Selecting Evergreen Trees
Evergreen trees are popular in the Kansas City landscape as they provide
summer and winter interest and help screen out strong winds and noise.
Unfortunately, a combination of environmental conditions and pest problems has
made growing evergreens a challenge.
In order for a plant to become recommended it must meet several criteria.
This criterion includes tolerance of a wide range of soil and environmental
conditions, relatively pest free, and a desirable growth habit. Very few trees
meet these requirements. Evergreen trees to learn more about before deciding
which is best for your situation include:
- Junipers (Red Cedar) – Different varieties are available on the market
and range in height and width. Junipers are probably the most tolerant of
any evergreen species. Many people do not care for their rugged looks but
they are hardy. ‘Canaertii’ is a good choice for a screen or windbreak.
- Pines – Several speicies of pines are adaptable to Kansas City climates.
Due to pest problems two of the most common, Scots (Scotch) and Austrian
Pine should not be planted. White Pine is an acceptable choice but would
prefer less harsh sites, better soil and an even supply of moisture than
other types of pine.
- Spruce – Blue, White, or Norway are good landscape specimen plants. They
would thrive best protected from strong winds, good drainage and even
- Arborvitae – Many people remember this plant from childhood planted at
the corner or entrance of older homes. It is well adapted to this climate.
Bagworms can be a problem but newer varieties make it well suited to the
Other evergreens in the landscape have limited uses due to special
requirements. These include such trees as Hemlock, Firs, and American Holly.
Dennis Patton, DPatton@oznet.ksu.edu
County Extension Agent, Horticulture
Johnson County, Kansas
Kansas State University Research and Extension