Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Which Oak Trees Retain Leaves Till Spring?

By Callie Barber ; Updated September 21, 2017
Oak trees bear small acorns that are loved by wildlife.

Classified as evergreen, oak trees that retain their leaves throughout winter and into spring, are hardy, long-lasting varieties. Oftentimes, evergreen oak trees are tolerant of a wide range soils and climates, including heavy clay soils, making for an adaptable variety. Many evergreen oak trees require full sun to thrive and also grow quite tall, with some reaching up to 50 feet in height.

Henry Tanbark

Henry tanbark (Lithocarpus henryi) is an evergreen oak tree variety that retains its foliage and color throughout the winter and into spring. Growing 25 to 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide, Henry Tanbark oak trees have a medium texture. The oval to rounded form of the Henry Tanbark oak tree creates a commanding landscape presence. Heat- and drought-tolerant Henry Tanbark trees have creamy flowers that light up the tree in summer. The 4- to 8-inch leather-like leaves on the Henry Tanbark oak are green to cast a yellow tinge in winter. Henry Tanbark trees require full sun to partial shade to thrive. The USDA Hardiness Zone for planting is 8 to 9.

Japanese Blue

Japanese blue (Quercus glauca), a variety of oak tree, retains its foliage and color all year long, including spring. Growing 20 to 30 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide, Japanese blue oak trees have a moderate growth rate and medium to coarse texture. The upright, rounded to oval form is multi-stemmed to create a striking focal point to the landscape. The lustrous, leathery leaves are dark green with a gray-green underside. Growing over 5 inches long, the new foliage on the Japanese blue oak tree is tinged with bronze and purple. Versatile, Japanese blue oak trees tolerate a wide range of soil types, including heavy clay soils. They prefer full sun to thrive. The zone for planting is 8 to 9.

Live Oak

Live oak (Quercus virginiana) trees are commanding evergreen trees that retain their leaves until spring. Growing 30 to 50 feet tall and 50 to 80 feet wide, live oak trees have a wide spreading form and massive, horizontal branches that cascade down among the landscape. A picturesque oak variety, live oak trees have a slow to moderate growth habit and medium texture. The leathery leaves grow up to 3 inches long and the small stalk-forming acorns attract birds and squirrels. Planted along a backyard landscape, live oak trees create a showy landscape presence. Tolerant of a wide range of soil types, including moist and compacted clay soils, live oak is an adaptable oak variety. The zone for planting is 7b to 10.


About the Author


Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on Travels.com and GardenGuides.com. Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.