Different Kinds of Evergreens

Evergreens have the added advantage of retaining their needles or foliage throughout the winter, when most other plants die down. There are many evergreens to choose from, some that prefer full sun while others tolerate partial shade. There are also evergreens that are drought tolerant and require less water than others, making these ideal in arid, dry climates. Some evergreen trees have a long lifespan while others only live a few years, depending upon the variety.

Blue Atlas Cedar

The blue atlas cedar is a rapidly growing evergreen tree that prefers full sun to partial shade. Blue atlas cedar trees are versatile trees and can be grown in a wide range of soils including sandy, dry and clay types. This open, pyramidal shape tree has medium to fine texture. Blue atlas cedars grow up to 100 feet tall and 20 feet wide, making for a striking landscape addition. The silvery blue needles grow up to 1 inch long and are narrow. The barrel-shaped cones on the blue atlas cedar grow between 2 and 3 inches. Blue atlas cedar is also drought tolerant and casts dense shade among the landscape. The USDA hardiness zone is 6 to 9.

Italian Cypress

This hardy evergreen tree has medium to fine texture and an upright, columnar shape. Its slender branches are dark green, and the plant is ideal when planted along a garden as an accent plant. Italian cypress trees grow up to 30 feet tall and 5 feet wide, perfect for lining a driveway or grown as a makeshift fence. Italian cypress requires full sun and grows in a wide range of soil types. The USDA hardiness zone is 7 to 9.


Eucalyptus is a rapidly growing aromatic evergreen tree. The upright, horizontal branches are bluish green in color and are often dried to make potpourri or added to a dried flower arrangement. Eucalyptus requires full sun and well-drained soil to thrive. It grows up to 60 feet tall and 15 feet wide, creating a fragrant focal point among a backyard space. The USDA hardiness zone is 8b to 9.

White Fir

White firs are evergreen trees with a narrow pyramidal shape. The drooping lower branches drape along the landscape and have bluish green needles that grow up to 2 inches long. This ever-vibrant evergreen grows up to 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide but is slow growing. The 5-inch pinecones are cylindrical in shape and create a purple bloom when young. The white fir also requires full sun to light shade and moist, well-drained soil to thrive. White firs tolerate high temperatures and are drought tolerant, making for an unfussy evergreen tree to grow among the landscape. The USDA hardiness zone is 3 to 7.

Keywords: evergreen varieties, blue atlas cedar, Italian cypress tree, eucalyptus tree, white fir

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.