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10 Evergreen Trees in Washington State for Color & Privacy


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Evergreen trees are abundant in the wild in WA, more so than anywhere else in the United States, so there are plenty of native options for you to plant in your yard which will require little maintenance, attention, or upkeep.

There are many reasons to want to plant evergreen trees in your yard, including to block out unwanted views, to provide shelter for local wildlife, and to buffer wind or noise.

Whatever your reason for wanting to plant evergreen trees in your WA yard, there are a wealth of options for you to choose from.

Read on for ten options for you to consider planting to keep your yard green throughout the year.

10 Stunning Evergreen Trees that Grow Well in Washington

1. Norway Spruce (Picea abies)

Norway Spruce
Image by Lyrae Willis for Tree Vitalize

The Norway Spruce is a fast-growing evergreen capable of towering to impressive heights in as little as 3 years. It features a large pyramidal crown and is coniferous. It grows densely so can easily block out unwanted sights and noises when planted in an appropriate position. The Norway spruce is both drought and cold tolerant and will adapt to many different soil conditions.

The Norway Spruce is one of the most disease-resistant spruce trees around. Not only that but it’s extremely hardy and adaptable.

Other Common Names: European Spruce

Growing Zones: 2-7

Average Size at Maturity: 40-60 ft tall and 25-30 ft wide

Flowering Season: June

2. Colorado Spruce (Picea pungens)

Colorado Blue Spruce
Image by Lyrae Willis for Tree Vitalize

The Colorado Spruce is a coniferous evergreen with a pyramidal form and thickly tiered branching replete with blue/green needles. It can be planted as part of a windbreak, as a large screen, or even as a specimen in large landscapes. It produces cones 3-4” long with a light brown color that are held in the upper part of the tree.

The Colorado Spruce grows at a medium to slow rate so may not be the best option if you’re after privacy quickly. But the patient will be rewarded with a stunning tree, which is one of the most popular evergreens nationwide. Plant in averagely moist soil. They have moderate tolerance to both flooding and drought.

Other Common Names: Blue Spruce, Green Spruce, White Spruce, and Colorado Blue Spruce

Growing Zones: 2-7

Average Size at Maturity: 50-60 ft tall and 12-20 ft wide

Flowering Season: June

3. Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)

Canadian Hemlock
Image by أبو فريد via Flickr

The Canadian Hemlock is a tall evergreen tree that grows best in moist shaded areas, in well-drained soils. It features a pyramidal shape and a single central trunk. The foliage is soft and has a gentle feathery appearance somewhat similar to ferns.

The needles are dark green, arranged along the stems, and have a gray underside. Older trees develop a handsome cinnamon red-hued bark which is immensely ornamental.

Canadian Hemlocks are a beloved nesting site for birds and other animals in the colder winter months, so are suitable for nature lovers looking to attract wildlife to their yards. They look stunning left naturally, but can also be pruned for a more formal look.

Other Common Names: Eastern Hemlock, Eastern Hemlock-Spruce

Growing Zones: 3-8

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

Flowering Season: Late spring

4. Leyland Cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii)

Leyland Cypress
Image by F. D. Richards via Flickr

The Leyland Cypress is one of the most sought-after trees for those looking to plant living privacy on their land. This type of Cypress tree is popular for their fast-growth rate, and conical growth habits when left to fill out naturally. The branches grow outward in a pyramidal fan shape. Leyland Cypresses can easily be trained into hedges or topiary or just about any shape you could wish.

The foliage of the Leyland cypress remains a fresh bluish/green throughout the year. To work as a screen, they can be routinely pruned where they will take on a dense habit.

Other Common Names: Leylandii

Growing Zones: 6-10

Average Size at Maturity: 50-70 ft tall and 15-20 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring

5. American Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

American Arborvitae
Image by Babij via Flickr

The American Arborvitae has a dense narrowly pyramidal/conical shape and lively foliage throughout the year. They can be planted in rows for a thick privacy screen but also can function as specimen trees in the landscape.

American Arborvitae are solid trees that are adaptable to a range of different soil conditions and will grow in either full sun or partial shade.

Other Common Names: Northern White Cedar, Eastern Arborvitae, and Eastern White Cedar

Growing Zones: 3-8

Average Size at Maturity: 25-40 ft tall and 10-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: April – May

6. Cryptomeria Yoshino (Cryptomeria japonica ‘Yoshino’)

cryptomeria yoshino
Image by Mark Bolin via Flickr

The Cryptomeria Yoshino is perfect for those who love the Leyland Cypress but whose yard may be too shady. They are tall and dense evergreen trees that look stunning left to their own devices or pruned to your desired shape.

The foliage is a lovely blue/green color in the summertime and turns purple/bronze in the winter. The outline of the Cryptomeria Yoshino is the much coveted pyramid shape loved by landscape enthusiasts and homeowners alike.

Left untouched, the lower branches will hang down to the ground. Plant a single tree or a group for a screen. The Cryptomeria Yoshino is suitable for most types of soil and requires little maintenance, apart from minimal fertilizer.

Other Common Names: Japanese Cedar, and Sugi

Growing Zones: 5-9

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

Flowering Season: April

7. Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) – Fir Tree

Douglas Fir - Lyrae WIllis Photos
Image by Lyrae Willis for Tree Vitalize

The Douglas Firs are popular native trees that are also an important lumber source nationwide. Planting native trees have immense benefits for local flora and fauna populations. The lower limbs of the Douglas Fir are drooping whilst the upper are ascending. It features a columnar shape. The foliage are flattened needles and vary in color.

The Coast Douglas-fir (var. menziesii), has dark yellow/green needles and large cones and can reach greater heights. Douglas Firs require no work to keep; they’re drought tolerant and need no pruning.

Other Common Names: Red Fir, Douglas Spruce, and Oregon Pine

Growing Zones: 4-6

Average Size at Maturity: 40-70 ft tall and 12-20 ft wide

Flowering Season: April – May

8. Blue Cloak White Fir (Abies concolor ‘Blue Cloak’) – Fir Tree

Blue Cloak White Fir Tree
Image by F. D. Richards via Flickr

The Blue Cloak White Fir stands out amongst other evergreen trees thanks to its whitish/blue needles. It’s also a small-sized tree that retains a pyramid shape into maturity, so is well suited for those with a smaller yard who want a natural-looking evergreen tree. The branches also tend to sweep gently from the tree, adding extra appeal to the Blue Cloak White Fir’s profile.

Whilst it’s a slow grower, when mature it’s more than capable of blocking out unwanted sights and sounds.

Other Common Names: White Fir, Colorado Fir, and Candican’s White Fir

Growing Zones: 4-8

Average Size at Maturity: 7-10 ft tall and 3-4 ft wide

Flowering Season: Winter

9. Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

eastern red cedar
Image by Plant Image Library via Flickr

The Eastern Red Cedar is a hardy tree native to large swathes of North America where it thrives in a wealth of adverse conditions. They’ll thrive in dry, rocky, and salt-exposed sites, can handle urban pollution, and are untroubled by deer and other browsers.

Eastern Red Cedar’s provide nesting, food, and habitat for a wide range of birds and mammals, making them valuable wildlife trees.

The foliage on this Cedar tree starts out silvery blue to dark green, becoming purple/bronze for the winter. Eastern Red Cedars have a rugged pyramidal shape and look their best left unpruned should space allow it. They can be used for screening and windbreaks as well.

Other Common Names: Red Cedar, Virginian Juniper, Eastern Juniper, and Red Juniper

Growing Zones: 3-9

Average Size at Maturity: 40-60 ft tall and 10-20 ft wide

Flowering Season: April – May

10. Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara)

Deodar cedar
Image by David Prasad via Flickr

The Deodar Cedar features a pyramidal shape and beautiful silver/green foliage. It’s a fast-growing tree, making it perfect for a privacy screen or for hedging, where a group of trees can be planted together to form a screen. Male trees produce catkins which release large amounts of pollen in the spring. Female trees feature 3-5” egg-shaped cones that break to release seed.

Deodar Cedars do best in moist, well-drained soil and can grow in sand, loam, or clay-based soils.

Other Common Names: Himalayan Cedar, and Deodar

Growing Zones: 7-9

Average Size at Maturity: 50-70 ft tall and 20-40 ft wide

Flowering Season: October / November

The Evergreen State

As the nickname of WA suggests, (The Evergreen State) it’s the perfect climate for growing evergreen trees. Evergreens can help keep the garden and home landscape looking vibrant throughout the cold winter months.

The abundance of native evergreens in the state means that there are a wealth of easy-to-grow options for homeowners looking to provide some privacy and shelter or add a windbreak to their yard.

Just be sure to check the hardiness map of Washington before you plant to know what may or may not be suited for your area.

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