Evergreen trees are valued in home and commercial landscaping for their year-round healthy green foliage. In addition to their permanent colour, most evergreens provide plenty of shade and a pleasant woodsy scent. If you need shade or privacy borders quickly, fast-growing evergreen trees will fulfil your landscaping requirements.
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'Green Giant' Arborvitae
The 'Green Giant' arbor vitae evergreen tree generally grows up to 3 feet per year. This tree has thick, soft foliage that is ideal for borders. It grows in a uniform conical shape that does not require trimming, but its height can reach 50 feet if not pruned to the desired size. 'Green Giant' is tolerant of hot and cool climates and grows well in clay, sand or rich soil. They are also drought-tolerant; you can plant them at any time of year.
The Leyland Cypress is a popular landscaping tree in the United States due to its thick, evergreen foliage and quick growth rate. These trees grow an average of 3 to 4 feet annually. The Leyland Cypress is adaptable to a variety of growing climates and conditions, but is best suited for warm to moderate climates. They can mature to a height of at least 50 feet when planted individually, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but when planted in rows, pruning will maintain them at a shorter height. The Leyland Cypress is a fast-growing screen option; however, according to the U.S. National Arboretum website, older trees are susceptible to fungal disease.
The Norway spruce is a fast-growing evergreen ideal for shade in large yards. This variety has one of the highest growth rates of all spruces, averaging at least 18 inches of growth per year. It grows best in areas that receive around 35 inches of annual rainfall. The Norway spruce has dark green needle foliage and is a common choice for Christmas trees. It can grow to a height of 100 feet or more if given adequate space.
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- Arbor Day Foundation: Arborvitae, Green Giant
- Michigan State University Extension: Picea abies--Norway Spruce
- United States National Arboretum: Good Hedges Make Good Neighbors
- The Heartland Institute: Eucalyptus Trees May Improve U.S. Forest Production
- University of Florida Extension: Cupressocyparis leylandii