evergreen shrubs native to new york

10 Evergreen Shrubs Native to New York For Garden Hedgerow

Looking for evergreen shrubs as hedgerows in your New York garden? We’ve got you covered! There are some evergreen shrubs native to New York that can provide garden screens in your home and offer you greeneries all year long at the same time. Generally, these native shrubs are wide-spreading and grow tall, ensuring you feel secure.

Other than that, those native plants are handy – they only require little to no maintenance. Below are some evergreen shrubs native to New York that you can choose according to your home landscape. Of course, they will provide security without leaving any aesthetic value, as long as you take good care of them.

1. American Holly (Ilex opaca)

Ilex opaca or American Holly is an American flowering plant and evergreen shrub that grows clusters of tiny white flowers before turning into red fruits. Its dark glossy green foliage creates a stunning contrast against the vibrant blooms and fruits hues. Because it has these attractive aspects, American Holly is popular for ornamental hedgerows or even Christmas decorations.

American Holly (Ilex opaca)
American Holly (Ilex opaca)

As an evergreen shrub, Ilex opaca will provide year-round greenery throughout seasons. It favors full sun yet is shade tolerant and prefers moist soil. This hardy plant can stand well in heat and cold, making American Holly an ideal choice to plant as privacy screen shrubs.

2. Canadian Yew (Taxus canadensis Marshall)

Despite bearing the ‘Canadian’ name, the Canadian Yew also spreads across various states in North America, including New York. This native plant can be used as either low hedgerow or ground cover. Unlike the previous species, it doesn’t have flowers nor fruits but features dark green needle-like foliage that forms spreading limbs. It will turn reddish-brown when winter comes.

Canadian Yew (Taxus canadensis Marshall)
Canadian Yew (Taxus canadensis Marshall)

Moreover, it is a versatile shrub that copes well in extremely low temperatures between -28.9 to -34.3’C. Canadian Yew also belongs to shade-tolerant plants grown in sun exposure, partial shade, or shade locations in joining other yews. Additionally, it prefers to live away from winter sun, heat, and drought to protect soil moisture.

3. Common Juniper (Juniperus communis L. var. depressa Pursh)

If you are looking for a large-size shrub, then Common Juniper is the answer! Its lush growing habit makes people often consider the first option as a hedgerow. This native plant grows up to 6-meter tall, creating the perfect security any homeowner could ask for. It has green needle-like foliage, much like the Canadian Yew, except that it produces berries rich in oil.

 Common Juniper (Juniperus communis L. var. depressa Pursh)
 Common Juniper (Juniperus communis L. var. depressa Pursh)

Since its natural habitat is mountain woodlands, it loves being exposed to the sun rather than shade. It thrives best on dry, rocky, or sandy soil; thus, it does not need much watering. In other words, this evergreen shrub is very adaptable to extreme climates, making it an easy plant to care for.

4. Eastern Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

Thuja occidentalis or Eastern Arborvitae can grow medium to large evergreen shrubs depending on its cultivar. Even some of its cultivars in urban areas can grow up to 20 feet tall and 8-wide. Thanks to these habits, it is commonly grown as a reliable privacy screen and entranceway.

Eastern Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)
Eastern Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis)

Unlike some other evergreen shrubs native to New York, Thuja occidentalis is intolerant to shade. It is a sun-loving shrub that will absolutely love to grow under full to partial sun exposure. Nonetheless, it can cope well in various soil types and pH, though it still prefers humid soil. In addition, this hardy plant is sensitive to strong wind and icing conditions; thus, young plants need shelter in the cold season.

5. Highland Doghobble (Leucothoe fontanesiana (Steud.) Sleumer)

Another evergreen shrub produces showy, bell-shaped white flowers with forest green leaves background that attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Unfortunately, despite its beauty, it is included in the high severity toxic plants category for humans and animals. Therefore, your decision to choose a planting location that is far from reach is crucial.

Highland Doghobble (Leucothoe fontanesiana (Steud.) Sleumer)
Highland Doghobble (Leucothoe fontanesiana (Steud.) Sleumer)

Other than the toxicity aspect, other planting conditions are also essential to consider so that Highland Doghobble can grow well desired. To obtain its best performance, it should be planted in areas where it can have fall and winter sun exposure. It is well-adapted to various soil types, though the moist one is favorable. However, this native shrub is intolerant to drought and wind.

6. Holly-Leaved Barberry (Mahonia aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt.)

This evergreen shrub is a flowering state of Oregon known as the Holly-Leaved Oregon Grape. Perhaps, this name is taken from bright yellow flowers and purple grape-like fruits produced by the native plant. In addition to its beneficial fruit and flowers for local wildlife, the roots of Holly-Leaved Barberry are commonly used as a natural remedy to treat stomachaches and various other ailments by Native Americans.

Holly-Leaved Barberry (Mahonia aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt.)
Holly-Leaved Barberry (Mahonia aquifolium (Pursh) Nutt.)

Suppose you are interested in planting Holly-Leaved Barberry due to its numerous benefits. In that case, you need to prepare moist, well-drained soils in partial to a shady area. In addition, keep it away from dry winter wind because it can damage the leaves. Also, Watch out for pests, like aphids, scales, and whiteflies that may harm the plant.

7. Inkberry (Ilex glabra (L.) A. Gray)

Like Holly-Leaved Barberry, Inkberry is also one of the evergreen shrubs native to New York that produces blackberry fruits, attracting birds to eat them. Unlike other holly families with thorns on their leaves, it only has dark green foliage with teeth on the tips thick enough to hide the fruit. Additionally, it grows to medium-sized, very rarely grows large.

Inkberry (Ilex glabra (L.) A. Gray)
Inkberry (Ilex glabra (L.) A. Gray),(Image credit: claytonsnatives,will stuart/Flickr)

To obtain fruits, male and female plants of the same species and having the same blooming season must be planted close together. They must also be provided with proper growing conditions, such as regular watering, humid soil, and partial shade planting. Since it is toxic to humans and animals, planting them away from children and pets is necessary to avoid any harm.

8. Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata (L.) Moench)

Since it thrives in the winter, Leatherleaf is also well-known as wintergreen dwarf shrub. It grows dense in purplish leaves and white bell-shaped flowers, creating a magical winter view in your garden. The flowers hang on a branch with couples of green leaves that decorate the native shrub. Altough it does not grow tall, it may fit as low-hedge or mixed borders.

Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata (L.) Moench)
Leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata (L.) Moench)

Similar to Inkberry, Leatherleaf needs much watering as it loves wet soil. Moreover, it favors acidic soil and sunlight. Even though it is not as easy as other mentioned species, this short-lived shrub includes in a pest-free category that will not bother you with complicated treatments and maintenance.

9. Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia L.)

The white flowers with pink hints of this broadleaf, evergreen shrub look exceptionally stunning. They perfectly decorate the plant with an exquisite blend of colors that put your interest in having them as ornamental hedges. Moreover, the low maintenance quality makes it easy for you to take care of Mountain Laurel.

Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia L.)
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia L.)

It only needs a low-watering requirement; thus, it is easy to handle, especially if you are away. You just have to make sure that it grows in a shady location and has moist, rocky, or sandy soils. Considering it is a highly toxic plant, planting it as a hedge out of reach of humans and animals is a must. What a perfect evergreen shrub you can ask for!

10. Seashore Mallow (Kosteletzkya virginica)

Kosteletzkya virginica or Seashore Mallow is our last but perhaps the most beautiful evergreen shrubs native to New York. It highlights enchanting five petals pink flowers with protruding stamens that pamper you with their beauty. They bloom in early summer to early fall and are also a great nectar source. Hence, it is not surprising that butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators are attracted to the flowers.

 Seashore Mallow (Kosteletzkya virginica)
 Seashore Mallow (Kosteletzkya virginica)

Furthermore, this moist-loving shrub favors full sun with relatively rich, moist to wet soils as a place to grow. In addition, it is also quite salt-tolerant. Even more remarkable, it is a pest and disease-free evergreen shrub, making it a reliable native plant to care for.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What shrubs are native to New York?

New York has many shrubs that are too attractive to resist. Here are some examples that you may consider planting based on their habits:

  • Evergreen shrubs: American Holly, Canadian Yew, Common Juniper, Eastern Arborvitae, Highland Doghobble, Holly-Leaved Barberry, Inkberry, Leatherleaf, Mountain Laurel, and Seashore Mallow. You can check them out further from our list above.
  • Deciduous shrubs: Pinxterbloom Azalea, Early Azalea, Great Laurel, Western Mayhaw, and Dwarf Hawthron. 

What shrubs stay green all year?

Some evergreen shrubs native to New York will provide you with everlasting greeneries, for example, Common Juniper and Eastern Arborvitae. 

Common Juniper grows up to 6-meter tall with green needle-like foliage. It produces berries that are rich in oil. 

Meanwhile, Eastern Arborvitae is a medium to a large evergreen shrub that in urban areas can grow up to 20 feet tall and 8-wide. It has similar green foliage characteristics to Common Juniper, only it does not produce fruits.

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