6 Evergreen Trees to Grow in Idaho for Green All Year

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Written By Thomas Pitto

Propagation Expert & Permaculture Enthusiast

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Home » Idaho » 6 Evergreen Trees to Grow in Idaho for Green All Year

Evergreen trees are those that retain their leaves throughout the year and can provide a dense wall of green for the landscape.

As such they as useful in marking property lines, blocking out unwanted sights, or for hedges.

Their capacity for retaining their foliage year-round also makes them a useful habitat for birds and small mammals.

Idaho is a varied state with mountainous terrain and high deserts. Be sure to check the hardiness map of Idaho before planting your evergreen tree, to ensure you plant a suitable species for your specific area.

6 Excellent Evergreen Trees that Grow Well in Idaho

1. Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

canadian hemlock
Image by James St. John via Flickr

The Canadian Hemlock is a tall and graceful evergreen tree that grows best in semi-shade in a cool and moist area. It features a much-coveted pyramidal silhouette held by a single central trunk.

The foliage are short dark needles with a gray underside. Older barks develop a furrowed trunk with a soothing cinnamon tone. Left unpruned, they develop a wonderful lush natural appearance, but also respond well to pruning for hedging or a more formal landscape.

Canadian Hemlocks are woodland edge species, so don’t grow well in full sun. Be sure to position in the shade, ideally in a moist spot.

Other Common Names: Eastern Hemlock

Growing Zones: 3-8

Average Size at Maturity: 60-70 ft tall and 20-40 ft wide

Flowering Season: May

2. Cryptomeria Yoshino (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Yoshino’)

cryptomeria yoshino
Image by Mark Bolin via Flickr

The Cryptomeria Yoshino is typical of Japanese-style gardens. It’s a tall and dense, fast-growing evergreen with a pyramidal shape that grows in shaded, moist areas but will also tolerate full sun.

The summer needles have a bluish/green color and turn bronze/purple in the winter if exposed to cold drying winds. The Cryptomeria Yoshino will tolerate many different soil types and doesn’t require much maintenance to look at its best.

Left alone, its lower branches will reach down to the ground and provide a beautiful natural look to where it’s planted.

Other Common Names: Japanese Cedar

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 30-45 ft tall and 15-20 ft wide

Flowering Season: N/A

3. Red Pine Tree (Pinus resinosa)

Red Pine Tree Pinus resinosa
Image by S. Rae via Flickr

The Red Pine is common throughout the American North including Canada where it’s favored for its tall straight trunk and is one of the most widely planted pines in the United States. However, if you’re after something with a wider canopy or not quite so tall, there are plenty of other types of Pine trees you can plant in your ID yard.

The Red Pine withstands cold, wind, and snow with ease, making it well suited to the long winter of the higher altitude areas of ID. The lower branches of the Red Pine are self-pruning, meaning they self-shed when dead.

Planted in groups they make great privacy trees or windbreaks before they get too big.

Other Common Names: Norway Pine

Growing Zones: 3-7

Average Size at Maturity: 50-70 ft tall and 20-25 ft wide

Flowering Season: June

4. Spartan Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Spartan’)

spartan juniper
Image by Drew Avery via Flickr

The Spartan Juniper is a fast-growing tree suitable either as a specimen tree or for hedging as a privacy tree. The foliage is dense, dark green, and distributed equally all over the tree.

Left untended, the Spartan Juniper maintains a neat pyramidal shape, meaning little upkeep is needed for it to retain a smart and formal appearance. It’s perfect for those ID gardeners with smaller yards who want a conical evergreen but don’t have the space for some of the common bigger trees.

It’ll tolerate a wealth of adverse conditions, such as heat, cold, drought, and salt and will grow in almost any soil type. The Spartan juniper is one of the hardiest of all junipers.

Other Common Names: Chinese Juniper

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 ft tall and 4-5 ft wide

Flowering Season: N/A

5. Cryptomeria Radicans (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Radicans’)

The Cryptomeria Radicans is a densely growing evergreen with feathery foliage and is capable of growing 3-4 ft a year in favorable conditions. It’s slender and large, tapering to a point at the top.

They are hardy trees capable of growing in a variety of soil types, including compacted clay, and can withstand drought once established. The foliage lends a relaxed air to the environment, making it ideal to be placed near seating areas.

The Cryptomeria Radican needs very little care or maintenance, so can be planted and practically forgotten about.

Other Common Names: Sugi, Japanese Cedar

Growing Zones: 5-9

Average Size at Maturity: 30-40 ft tall and 15-20 ft wide

Flowering Season: N/A

6. Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’)

Image via Nature Hills

The Emerald Green Arborvitae is a small-sized White Cedar with vivid green foliage throughout the year. With age, the color deepens to shades of emerald green. The foliage are feathery and have a soft feel. The shape is pyramidal and narrow, and they grow at a fast rate, meaning you can achieve a green wall in no time.

If you’re a fan of Arborvitae (which means tree of life) but don’t have room for the larger varieties, then the Emerald Green Arborvitae may be for you. They are extremely adaptable trees, capable of growing in less-than-ideal conditions with poorly draining soil and urban pollution. They’ll grow in full sun or partial shade, where they’ll develop a more open aspect.

Other Common Names: White Cedar, American Arborvitae, Swamp Cedar, and Eastern Arborvitae

Growing Zones: 4-8

Average Size at Maturity: 10-15 ft tall and 3-4 ft wide

Flowering Season: N/A

Keep Your Yard Green

Just because you live in a cold climate area doesn’t mean you have to suffer without greenery through the depths of winter.

Evergreen trees keep their leaves throughout the season, so can serve numerous functions in the landscape, such as green fences, and windbreaks, as well as providing habitat for local wildlife.

In a design sense, they can also serve as the backbone of your garden around which flowering annuals and shrubs of different sizes can be planted.

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Thomas Pitto

Propagation Expert & Permaculture Enthusiast

Thomas worked for a number of years as the head of plant propagation for a horticultural contractor taking care of many different species of ornamental trees & shrubs. He learned how to propagate certain endangered endemic species and has a love of permaculture, sustainability and conscious living. When Thomas isn't hiking in nature he can be found playing music, reading a book, or eating fruit under a tree.

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