Blue Spruce (Colorado) Coniferous

Picea pungens

Because of its cold hardiness, form, and blue-hued foliage, blue spruce is widely planted in ornamental and general landscape settings. It is also used considerably for Christmas trees. 

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Close up of colorado blue spruce needles.
Concolor (white) Fir Coniferous

Abies concolor

White fir is a tree that has been planted in Nebraska for some time. It is becoming more popular as an alternative to some of the pines that are beginning to show long-term problems. 

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Concolor (white) Fir needles
Douglas Fir Coniferous

Pseudotsuga menziesii

"Doug firs" are one of the most important timber trees in the United States. It is harvested for a wide variety of uses and is the backbone of the western timber industry. The wood has great strength and yet it is not very heavy. 

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Photograph of a douglas fir tree.
Eastern Arborvitae Coniferous

Thuja occidentalis

More than 120 named cultivars of northern white cedar have been named and used as ornamental trees and shrubs, where the name “arborvitae” is usually applied. This arborvitae is not native to Nebraska, but it can be grown around the state. In drier areas, it will require consistent watering. 

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Eastern arborvitae makes a nice hedgerow!
Eastern Hemlock Coniferous

Tsuga Canadensis

Eastern hemlock can be used as a specimen, screen, or group planting. It can be pruned over time into a formal evergreen hedge, which is densely leafy all the way to the ground (due to its full shade tolerance), although as a hedge it must be repeatedly pruned to keep it in size.

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Eastern Hemlock
Eastern Redcedar Coniferous

Juniperus virginiana

Eastern redcedar is a native tree that has long been popular in windbreaks, shelterbelts, and conservation plantings. Due to lack of management and naturally-occurring wildfires, it has spread outside of its usual habitat into grasslands and riparian forests. Redcedar should be used with caution and planted only where needed for quick sheltering or where little else will grow. Management plans/practices should be in place prior to planting. 

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Eastern Redcedar tree.
Eastern White Pine Coniferous

Pinus Strobus

An often-overlooked evergreen in Nebraska is the eastern white pine. Eastern white pine is native to the northeastern and north-central part of the United States. White pine is frequently used for windbreaks and screens along fields, new right-of-ways, and around campsites.

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photo of eastern white pine in the summer.
Jack Pine Coniferous

Pinus banksiana

Jack pine is important timber species in the Lake States of the United States and Canada. These trees produce pulpwood, lumber for construction, telephone poles, fence posts, mine timbers, and railroad ties. Jack pine is used as Christmas trees and for stabilization of watersheds.

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Jack Pine pine cone.
Ponderosa Pine Coniferous

Pinus ponderosa

Ponderosa pine is a rapid growing tree with the ability to firmly anchor into most soil types. For this reason, it is one of the best evergreens for windbreaks. It can also be used with other natives to provide cover and erosion control on rehabilitated sites. 

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Ponderosa pine is a rapidly growing tree.
Rocky Mountain Juniper Coniferous

Juniperus scopulorum

All of the native junipers are valuable ornamental species, and many horticultural varieties have been developed. Rocky Mountain juniper is widely used in shelterbelts and wildlife plantings.

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Rocky Mountain Juniper