Trees that remain vibrant throughout winter, and retain their foliage and color are categorized as evergreens. Evergreen trees are a warm respite during the dreary, dull months of winter. Growing in a wide range of varieties--each with its own distinct size, shape and color--evergreen trees are a constant source of color and texture during winter.
White spruce (Picea glauca) is an evergreen tree with a moderate growth habit and medium texture. As an evergreen, white spruce retains its foliage and color all year long, including winter. The dense, broad, pyramidal shape of the white spruce tree becomes more narrow and compact as the tree matures. Growing 40 to 60 feet tall and 10 to 20 feet wide, white spruce trees create a commanding landscape presence.
Easy to transplant, white spruce tolerates drought, cold and wind, making for a versatile evergreen tree. The pale-green needles on white spruce trees grow to just under 1 inch long and are four-sided. White spruce trees require full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. Drought-tolerant, white spruce requires a moderate amount of moisture but can withstand periods of low moisture. Plant this tree in USDA hardiness zones two to six.
American holly (Ilex opaca) trees remain vibrant throughout the winter while keeping their leaves and color during the snowy months. Growing to more than 30 feet tall and wide, American holly trees are ideal trees to plant as a focal point in the landscape. American holly trees have an upright, conical shape that open to a more irregular form as the tree matures. The green, leather-like leaves have scalloped edges that are spiny. The small, white flowers on the American holly emerge in late spring to light up the tree with color. In late summer, small green berries appear on the American holly tree to turn to red, orange or yellow during fall. A bird attractant, American holly trees require full sun to part shade and well-drained, nutrient-rich soils to thrive. Plant in zones five through nine.
Eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) is an evergreen tree with a slow growth rate and fine to medium texture. The stiff, pyramidal shape is narrow to broad in form. Growing 40 to 60 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide, eastern arborvitae trees are ideal planted as a hedgerow among the landscape. The green leaves on the eastern arborvitae are tinged with yellow and are often entirely yellow during winter. As an evergreen, eastern arborvitae keeps its leaves and color throughout the snowy, winter months. Eastern arborvitae requires full sun and a wide range of soil types. Plant in zones two through eight.