5 inches long, dark green most of the year, and glossy. In winter they may pick up some bronzy tints. But to appreciate what makes them special, you have to touch them: they have a texture that is rubbery. The cones are small and usually not a problem. A slow grower, this native of Japan eventually attains a height of about 25 feet. Exfoliating bark adds to its winter interest.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Evenly moist, well-drained, loamy soil enriched with humus
    • Mature Size: 25 feet tall, 15 to 20 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Good
  • 03 of 25

    Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris)

    Closeup of longleaf pine.

    photo by Bill Koplitz/Getty Images

    The foliage color of this large native of the American South is often yellowish-green. Its pine needles are 8 to 18 inches. The cones of this slow grower are grayish-brown, 5 to 12 inches long, and valued for their use in crafts. Longleaf pine has reddish-brown bark with paper-like scales. The needles are harvested for use as "pine-straw" mulch.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 9
    • Leaf Color: Yellowish-green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Tolerant of clay but performs best in well-drained soil
    • Mature Size: 80 to 100 feet tall and 30 to 40 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Poor
  • 04 of 25

    Japanese Dwarf Pine (Pinus parviflora 'Arnold Arboretum Dwarf')

    Dwarf pine closeup.

    Werner Meidinger/Getty Images

    Not every evergreen tree is a giant and/or a fast grower. This fact gives you choices, meaning you can tailor your selection to your own circumstances. The short height and slow growth rate of dwarf Japanese white pine allow you to grow it in tight spots (such as along house foundations) where larger specimens would cause you nothing but headaches. These characteristics also reduce your workload, since this Japanese native hardly ever needs to be pruned. The species name of parviflora comes from the plant's atypically small cones; this cultivar may not produce cones at all.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 8
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Fertile, well-drained soil
    • Mature Size: At 10 years old, 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Good
    Continue to 5 of 25 below.
  • 05 of 25

    Aleppo Pine (Pinus halepensis)

    Young Aleppo pine.

    lostintimeline/Getty Images

    Native to the Mediterranean, the Aleppo pine is valued for its drought tolerance. It is a great plant selection for low-rainfall areas such as southern California. Aleppo pine is a medium-sized tree (20 to 50 feet tall, with a similar spread) with orangey-red bark and and medium-sized cones.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 8 to 11
    • Leaf Color: Yellowish-green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, loamy or sandy, tolerant of drought
    • Mature Size: 20 to 50 feet tall, with a similar spread
    • Deer Resistance: Good
  • 06 of 25

    Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris)

    Scots pine trees growing in field with heather.

    James Warwick/Getty Images

    Long used as a Christmas tree, this Scotland native is also one of the best landscape trees you can plant. It is long-lived, grows at a moderate rate, and has attractive features. The trunk is long and straight, with flaking bark (a rusty color near the top). The needles are relatively long (up to 4 inches). The cones grow up to 3 inches long, start out pinkish-red (later becoming grayish-brown), and are composed of diamond-shaped scales. But this is a large tree (60 to 125 tall, 40 feet wide), so you need plenty of room for it.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 to 9
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, tolerates low fertility
    • Mature Size: 60 to 125 tall, 40 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Fair
  • 07 of 25

    Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria)

    Yaupon holly closeup.

    Nenov/Getty Images

    We tend to think of evergreens as having needles, but some of your choices fall into the broadleaf category. Yaupon holly, a native of the American Southeast, is a small tree (10 to 30 feet tall, with a spread of 8 to 12 feet). Plant several in a row to form a privacy hedge. If you want the females to bear berries, you will need to grow a male as a pollinator. The red berries of this tree offer a vibrant color that few evergreen trees can match.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 9
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full to partial sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, sandy
    • Mature Size: 10 to 30 feet tall, with a spread of 8 to 12 feet
    • Deer Resistance: Fair

    What Is a Broadleaf Evergreen?

    A broadleaf evergreen qualifies as an evergreen in the same way that others do. The only difference is in what the leaf looks like. Whereas needled evergreens have a skinny leaf, broadleaf evergreens have a wide leaf.

  • 08 of 25

    Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)

    Large live oak.

    Daniela Duncan/Getty Images

    The live oak is another broadleaf example. To a Northerner, "evergreen oak" seems like an oxymoron, but this is a tree that drips with associations with the Deep South (and often with Spanish moss, too), to which it is native. It is also an unusual tree in that it is wider than it is tall (40 to 80 feet tall, 60 to 100 feet wide); keep this fact in mind when choosing a location for it, since you will need more room than is afforded by a small yard.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 8 to 10
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, dry to moist
    • Mature Size: 40 to 80 feet tall, 60 to 100 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Good
    Continue to 9 of 25 below.
  • 09 of 25

    Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)

    Magnolia tree closeup with blossom.

    Photos from Japan, Asia and of the world/Getty Images

    Yet another example of a broadleaf evergreen tree is the Southern magnolia. Many people choose broadleaf evergreens over needled ones because they bring features (flowers, berries) that needled evergreens lack. Among other benefits, this tree boasts fragrant flowers. This is a large tree (60 to 80 feet tall, 20 to 40 feet wide), so don't expect to be able to grow it on a small property. It's native to the southeastern United States.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 to 10
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, moist
    • Mature Size: 60 to 80 feet tall, 20 to 40 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance:
  • 10 of 25

    Green Giant Arborvitae (Thuja standishii × plicata)

    Green Giant arborvitae hedge forming a courtyard.

    stock_colors/Getty Images

    The hybrid, Green Giant is one of the taller types of arborvitae (40 to 60 feet tall) and a fast grower. Those are two reasons why it's a popular choice when a tall privacy hedge is required. The small cones are not messy, and the rich, green foliage is dense. That's the good news. The bad news is that, true to its species, it is susceptible to deer damage, although it is more deer-resistant than most types.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Soil Needs: Fertile, well-drained clay or loam
    • Mature Size: 40 to 60 feet tall, 12 to 18 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Fair
  • 11 of 25

    Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)

    Blue spruce against a contrasting background of greenery.

    onepony/Getty Images

    Colorado blue spruce is well-known as a Christmas tree. Besides its blue foliage, it is valued for its hardiness (to zone 2). The deer leave this North American native alone due not only to its prickly texture but also its fragrance, which humans find pleasant. The cones are medium-sized and ripen to a pale buff color.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 to 7
    • Leaf Color: Blue
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Loamy, moist, rich, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 75 feet tall, 15 to 20 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Good
  • 12 of 25

    Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica')

    Dwarf Alberta spruce planted near a pond.

    mtreasure/Getty Images

    A popular use for this Alberta native is in foundation plantings. Another way to exploit its slow growth rate and small dimensions is to pot up a couple to flank your front door. Some go a step further and adorn them with Christmas tree ornaments for the holidays. The tiny (1/2 inch long) green needles are aromatic. Its tight, densely-packed growth habit gives dwarf Alberta spruce tree a "fuzzy" look. It rarely produces cones, and, when it does, they're small, so there's little mess.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 6
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained soil
    • Mature Size: 10 to 13 feet tall, 7 to 10 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Good
    Continue to 13 of 25 below.
  • 13 of 25

    Norway Spruce (Picea abies)

    Norway spruce closeup showing cones.

    nplion/Getty Images

    This fast-growing European native is another favorite in Christmas decorations. If you don't mind the mess, the 4-to-6-inch cones are highly ornamental and are popular with crafts enthusiasts (for wreaths, etc.). But Norway spruce eventually becomes a big tree (50 to 75 feet tall, 30 to 50 feet wide), so it is most suitable for large yards. It shares superb cold hardiness (to zone 2) with the Colorado blue spruce.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 to 7
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun to partial sun
    • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained soil
    • Mature Size: 50 to 75 feet tall, 30 to 50 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Good
  • 14 of 25

    Serbian Spruce (Picea omorika)

    Serbian spruce branch with pink cones.

    Marina Denisenko/Getty Images

    A selling point of the Serbian spruce is its cones. The two-inch cones start out purple but age to a reddish-brown, affording winter interest. Another benefit is that the tree's tolerance to drought and salt makes it suitable for street plantings. Serbian spruce is a graceful tree, tall, but not too wide (50 feet tall and 15 feet wide), so this Balkans native can fit into most medium-sized yards.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4 to 7
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained soil, average fertility and moisture
    • Mature Size: 50 feet tall, 15 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Good
  • 15 of 25

    Brewer Spruce (Picea breweriana)

    Brewer spruce closeup showing weeping branches.

    pcturner71/Getty Images

    This native of northern California and southern Oregon is grown mainly for its weeping habit. The challenge in growing this specimen is that it is very particular about climate. It wants cool, wet winters and dry, warm summers. Where these conditions do not prevail, the tree tends to perform poorly. The cylindrical cones start out dark reddish-purple and mature to a lighter reddish-brown; they are relatively large cones (about 4.5 inches long).

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 to 8
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained soil
    • Mature Size: 30 to 50 feet tall, with a spread slightly less than that
    • Deer Resistance: Good
  • 16 of 25

    Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

    Closeup of hemlock tree with cones.

    Jennifer Gauld/Getty Images

    This North American native features fine foliage and small (up to 3/4 inch long), tan, pendant-shaped cones that aren't too messy But it has its limitations. A large tree (70 feet tall, 25 to 35 feet wide), it is ill-suited to small yards. Also, it is best grown in cool, moist, well-drained soils. A further limitation is presented by its shallow root system: grow it where it will be protected from the wind.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 7
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Soil Needs: Moist, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 70 feet tall, 25 to 35 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Fair
    Continue to 17 of 25 below.
  • 17 of 25

    Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

    Eastern red cedar closeup with berries.

    weaver1234/Getty Images

    The eastern red "cedar" is actually a type of juniper; only members of the genus, Cedrus are true cedars. Perhaps lending credence to its false claim to membership in the genus is the fact that its fragrant, reddish-brown heartwood is often used in making cedar chests. It has an unusual cone; this cone is small, bluish, and eaten by various species of wild birds. This native of eastern North America can become 65 feet tall and 25 feet wide, but it more commonly grows 30 feet tall and 8 feet wide. The scale-like foliage is a selling point.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 to 9
    • Leaf Color: Bluish-green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained soil
    • Mature Size: 30 to 65 feet tall, with a spread of 8 to 25 feet
    • Deer Resistance: Fair
  • 18 of 25

    Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani)

    Big cedar of Lebanon tree perched atop a terraced hill.

    Olivier Rault/Getty Images

    Cedar of Lebanon is an example of a true cedar. This Mediterranean native has erect cones that are up to 4 inches long. They start out greenish-purple and mature to a reddish brown. This is a large tree (40 to 100 feet tall, 40 to 80 feet wide) that needs space.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 9
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, moist soil
    • Mature Size: 40 to 100 feet tall, 40 to 80 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Thought to be good
  • 19 of 25

    Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica)

    Weeping blue atlas cedar in yard.

    Afonskaya/Getty Images

    This true cedar is known to many through its weeping cultivar, 'Glauca Pendula," which, being smaller (12 feet x 12 feet) is better suited to small yards. But even the species tree can be trained to droop, creating interest in the landscape. This medium-sized tree (40 to 60 feet tall, with a spread of 30 to 40 feet wide) is native to the Atlas Mountains of northwestern Africa. It is monoecious, with distinct male and female cones on the same tree. The male cones are cylindrical and 2 to 3 inches long; the female cones are barrel-shaped and 2 inches x 3 inches.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 to 9
    • Leaf Color: Bluish-green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained soil
    • Mature Size: 40 to 60 feet tall, with a spread of 30 to 40 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Good
  • 20 of 25

    Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara)

    Big deodar cedar among other trees.

    Marina Denisenko/Getty Images

    Another example of a true cedar, this fast-growing tree (40 to 70 feet tall, with a spread of 20 to 40 feet) has drooping branches and is native to the western Himalayas. Like blue Atlas cedar, it is monoecious; it has cones similar to the former, but larger.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 9
    • Leaf Color: Bluish-green or grayish-green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Loamy, moist, well-drained
    • Mature Size: 40 to 70 feet tall, with a spread of 20 to 40 feet
    • Deer Resistance: Good
    Continue to 21 of 25 below.
  • 21 of 25

    White Fir (Abies concolor)

    White fir branch closeup.

    anmbph/Getty Images

    Another popular Christmas tree, this North American native is medium-sized (40 to 50 feet tall, with a spread of 20 to 30 feet). The barrel-shaped cones are 3 to 6 inches long; they begin green to pale blue but ripen to brown or purple. Cones may take many years to appear.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3 to 7
    • Leaf Color: Light bluish-green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, sandy
    • Mature Size: 40 to 50 feet tall, with a spread of 20 to 30 feet
    • Deer Resistance: Fair
  • 22 of 25

    Leyland Cypress (× Cuprocyparis leylandii)

    Closeup of Leyland cypress branches.

    Ioannis Tsotras/Getty Images

    Just as there are true cedars and false cedars, there are true cypresses and false cypresses. Leyland cypress, a hybrid, is a false cypress. The plant is very popular in the American Southeast, particularly as a hedge plant. A fast grower, it sports flattened sprays of foliage on upright branches. The small cones are dark brown. It gets tall without pruning but stays relatively narrow (60 to 70 feet tall, 10 to 15 feet wide), so it can fit into a medium-sized yard.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 to 10
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained soil, fertile, moist
    • Mature Size: 60 to 70 feet tall, 10 to 15 feet wide
    • Deer Resistance: Fair
  • 23 of 25

    Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa)

    Hinoki cypress with Wolf Eyes dogwood in background for contrast.
    David Beaulieu

    A false cypress, hinoki is a slow-grower, reaching 40 to 75 feet tall and 10 to 20 wide. This Asian native features spreading horizontal branches that droop at the tips. It's used for privacy screens because it's so dense and is also a favorite for Japanese gardens. The globose cones are 1/3 to 1/2 inch in diameter. 

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8
    • Leaf Color: Green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained, moist
    • Mature Size: 40 to 75 feet tall and 10 to 20 wide
    • Deer Resistance: Fair
  • 24 of 25

    Arizona Cypress (Cupressus arizonica)

    4 Arizona cypresses in an uneven row.

    Marina Denisenko/Getty Images

    This Southwestern native, a true cypress, is an excellent choice for warm areas that receive little rainfall. A moderately fast grower, it reaches 40 to 50 feet tall, with a spread of 15 to 30 feet, making it suitable for medium-sized yards. The foliage is attractive, consisting of small, scale-like leaves in a color ranging from green to grayish-green to bluish-green. Like eastern red cedar, the tree does bear cones, but the cones are different from those on pines, spruces, hemlocks, etc. These globular cones are 1 inch in diameter and grayish-brown.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 9
    • Leaf Color: Green to grayish-green to bluish-green
    • Light: Full sun
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained; drought-tolerant
    • Mature Size: 40 to 50 feet tall, with a spread of 15 to 30 feet
    • Deer Resistance: Fair
    Continue to 25 of 25 below.
  • 25 of 25

    Irish Yew (Taxus baccata 'Fastigiata')

    Closeup of Irish yew showing the berries.

    Mario Krpan/Getty Images

    An evergreen tree for small yards, this is a slow-growing, columnar cultivar of the yew tree that's native to England. Yews, which are dioecious, have long served as Christmas decorations. Yews are classified as conifers, but the "cones," again, are unusual: They take the form of red, berry-like objects which are actually called "arils." Call them what you like, but they make yews especially festive during the holidays.

    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 7 to 9
    • Leaf Color: Dark green
    • Light: Full sun to partial shade
    • Soil Needs: Well-drained
    • Mature Size: 15 to 30 feet tall, with a spread of 4 to 8 feet
    • Deer Resistance: Poor

    Warning

    Yew bark, needles, and fruit are toxic to humans and pets.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Poisonous and Non-Poisonous Plants. National Capital Poison Center Poison Control.

  2. Yew. ASPCA.