Ohio has the cool to cold winter temperatures that evergreen trees thrive in. Evergreen trees come in all sizes and shapes, able to fit in any garden or any landscaping plan and keep the garden somewhat green after everything else is spent. Evergreen trees are on every continent except Antarctica. Plant smaller evergreens as specimen plants and larger ones as wind-breaks or as a tree line between properties. Birds come for the seeds and make their homes in the trees. Small animals use the cones as a food source.
White fir (Abies concolor) also is known as concolor fir. The tree grows 50 to 100 feet tall and 20 to 30 feet wide. It produces bluish needles that grow 2 to 3 inches long and brown pine cones that grow 4 to 5 inches long. Plant the white fir in full sun and well-drained soil.
Yellow cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) also is known as nootka false cypress and Alaska-cedar. The tree grows 30 to 45 feet tall and produces gray-green needles. Its brown pine cones take two years to ripen. Plant yellow-cypress in full sun and in deep, moist soil.
Norway spruce (Picea abies) grows 80 to 150 feet tall with a spread of 20 feet. The tree produces green or blue-green needles that grow to 1 inch long and male and female cones. The female cones are reddish brown, 4 to 6 inches long and produce the seeds. The males are smaller and look like small soft, flowers hanging from the tree in clusters. Plant the Norway spruce in full sun and moist soil.
Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris) grows 30 to 50 feet tall and produces blue-green needles that grow 1-½ to 4 inches long and last for as long as three years. The cones are a dull brown color and grow 1 to 3 inches long. Plant the Scotch pine in full sun and a well-drained soil.
Eastern hemlock (suga canadensis) is also known as Canada hemlock. The tree grows 60 to 165 feet tall and produces flat needles that grow to ½ inch long. The tree produces cones when it is 20 to 30 years old, takes 200 to 300 years to reach maturity and can live to be 1,000 years old. Plant Eastern hemlock in partial shade and in a soil that is moist and never allowed to go dry. Full sun will kill a young tree.
Northern White Cedar
Northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) also is known as Arborvitae and Eastern arborvitae. The tree grows 30 to 60 feet tall and produces dark-green foliage that turns yellow-green in the fall. Yellow, green or brown flowers appear in April followed by red or brown pine cones. Plant the Northern white cedar in sun, partial shade or full shade and in a soil that is dry to moist.