Scotch Pine, also known as Scots pine, is a fast-growing, conical to columnar, medium-sized conifer with distinctive flaking orange to red-brown bark. Once common and popular across the Midwest, scotch pine is being decimated by Pine Wilt and is no longer recommended for planting in Nebraska.
Eastern redcedar is a native tree that has long been used in windbreaks, shelterbelts, and conservation plantings across the Great Plains. Due to lack of management and naturally-occurring wildfires, it has rapidly spread 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.
Colorado spruce (also called blue spruce) is a pyramidal conifer native to Colorado and the central Rocky Mountains. It has been extensively planted across Nebraska in shelterbelts and landscapes and is one of the most common evergreens in communities, especially in central and western Nebraska.
Norway spruce is a large pyramidal evergreen conifer native to the mountains of northern and central Europe (including Norway). It has been used extensively as a landscape tree in eastern Nebraska where it’s distinguished by its large size and its pendulous, droopy branches.
White spruce, also known as Black Hills spruce in our region, is an extremely hardy evergreen conifer native across the northern boreal region from Alaska and northwest Canada to Newfoundland, and dipping south into the US from Minnesota to northern New England. There is an isolated population in the Black Hills of South Dakota, which is where the common name Black Hills Spruce comes from. The tree has been planted in significant numbers across Nebraska where it is used in windbreaks, wildlife plantings, residential landscapes, and community plantings.