What Trees to Use for Evergreen Screen in Western Colorado

What Trees to Use for Evergreen Screen in Western Colorado

Creating privacy and separation in your outdoor space is essential for many homeowners. Whether you want to block out an unsightly view, create a windbreak, or simply enjoy a peaceful outdoor retreat, using evergreen trees for a screen is a popular solution. In Western Colorado, where the climate is unique and the landscape diverse, choosing the right trees for an evergreen screen requires careful consideration. Let’s explore some of the best options and answer some frequently asked questions about creating an evergreen screen in this region.

1. Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)
Known for its stunning blue-gray color, the Colorado Blue Spruce is a popular choice for screens in Western Colorado. This native tree thrives in the dry climate and rocky soil, making it well-suited for the region. Its dense foliage and pyramid shape provide excellent privacy and wind protection.

2. Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum)
The Rocky Mountain Juniper is another native tree that adapts well to Western Colorado’s harsh conditions. Its dense foliage and conical shape create an effective screen, and its blue-green color adds visual interest to any landscape. This slow-growing tree requires little maintenance once established.

3. Austrian Pine (Pinus nigra)
The Austrian Pine is a versatile evergreen tree that can be used as a screen in Western Colorado. It tolerates a wide range of soil types and is highly resistant to pests and diseases. Its dark green needles and dense growth habit make it an excellent choice for privacy.

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4. Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Although not native to Colorado, the Canadian Hemlock can thrive in the region’s cooler and moister areas. This graceful tree features soft, feathery foliage and dense growth, providing an attractive evergreen screen. It prefers partially shaded locations and requires regular watering.

5. Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa)
The Ponderosa Pine is a familiar sight in Western Colorado, with its distinctive reddish-brown bark and long needles. While it may not provide complete privacy due to its open growth habit, it offers a natural screen that allows some light and air to pass through. Its rustic appearance adds character to any landscape.

6. Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
The Douglas Fir is a majestic evergreen tree that can be used effectively as a screen in Western Colorado. Its dense, dark green foliage and tall, straight growth make it an excellent choice for privacy. It prefers well-drained soil and regular watering.

7. Norway Spruce (Picea abies)
The Norway Spruce is a popular choice for evergreen screens in Western Colorado due to its adaptability and fast growth rate. Its dark green needles and conical shape create an effective visual barrier. However, it may require regular pruning to maintain its desired size and shape.


1. How tall do evergreen screens need to be?
The height of your evergreen screen will depend on your specific needs and the desired level of privacy. Generally, a screen of at least 6 to 8 feet tall is sufficient, but taller trees may be required to block out a significant view or strong winds.

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2. How far apart should I plant evergreen trees for a screen?
Planting distance will vary depending on the tree species and its growth habit. As a general guideline, space trees 8 to 10 feet apart to allow room for growth and prevent overcrowding.

3. How long does it take for evergreen screens to become effective?
The time it takes for an evergreen screen to become effective varies depending on the tree species and its growth rate. Fast-growing trees like the Norway Spruce can provide privacy within a few years, while slower-growing trees may take longer to fill in.

4. Can evergreen screens tolerate drought conditions?
Most evergreen trees mentioned above are adapted to Western Colorado’s dry climate and can tolerate drought conditions once established. However, it is important to provide regular watering during the first few years after planting to help them establish strong root systems.

5. Are there any evergreen trees that attract wildlife?
Many evergreen trees attract wildlife, providing food and shelter. The Rocky Mountain Juniper and Austrian Pine are particularly attractive to birds, while the Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir can host various bird species and small mammals.

6. Do evergreen screens require pruning?
While some evergreen screens may require occasional pruning to maintain their shape, others can be left to grow naturally. Regular pruning can help control the size and density of the screen, but be careful not to remove too much foliage, as it may compromise privacy.

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7. Can evergreen screens be used in containers?
While it is possible to grow some evergreen trees in containers, it is generally not recommended for screens. The limited root space may restrict their growth, and they may not provide the desired privacy or windbreak when confined to containers.

Creating an evergreen screen in Western Colorado requires careful consideration of tree species that can thrive in the unique climate and soil conditions. By selecting the right trees and providing proper care, you can enjoy a beautiful and functional outdoor space with the desired privacy and separation.