Evergreen trees are often hardy

Evergreen trees are often hardy

What are evergreen trees?

Evergreen plants keep their leaves or needles all year round instead of shedding them in autumn and sprouting again in spring. A distinction must be made between so-called evergreen trees, the leaves of which dry up in autumn, but remain on the tree as frost protection and are often only thrown off completely in spring. But even evergreen trees shed their leaves or needles from time to time, namely when they have reached a certain age. This is usually the case after about three to five years, but it varies depending on the type and variety. The variety of evergreen trees is very large, with both coniferous and deciduous trees for the garden.

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  • Mediterranean trees are not hardy
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Evergreen, hardy deciduous trees

Although there are many evergreen deciduous trees, there is no hardy deciduous tree among them in this country. Instead, it is mostly in the bushes, which, however - depending on the type and variety - are grafted onto a half or high trunk and thus raised to a small tree. These include the Portuguese laurel (Prunus lusitanica), the common box (Buxus), which is native to us, as well as the holly (Ilex) and ivy (Hedera). The species mentioned are usually very well tolerated by pruning and are therefore also suitable for hedges.

Evergreen conifers

On the other hand, if you are looking for a real, evergreen tree, you will find it more in the conifers. These can cause wonderful effects in the garden, for example through a bizarre growth, an unusual needle color or bright red fruit decorations. Conifers come in different sizes and are therefore suitable for both small and large gardens. Most species are quite undemanding with regard to their location and easy to care for. The most beautiful hardy conifers include the following:

  • Silver fir (Abies alba)
  • Red fir / Norway spruce (Picea abies)
  • Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)
  • European yew (Taxus baccata)
  • Occidental tree of life (Thuja occidentalis)
  • Common juniper (Juniperus communis)
  • Lawson's cypress (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana)
  • Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa)

Evergreen rhododendrons

Many rhododendrons - not trees, but large bushes - are evergreen and also inspire in spring with their lush display of flowers. For example, evergreen species suitable for the garden are

  • Beautiful rhododendron (Rhododendron calophytum)
  • Fortunes Rhododendron (Rhododendron fortunei)
  • Excellent Rhododendron (Rhododendron insigne)
  • Ward's Rhododendron (Rhododendron wardii)

Rhododendrons are most comfortable on acidic soils with a pH value between 4.5 and 5. Most garden soils need to be topped up with peat or rhododendron soil before planting.


Evergreen plants still need water in winter. It is therefore advisable to water them from time to time, provided the soil is frost-free. This is especially useful when the winter is rather dry and the plants are already hanging their leaves.