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Evergreen trees for MinonkUpdated February 20, 2019 by David Uphoff
Evergreens are excellent trees for the Minonk area. Due to their thick year round foliage they serve as good windbreaks. In addition, they provide greenery through the drabness of winter when the rest of the trees are bare. Evergreens also serve as a haven for birds who are protected from predators in the dense prickly foliage. There are many types of evergreens. Pine trees have longer needles and are more open while spruce and fir trees are more compact with shorter needles and are usually slower growing. Pines can reach a height of over 100 feet while spruces and firs can reach up to 60 feet.
Colorado Spruce: This is the king of the evergreens as far as looks are concerned. The Colorado Spruce has dense foliage with short needles that are hard and sharp. The tree has a very symentrical conical shape and is excellent as a specimum or as a windbreak. There is a blueish gray version of the Colorado Spruce that are called "shiners". These should be planted with reserve as too many of them can visually overwhelm the rest of the landscape. The one big drawback to the Colorado Spruce is that they are suspectible to needlecast which is a disease caused by a fungus that makes the needles die on the tree starting from the bottom and working its way up. This usually happens when the tree is older and can be treated with a fungus spray but the spray is considered carcinogenic and should be handled by a professional.
Concolor Fir: The Concolor Fir or White Fir tree looks similar to the Colorado Spruce but has soft needles and is faster growing. It is a very attractive tree with a medium greenish blue color and is highly recommended.
Norway Spruce: The Norway Spruce is probably the best evergreen tree to plant in this area as it is relatively fast growing and is not suspectible to the fungi diseases that affect many of the evergreen trees. It is also the best tree to plant for windbreaks.
Douglas Fir: The Douglas Fir is similar to the Concolor Fir except it has a deep green color and its needles are not as thick as the Concolor Fir. It also is a fairly rapid grower but is also suseptible to needlecast disease.
Serbian Spruce: This tree grows faster than the Colorado Spruce and is taller and thinner with a deep green color. Its needles are softer than the Colorado Spruce and is more resistance to fungi diesease than other evergreens.
White Pine: The White Pine has an attractive bluish green color with soft needles that are shorter than the Austrian Pine. It too thins out as it gets older and will tend to lose its lower branches after 40 years. The branches of the White Pine can easily break off during a heavy ice storm.
Arborvitae: The Arbovitae is a compact evergreen that grows to about 20 feet. The techny arborvitae is the best variety to plant and is a fast growing arborvitae tree. The techny arborvitae generally has denser foliage than many of the other species of arborvitae, and makes the best hedges. The Green Giant arborvitae is a larger and faster growing species that should be planted where there is more open space.
Austrian Pine: The Austrian Pine is a fast growing tree with long needles that are sharp and thick. It is compact when young and tends to thin out and lose its lower branches as it ages. This tree is not recommended for this area as it tends to die out after 10 years.