The Q&A Archives: Evergreens For The Shade

Question: I have a 50 foot area in my backyard that is almost totally shaded by mature pine and maple trees. Because of the shade, the grass doesnot grow and has become plain old dirt.I want to change the appearance and made a bed outlining where the good grass meets the dirt. I want to plant evergreen trees/shrubs in this burm. What can I plant that does not need much sun. I was thinking about hemlock trees, rhododendron and maybe some white pine/spruce. Any suggestions? Will the hemlocks grow in the shade? THanks.

Answer: The shade of mature pines is a challenging spot, but it sounds like the shrubs will be right on the border of the shade where they will get some sun. The shrubs you've metioned need at least partial sun (dappled light all day, or direct sun for part of the day). Aucuba japonica is a very shade tolerant broadleafed evergreen appropriate for full shade, and it's hardy to Zone 6, so you might want to work that into your mix if you want to try planting something in the back of the berm. Best of luck to you!

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