"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.