Evergreens can make food throughout the early and late parts of the growing season. All Wisconsin evergreens are conifers, which means trees that produce their seeds in a cone.
They also have narrow, round, or flat needles instead of broad leaves like oak. For this reason, most evergreen trees that are hardy enough for the state’s cold climate are conifers.
Conifers are a group of plants that produce seeds in a cone. Some, such as pines and spruces, have needle-like leaves. At the same time, others, such as firs and junipers, have scale-like leaves. Such contrasts with the broad leaves of trees such as oaks and maple trees.
Five Evergreen Shrubs In Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a state in the upper Midwestern United States. It is the 25th-largest state by land area and the 20th-most populous. Below, we’ll be discussing some evergreen shrubs in Wisconsin:
1. Black Spruce (Picea mariana)
Black spruces are evergreen shrubs in Wisconsin that are native to the northern half of Wisconsin and much of Canada. As a side note, spruces belong to the same family as pine trees.
This explains why they also have needles. Black spruce needles are blue-green, short, and stiff with upturned ends. The seeds have a pungent smell when crushed.
This evergreen shrubs in Wisconsin is slow-growing and small, with a narrow growth habit. The tree’s lower limbs tend to sweep the ground as the branches descend. The immature seed cones are small with a purplish tint.
They linger on the tree for several years. Black spruce’s bark is thin, scaly, and greenish-brown.
2. Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
The common and scientific names suggest that this is a Canadian tree. But it is far more abundant in the forests of the northeastern United States. Its natural range stretches from Wisconsin to New England and the Appalachian Mountains.
The Canadian hemlock is an example of vigor and beauty. With its pyramidal shape, this tree stands out in any landscape. This evergreen is ideal for screens, groupings, and foundation plantings.
Much of the popularity of this evergreen tree in the landscape is because it is easy to shear into any desired shape or height.
A member of the pine family, the Canadian hemlock has soft, feathery, deep green needles. Like other conifemative trees, they yield an abundance of brown cones that hang from the branches like ornaments.
The tree does well in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, and well-drained soils. It will not tolerate heavy soil. Also, it doesn’t have drought tolerance.
Canadian hemlock is happiest in at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.
3. Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
Eastern red cedar is one of the oldest evergreen shrubs in Wisconsin, North America; fossil records show that it covered large portions of the continent.
Early colonial artisans used its wood to make furniture and fences. It was also a staple wood for the pencil-making industry for many years.
Nowadays, Eastern red cedar is used mainly as a windbreak and screen in the landscape. They offer this because of their deep and strong roots. This type of cedar grows in a columnar or pyramidal shape.
Eastern red cedar features scale-like, medium evergreen foliage. The tree makes rounded fruit that looks like berries. They are bluish-green and about ¼ inch wide.
Birds such as cedar waxwings enjoy its fruit, while many others take advantage of its dense evergreen foliage for nesting and roosting.
This sturdy tree is not too picky about soil, striving for a range of well-drained soils. Eastern red cedar can withstand some flooding and has good drought tolerance.
4. Giant Green Arborvitae (Tuja standishii x plicata, ‘Giant Green’)
The giant green arborvitae is a rapid grower; it can grow up to 3 feet per year.
Its beautiful foliage is glossy, dark green, and dense. In winter, it darkens or bronzes slightly. The foliage has a rich and pleasant aroma when squeezed.
In addition, the tree yields ½-inch-long cones, which emerge green in the summer and become brown as they mature in the winter.
The giant green arborvitae maintains its pyramidal shape with little to no need for pruning. This tough conifer tolerates wind, heavy snow, and ice, all of which Wisconsin residents know well.
Thanks to their fast growth, a group makes an excellent screen, hedge, or windbreak.
On care, giant green arborvitae tolerate many soil types except for wet soils. At least four hours of direct sunlight each day is ideal for this tree.
5. White Spruce (Picea glauca)
White spruce grows pyramidally with dense foliage. Its growth habit makes it a typical Christmas tree. However, as the tree gets older, it forms a more columnar shape. It grows at a medium rate, about a foot or two each year.
White spruce features slightly curved, pale green needles, about ½ to ¾ inches long. The ones are slender and cylindrical, with a light brown color and flexible scales. They measure 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches long.
This evergreen tree gets a lot of attention for its versatility and strength. It works well as a windbreak or screen. Also, it has excellent tolerance to cold, crowding, drought, heat, and wind.
Growing white spruce is easy. It tolerates a variety of soils as long as they are well-drained. It prefers at least six hours of direct sunlight each day but will tolerate some shade.
Benefits of Evergreen Shrubs In Wisconsin
1. Evergreens Provides Privacy
Coniferous trees keep your yard private no matter what the season. There are evergreen shrubs and tree species to fit any yard, whatever the size of the landscaping footprint.
Conifers make a phenomenal natural barrier that screens you from prying neighborly eyes while adding to your backyard’s appearance.
2. Evergreens Help With Energy Conservation
Conifers provide all of the summer shading advantages that other trees do, but they also protect your home in the winter.
While other trees drop their leaves to hibernate, the dense needles of conifers can protect your home from chilly winds if you plant them close enough to the house. Planting about 15-20 feet away is ideal.
Planting your coniferous trees on the north side of the home is the best way to break the chilly winter winds without blocking any precious southern sunshine.
Rays from this direction help to naturally warm the house through the coldest months of the year.
3. Evergreens Improve Air Quality
The health benefits of shrubs in Wisconsin are also worth mentioning! Trees do a great job of pulling pollutants from the air while they breathe, replacing carbon dioxide with oxygen.
In the summer, all of our plants help to keep the air around us safer and cleaner. However, in the winter, when the air quality is at its worst, many plants are hibernating and out of commission.
Conifers work through the winter to help improve the air quality around your home, and their fresh signature scent is a welcome breath of fresh air.
In conclusion, shrubs in Wisconsin are lovely in the landscape because they provide a vibrant green color when all is brown. Many evergreens, such as giant green arborvitae and eastern red cedar, are excellent.
Through evergreen plants, nature has provided one of the most powerful and eternal symbols in global cultures. For when your very existence rests on the return of the sun and the growth it provides, an evergreen is a reminder that life finds a way through the darkness and that a new day will come.