Cold Hardy Evergreen Trees – Growing Evergreen Trees In Zone 6

(Image credit: Benjamin Clapp)

Evergreen trees in the landscape provide effortless greenery, privacy, animal habitat, and shade. Choosing the right cold hardy evergreen trees for your garden space starts with determining the size of trees you want and evaluating your site.

Choosing Evergreen Trees for Zone 6

Most evergreen trees for zone 6 are native to North America and uniquely adapted to thrive in its average annual temperatures and weather conditions, while others are from locations that have similar climates. This means there are many wonderful evergreen plant specimens from which to choose for zone 6. One of the most important choices when developing a landscape is the selection of trees. This is because trees have permanency and anchor plants in the garden. Evergreen trees in zone 6 may be native to the region or simply hardy to temperatures that dip to -10 degrees F. (-23 C.), but they should also reflect your individual needs and aesthetics. Many wonderful trees exist that are suitable for this zone.

Small Zone 6 Evergreen Trees

When considering evergreens, we often think of towering redwoods or huge Douglas fir trees, but specimens don't have to be that large or unmanageable. Some of the more petite forms of zone 6 evergreen trees will mature at under 30 feet (9 m.) in height, still enough to provide dimension in the landscape but not so tall you need to be a lumberjack to perform basic pruning. One of the most unusual is the Umbrella pine. This Japanese native has radiant shiny green needles that spread out like the spokes in an umbrella. The dwarf blue spruce grows only 10 feet (3 m.) tall and is popular for its blue foliage. Silver Korean firs are perfect evergreen trees in zone 6. The undersides of the needles are silvery white and reflect beautifully in sunlight. Other lower profile trees to try in zone 6 include:

Zone 6 Evergreens for Impact and Wildlife

If you really want to have the look of a wild forest surrounding your home, a giant sequoia is one of the most impactful evergreen trees for zone 6. These massive trees can reach 200 feet (61 m.) in their native habitat but are more likely to grow 125 feet (38 m.) in cultivation. Canadian hemlock has feathery, graceful foliage and may achieve 80 feet (24 m.) in height. Hinoki cypress has an elegant form with layered branches and dense foliage. This evergreen will grow up to 80 feet (24 m.) but has a slow growth habit, allowing you to enjoy it up close for many years. More zone 6 evergreen trees with a statuesque appeal to try are:

Zone 6 Evergreens for Hedges and Screens

Installing evergreens that grow together can form privacy hedges or screens that are easy to maintain and offer natural fencing options. Leyland cypress develops into an elegant barrier and achieves 60 feet (18 m.) with a 15 to 25 foot (5-8 m.) spread. Dwarf hollies will retain their foliage and have glossy, green leaves with intricate lobes. These can be sheared or left natural. Many varieties of juniper develop into attractive screens and perform well in zone 6. Arborvitae are one of the most common hedges with rapid growth and a number of cultivar selections, including a golden hybrid. Another fast-growing option is Japanese cryptomeria, a plant with soft, almost wispy, foliage and deeply emerald needles. Many more excellent zone 6 evergreen plants are available with the introduction of hardier cultivars of less tolerant common species.

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.