Evergreen Trees

In Botany, an Evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all four seasons. This contrasts with Deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry seasons. There are many different kinds of Evergreen plants, and they include both trees and shrubs. Evergreens include most species of Conifers. Most Evergreens derive from frost-free climates and other tree families such as the Eucalyptus and Rainforest trees.

Seasonal information: Evergreen trees are a plant that has leaves in all four seasons. Most tropical rainforest plants are considered to be evergreen, replacing their leaves gradually throughout the year as the leaves age and fall, whereas species growing in seasonally arid climates may be either evergreen or deciduous. Most warm temperate climate plants are also evergreen.

Location: In temperate climates, Evergreen trees can reinforce their own survival; evergreen leaf and needle litter has a higher carbon-nitrogen ratio than does deciduous leaf litter, contributing to a higher soil acidity and lower soil nitrogen content. These conditions favor the growth of more evergreens and make it more difficult for deciduous plants to persist.

Planting instructions: Spring planting is best done just after frost leaves the ground, the weather is still cool, and lots of spring rain is expected. To plant your Evergreen trees, work a flat spade back and forth at least a foot into the ground to create a trench, scooping out any dirt that falls into the bottom. Hold the tree by the trunk with one hand and gently push the bottoms of the roots into the very bottom of the trench with your other hand, and then pull the tree back up to ground level, if necessary, to prevent the roots from curling upwards and to get the tree at the right planting height. Once in the trench, pour a quart or more of water into the trench, allow the water to drain down a bit, and then push the trench shut with your foot.

Watering: Watering should be followed depending on the Evergreen tree you choose, but as a general rule of thumb, you should increase watering in warmer climates and reduce in winter. You should also monitor the soil conditions and other plants or trees to make sure they are also receiving adequate soil nutrients in an evergreen environment.

Fertilization: The plant itself will often indicate when it needs fertilizer. If growth rate and needle color are normal for a particular variety, fertilization is not necessary. If new growth is sparse or slow, or the needles are not a healthy color, or are shorter than normal, you should probably fertilize. Keep in mind, however, it is not unusual or abnormal for newly transplanted evergreens to exhibit slow growth until they are re-established. Regular fertilization may be recommended if you are trying to grow evergreens in a less-than-ideal site, such as in very sandy or heavy clay soil, or if the plant has suffered damage from insects or disease. You might also wish to fertilize to encourage more rapid growth in relatively young evergreens. Never fertilize drought-stressed plants. If conditions become quite dry after you’ve fertilized, it’s doubly important to water your Evergreen trees regularly.

Weed Control: Weed control mats and landscape fabric are a very effective method for controlling weeds, and this avoids most environmental issues. Weed mats are specifically engineered to allow water and nutrients to pass through the mesh, while blocking 95% of weeds. There are many online stores that offer weed mats, and some are even Eco-friendly.

Pruning: Current pruning recommendations advise against pruning branches flush to the trunk. Flush cutting is harmful in several ways: it damages bark as pruning tools rub against the trunk, it removes the branch collar, and it goes behind the branch bark ridge. The branch collar is the swollen area of trunk tissue that forms around the base of a branch. The branch bark ridge is a line of rough bark running from the branch-trunk crotch into the trunk bark, less prominent on some trees than on others.

The best pruning cut is made outside the branch collar, at a 45 to 60 degree angle to the branch bark ridge. Leave the branch collar intact to help prevent decay from entering the trunk.

Pollination: The pollen count for Evergreen trees tends to be the highest in the morning during warm, dry weather. The dry pollen grains are blown around to cover sidewalks and cars. The lowest pollen count occurs when the weather is freezing or wet, since rainfall knocks the pollen out of the air, trapping it on the ground.

 Evergreen trees begin their pollination in the spring after the last heavy spring rain has occurred or the last spring frost has passed. A late frost can delay the pollination cycle of evergreens.

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