Good landscape trees in the broadleaf group include Southern magnolia, holly, olive, bay laurel, madrone, Toyon, ironwood, strawberry tree, live oak, and citrus. These trees are an outstanding presence in the home landscape. They have a settled and substantial look about them that's very appealing. Use one of these plants where you want a classic, even old-fashioned air of permanence. And yes, they generally hold their leaves over the winter months.
Read descriptions carefully: In very cold areas, the leaves of plants listed as semi-evergreen may fall, curl, or become discolored until spring, when fresh reinforcements are generated.
Unlike their needled counterparts, many broadleaf evergreens sport attractive flowers and fruits (or berries), so you may get some spring or early-summer glory. And some broadleaf evergreens even provide colorful late-season interest that can rival the changing colors of deciduous trees. To make the most of this quality, make sure late frosts don't damage the buds (so pick a variety touted as cold-hardy in your area) and also ensure that you don't inadvertently prune off the show before it begins (read the later section called "Life and limb: Pruning judiciously").
Broadleaf evergreen trees do best in soil that's slightly acidic. If you're not sure whether your yard offers the right growing conditions, get a soil test and amend the soil as recommended beforehand. An acidic mulch, such as chopped-up dried fall leaves from oaks or pine needles, also helps. (See Chapter 4 for more info on soil prep.)
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