Needled evergreens

Good landscape trees in the needled group include pines, spruces, cedar, arborvitae, larch, fir, Douglas fir, dawn redwood, juniper, and yew. (Please note: Larch trees and dawn redwoods are unique — their needles yellow and drop in the fall, and the trees generate fresh ones every spring.)

Within these groups, the gardener can choose from many attractive variations, as you can soon see if you visit a good nursery. You have no need to get the plain old (species) forest tree when you can get a descendant or variety that grows shorter and neater or has handsome, distinctive bluish or golden needles or bears shorter or longer needles.

Regular shearing, which I mention in the "Shearing hedges" sidebar at the end of the chapter, can keep a needled evergreen in the size and shape you want. However, picking a tree that fits your chosen spot may save you maintenance work.

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