Look For An Evergreen Day: What You Should Know About Them

Today is “Look For An Evergreen Day”! What comes to your mind when you see Evergreen trees? Do you immediately think of Christmas? If so, you’re one of many, especially during this holiday season.

But, from their history, to their use as privacy screens, to their overall beauty, there is so much more to them.  

In appreciation of our beautiful evergreens, we’re going to dive into how evergreens became a part of Christmas history, why evergreens are often used for privacy screens, and the reason evergreens are almost always green (and what to do if yours aren’t).

The History Behind Evergreen Christmas Trees

Evergreen Christmas Tree History, sketch of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are known to have popularized Christmas trees.

Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

Far before Santa visited malls and twinkle lights decorated homes, evergreens were principal decorations in ancient Egypt and Rome.

Just like string lights, people hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. But they weren’t just a decoration to them. They believed their evergreens could help protect against evil.

It took America a bit longer to grasp the enjoyment of Christmas trees; but, gradually, the appreciation grew. By the 1890s and early 1900s, America began decorating their evergreen Christmas trees with handmade ornaments and the brand-new invention, Christmas lights.

While there are various types of evergreen trees,throughout history, Fir trees have reigned as the traditional evergreen Christmas tree. Fir trees have been the centerpiece of winter festivals dating back to a thousand years ago.

Still today, many people view Christmas trees as a symbol of hope.

>> Read more about the history of Christmas Trees

Privacy Screens, Another Popular Use of Evergreen Trees

privacy screen evergreen tree browning
Once one gets infected, the others follow.

Florida Division of Plant Industry, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bugwood.org

While you may recognize evergreen trees as the symbol of Christmas, did you know there’s another common use for them?

Many homeowners enjoy the idea of establishing a barrier, or a “privacy screen,” around their home to protect them and their family from outside eyes and ears. The privacy screen boosts comfort, security, and solitude, and in the case of a “living wall,” an even more beautiful landscape.

Often, homeowners search for fast growing evergreen trees to create their privacy screen and are sold on Leyland cypress. True, they’re beautiful and they grow fast – but, what isn’t marketed is what it takes for them to truly thrive. Unfortunately, without the proper care, they can end up becoming an eyesore.

There are three diseases and two common pests that commonly affect Leyland cypress evergreen trees.

Common Leyland Cypress Tree DiseasesCommon Leyland Cypress Tree Bugs
• Needles browning and dropping
• Begin on lower branches and move to branch tips
• Disease moves up tree over time
• Can cause all needles to turn brown, with green only seen on branch tips
• Loss of tree needles
• Slow tree growth
• Reddish-brown needles
• Thin, long sunken cankers (dry lesions) on trunk and branches
• Dark brown to purplish color on surrounding bark
• Disease expands & destroys a significant area of tree
Spider mites
• Yellow spots on tree needles
• Tree needles may brown, die, and fall off
• In severe cases, webbing may occur
Root Rot
• Drying roots due to poor drainage
• Little growth in foliage
• Foliage becomes thinly spread along tree
• Foliage can turn yellow, purple, or tan

>> Read how you can prevent tree bugs from infesting your evergreens

>> Learn more about common Leyland cypress issues and what you can do

>> Find out which evergreens we suggest for your privacy screen

Are you worried about your evergreen trees?

Are Evergreens Forever Green?

winter burn infected evergreen tree
Winter burns turn evergreen trees from beautiful assets to unfortunate eyesores.

USDA Forest Service – North Central Research Station , USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Unlike deciduous trees, evergreens typically continue photosynthesizing and working each needle of the tree, into the winter season. While slight needle drop is normal, evergreens usually stay visibly green and hold onto their needles longer than most other trees.

That said, if obvious browning is seen or there is a very noticeable drop in foliage, something is wrong.

Browning or excessive leaf drop can be caused by the previously listed disease and bugs. And if those stressors aren’t enough, evergreens are also hit with the cold, windy weather that comes with winter. This cycle is called desiccation, which leads to winter burn.   

Symptoms of Winter Burn:

  • Yellowing/browning of tree needles
  • Browning starting at tips of needles and edges of leaves moving into the center of the tree as it gets more severe.
  • Needles/leaves falling off of evergreens

While these symptoms don’t show up until late winter or early spring, what damage has been done can’t be reversed. This is why we recommend getting a head start on our Winter Protection Program.  

Benefits of our Winter Protection Program include:

  • Protection from winter burn (leaves browning & dying)
  • Prevention against drought stress
  • Protection from leaf scorch
  • Protection from root system issues
  • A brighter, shinier, and more polished look in trees
  • Protection from de-icing salt damage
  • Eco-Friendliness (it’s 100% Organic & Biodegradable!)

>> Learn more about Winter Burn and our Winter Protection Program

Evergreens, with their vast benefits and beauty, deserve to be celebrated every day.

That’s why, today on “Look For An Evergreen Day,” we urge you, before the holidays, to reflect on the beauty these trees really have to offer. (Yes, without all the decorations!) And if you’re fortune to own evergreens, be sure to proactively care for them and keep them flourishing.

Protect your Evergreen Trees Today

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