Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) are evergreen trees which are prized by many homeowners for their deep green color, refined-soft texture and value as a year round screen plants. However, this year the weather we experienced along the Front Range (which has been discussed here and here) exposed one of their weaknesses. In our dry climate with its fluctuating and inconsistent temperatures in the spring they are borderline cold hardy.
|Arborvitae damaged by cold temperatures this spring|
Cooke Peak Arizona Cypress (Cupressus arizonica 'Cooke Peak')
This evergreen plant has a nice texture and attractive and aromatic spearmint green foliage color. This selection is drought tolerant and reliably cold hardy along the Front Range. The habits of individual plants can vary somewhat.
|Close up of foliage of Arizona Cypress|
Pinion Pine (Pinus edulis)
Pinion Pine is a native evergreen which is smaller in stature and not as dense as Arborvitae. However, it is very drought tolerant once established and does add winter interest to a landscape. Pinions sited in more moist sites such as irrigated turf grass may struggle.