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From: Lindsay Soliman
Wheaton, IL
Hello! I am hoping to plant several evergreen trees this spring. My landscaper has advised to plant only Norway Spruce or Eastern White Pine, as all others are dying in our area. Those, unfortunately, are not my favorite trees. Do you have any other recommendations? Do you agree with this advice? Thanks so much for any feedback!

Extension Message
From: Richard Hentschel
Extension Educator, Horticulture
DuPage/Kane/Kendall Unit
Your landscaper is really looking out for you. White Pine and Norway spruce have done well while Austrian (black) pine has done the worst. Colorado Blue spruce is another that has not been fairing well. I am quoting a response from Jay Hayek, Forestry Specialist from the University

"Native Illinois conifers include jack pine, shortleaf pine, white pine, red pine, northern white-cedar, eastern redcedar, baldcypress, and tamarack. Okay, you said "evergreen", which of course eliminates baldcypress and eastern larch because those two species are deciduous.

Now we are left with jack, shortleaf, white, and red pine; and our two "cedar" species. Unless you have sandy soils, jack, shortleaf, and red pine are probably not going to fair very well.

Finally, we are left with white pine, northern white-cedar, and eastern redcedar. If you want fast growing and native, then go the white pine route. Within 3-4 years of initial establishment the white pine will usually put on 2-3 feet of height growth, annually. Add some diversity and avoid a monoculture by interplanting some northern white-cedar (many different cultivars out there).

Now, if you do not want to go the Illinois native route, you may want to think about white fir, Norway spruce, or even Thuja ‘Green Giant’ (standishii x plicata).

Back to me - Northern White Cedar is an Arborvitae, Red Cedar is a juniper. You should look at White Spruce, Serbian Spruce or Black Hills spruce. Colorado Green and Blue Spruces have not done well.

Hope this is helpful.

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