25 Years, 25 Great Plants: Part II Evergreen Trees

June 19, 2020

Welcome back and happy Friday! We have Part II of our 25 Years, 25 Great Plants Series, with evergreen trees. Read about our favorite picks below, and stay tuned for our next  part of the 25 Years series, with a closer look at select shrubs.


Arbutus x ‘Marina’ (low branching) – Low Branching ‘Marina’ Strawberry Tree

A charming evergreen tree with highly ornamental bark that peels back to reveal underlying new growth in shades of rosy-pink to rusty-red. Moderately growing to reach 25 – 40 feet high and wide, a dense and rounded crown of large, deep green leaves help cast some shade – although it’s not advisable to bask beneath this tree as it can be a bit messy with flower, fruit, and bark litter. Best grown in full sun with occasional watering after establishment. Grown near the coast, this tree offers a year-round display of highly ornamental clusters of urn-shaped flowers in blush pink to creamy white, peaking during spring and fall seasons. We carry low branching ‘Marina’ Strawberry Trees in 15 gallon, and 24” boxes.


Cornus capitata ‘Mountain Moon’ – ‘Mountain Moon’ Evergreen Dogwood

A unique member of the Dogwood family, ‘Mountain Moon’ is a distinctly evergreen to semi-evergreen cultivar, prized for its attractive leathery foliage and spring blooms. ‘Mountain Moon’ Evergreen Dogwood is wonderfully suited for an environment of partial to full sun and makes a wonderful focal point with a handsome pyramidal form and showy blooms. What most people recognize as flowers, are petal-like leaf bracts that surround tiny, true flowers; from early summer into fall, flowers bloom in such abundance they obscure the crown of leaves. Quickly growing to 20 feet high and wide, this tree is also a good selection for a shade tree. We carry ‘Mountain Moon’ Evergreen Dogwood trees in 15 gallon, 24 gallon, and 36 gallon containers.


Michelia yunnanensis ‘Inspiration’ – ‘Inspiration’ Michelia


               An incredibly fragrant and showy addition to the landscape, ‘Inspiration’ Michelia truly inspires with a profusion of large, creamy white flowers from spring into summer. Bright white blooms are similar in appearance to Magnolias, they open from velvety brown buds and contrast handsomely against a backdrop of broad, dark emerald leaves. Growing densely upright and shorter than that parent species, Inspiration adds an interesting vertical element to smaller, more intimate spaces. ‘Inspiration’ Michelia also makes a wonderful container addition, placed near a patio or pathway where it may be enjoyed by all. We carry ‘Inspiration’ Michelia in 5 gallon, 15 gallon, and 24 gallon containers.


Podocarpus elongatus ‘Icee Blue’, ‘Monmal’ – Icee Blue Yellow-Wood

                Podocarpus as a species are a popular choice for landscape projects, and ‘Icee Blue’ is highly regarded as the first Podocarpus with distinctive, true blue foliage. ‘Icee Blue’ Yellow-Wood is an upright, slow growing shrub or small tree will mature with a slightly open pyramidal form. Fine, fern-like leaves are light green-blue as they first emerge and mature to their unusual cool grey-blue. These trees or shrubs are highly decorative and nearly litter free, perfect for use near walkways, patios, poolside, or street-side planting; dense growth also makes them a wonderful selection for a unique privacy hedge. We carry Podocarpus ‘Icee Blue’ in 5 gallon, 10 / 15 gallon, Premium 15 gallon, 24 gallon, and 36 gallon containers.


Tristania laurina ‘Elegant’ – ‘Elegant’ Water Gum

An Eastern Australian native species, ‘Elegant’ Water Gum is a slow-growing and stately tree. Broad and glossy, emerald green leaves emerge fiery red in their youth, before maturing to their dark green coloring in the shade of surrounding foliage. Dense and conical in form, this is well-suited for use as a privacy hedge, or background planting – this tree will also perform well in containers. Distinctive rusty-red to mahogany colored bark peels to reveal satin white, new bark below. Arrival of spring brings a profusion of delicately fragrant, yellow flowers and attract local pollinators. We carry ‘Elegant’ Water Gum in Standard Tree form and Multi-Branched Bush form. We offer Standard Tree form in 5 gallon, 15 gallon, and 24 / 25 gallon containers; we offer Multi-Branched Bush form in 5 gallon, 24 gallon, 36 gallon, and 48 gallon containers.


Sources Used:

Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Staff. Hortus. New York: Macmillan General Reference, 1976.

Norris Brenzel, Kathleen, ed. The New Sunset Western Garden Book. 9th ed. New York: Time Home Entertainment, 2012.

San Marcos Growers. https://smgrowers.com/.


Photos taken at Devil Mountain Nursery, San Ramon.