Evergreen Conifers

Few trees are as majestic as an evergreen conifer. Even the most gnarly little pine tree has its own beauty and improves even a small yard or garden. Here are three pine trees to consider for a garden:

Spruce Pine
The spruce pine is a coastal pine of the south, found from the southern part of South Carolina, down to the southern part of Florida and into Georgia. It likes moist soils and places of high humidity. It has two soft, slender, twisted, mid-green needles to a stalk. They grow from 1 1/2 to 3 inches long. The cones are small, symmetrical and brown. The spruce pine grows to between 66 and 115 feet tall.

Yellow Pine
Yellow pine is a generic name for several species of pine, including the longleaf, the shortleaf and loblolly pine. The loblolly is a tough pine tree that can grow on poor soil and is known for its sweet-smelling resin, turpentine content and unusually long, bright green needles. Its fragrance gives it the name of “Frankincense Pine.” The loblolly’s needles can grown between 6 and 9 inches long and are slightly twisted, with tiny teeth. As with other “yellow” pines, the bark of the loblolly is an attractive reddish brown with irregular fissures.

Ponderosa Pine
The ponderosa pine is a famously tall tree of the American west. At maturity, it can be between 100 and 200 feet tall. It has a long, clean trunk that expands into branches fairly close to the top. When the young shoots are broken off, they smell like oranges. The branches are stout, spreading and sometimes drooping, and the bark is reddish-brown with scales that thicken as the tree ages. The needles come three to a sheath and are either dark yellow or yellowish green, and the cones are borne singly or in clusters. The Ponderosa pine is also called the western yellow pine.