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Northern Plains Regional Reports

Hardy Evergreens for the Northern Plains

These tough conifers can handle the worst our winters have to offer

Black Hills spruce cones in spring. Photo: Chris Schlenker

Evergreens are a vital component of the winter landscape in the Northern Plains, where the other three seasons may last three months on the calendar but seem to fluctuate wildly on a day-to-day basis. These extreme temperature and weather changes, especially those in late autumn and late winter, pose the greatest threats to tree survival, and only those trees that can tolerate such shifts have the honor of joining us out here on the Northern Plains. Read on for three of the hardiest evergreens available that are tough enough to endure our winters.

White spruce
White spruce can handle dry, alkaline soils. Photo: Chris Schlenker

White spruce (Picea glauca, Zones 2–6)

White spruce is a hardy conifer native to Alaska through the boreal forests of Canada to Newfoundland as well as many of the northern border states, including South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Minnesota. White spruce grows best in moist, well-drained soils in…

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