Evergeens contribute to winter interest

I love the winter landscape. The snow covered ground is brighter and more cheery than bare ground and the days seem to last even longer when the moon can reflect off the white snow. But if we didnt have some trees and shrubs standing above the snow, the landscape would be pretty boring this time of year. Here are some evergreen shrubs to consider adding to your yard once spring returns. Dont forget to take the time to find plants well suited to the growing conditions of your site: Choose the right plant for the right place. Yews are often called by their Latin name Taxus. They have glossy, dark green needles and provide dense cover for birds. They are sensitive to wind burn in winter, so keep them away from windy sites, or protect them with a wall of burlap during winter. If you want a small shrub that wont require pruning, consider a globe cedar. They have a rounded, formal appearance which may or may not appeal to you. They are very winter hardy and pest-free but they do turn an orangey color in winter. False Cypress (Chamaecyparis) is a shrub that deserves to be more widely used in the North Country. Its hardy and has beautiful thread-like branchlets giving it a delicate texture. The mature height varies with variety, from 4 feet to 40 feet so read the description carefully before deciding. Dwarf Albert Spruce are those miniature spruce trees that look like upside-down ice cream cones. They need little if any shearing to maintain their shape. They are very winter hardy but also very sensitive to wind burn. The windward side of the plant will turn deep orange in spring and all those needles will have to be replaced. Consider their formal shape when deciding where to locate them. They will not spread and fill in to make a hedge. Birds Nest Spruce is another naturally dwarf spruce that needs no pruning. It grows very slowly, wider than tall, to about 2 feet high. The branches tend to curve around giving a nest-like appearance to the plant. It is often used as a focal point in a rock garden or other small space. No discussion of evergreen shrubs could be complete without mentioning junipers. There are hundreds of varieties ranging in height from less than a foot to over 30 feet tall. They tolerate sunny, dry, and/or windy sites with poor soil and are very winter hardy. For more information about specific trees and shrubs, visit these Web sites: Cornell University http://hosts.cce.cornell.edu/woody_plants/index.php University of Connecticut http://www.hort.uconn.edu/plants

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