Evergreen Conifers For Zone 8
Pinus Nigra or better known as Black Pine. This is an evergreen tree which grows in cold climates and can be found in the cold regions of Europe and North America. The Black Pine Tree is a member of the coniferous tree family and is the most common. They can grow up to 49 feet or 45 meters in height. There are a couple of different types and varieties of the Black Pine; Nishiki, yatsubusa, and the seedling. The Nishiki has grafted from cuttings, and its bark has a cork-like an appearance, while the Yatsubusa is a dwarf like with small needle-shaped leaves. Of course, the seedlings are grown from seed. Of the three varieties, the Japanese Black Pine is the most favored and is produced as a seedling. It is most common around shorelines. To care for your black pine is simple. Plant in your garden in the early spring when buds start swelling which should be from the latter half of February to the middle of April, just protect from freezing. The black pines are tolerant of water unlike other varieties of pines and can be planted in areas where the soil stays soggy. Overall these trees make for an excellent addition to your landscape.
The Canadian Hemlock, or eastern hemlock, is an evergreen or conifer. This plant is conical in shape and looks much like a Christmas tree, growing up to 80 feet high with a spread of 25 to 30 feet. However, this tree has not been cultivated as such due to the needles falling off quickly after being cut. The needles are smaller and finer than most other pine trees and are dark green on top with a light green hue underneath. The bark is a dark red or reddish-brown at maturity.
Based on the USDA recommendations, the Canadian Hemlock is best grown in zones 3-7. It requires a soil that is moist but offers good drainage as well. It is indigenous to the eastern part of North America where rainfall measures from 29 inches to 50 inches per year.
Because of its high tolerance to shade, it has been used as a landscaping tree in the UK, Germany, and the Eastern United States. It has also been cultivated as a privacy screen and sometimes as a shrub or hedge plant due also to the fact that it creates little mess. Unfortunately, because of the shallow root system of this tree, it cannot be used as an effective wind break as high winds will cause dieback in winter.
The Canadian Hemlock may be slow growing, but because of its long life expectancy, it is a great tree to plant and use as a living wall, a hedge or just as a beautiful tree to admire for many years to come.