If you're like most people, you don't want your outdoor living space to be completely bleak and lifeless during the winter months, and perhaps you like the idea of including landscape design elements in your yard that provide a woodland ambiance. In this case, coniferous evergreens might be the right addition to your yard and garden. Besides their aesthetic value, coniferous evergreens are a good practical source of wind protection for those who live in areas where seasonal wind is part of the picture. As an added bonus, coniferous evergreens grow from a single taproot rather than from fibrous, spreading roots, so they can be planted closer to concrete walkways and patios than their deciduous counterparts.
Here's what you need to know if you're considering adding coniferous evergreens to your landscape design:
Coniferous Evergreen Grow Fast and Get Big
Some people love the idea of planting a native redwood, spruce, or cedar tree in their yard, but this can backfire on small parcels of land. The fast growth rate of these trees means they often outgrow the environment in which they're planted. Unless you've got a big property where these eventual giants will be right at home, you should consider using dwarf varieties that will thrive in small spaces.
Coniferous Evergreens Require Well-Drained Soils
Well-drained soils are an essential element in the successful cultivation of coniferous evergreens. Working compost into the soil prior to planting helps increase drainage, and those with clay soils can benefit the tree even further by adding some sand as well. If you're unsure whether your soil provides enough natural drainage for evergreen conifer trees to thrive, your local landscaping service can provide you with first-hand knowledge of the soils in your area as well as give you good advice on best practices for planting this type of tree.
Coniferous Evergreens May Increase Risk of Wildfire Damage
Those living in areas where wildfire activity is possible, such as the American West, should only plant coniferous evergreens if they've got enough room on the property to plant the trees well away from their home and any other structures. The sap of coniferous evergreens is flammable, and their wood also burns much more quickly once caught on fire than that of hardwood deciduous trees. If a wildfire is a potential concern in your area, ask a professional landscaping company for advice on alternatives to coniferous evergreens — there are many broadleaf evergreens, such as myrtle, that can provide your yard with green accents in winter without posing a fire risk.