16 Evergreen Trees in Georgia

Georgia is home to over 100 species of evergreen trees, some more common than others. The most popular tree in Georgia, you might be surprised to learn, is the Southern Live Oak. This majestic tree can grow up to 30 feet high and has a lifespan of around 300 years. What’s your favorite type of evergreen?

Georgia is a state of the United States of America. It has a population over 10 million people and covers an area of 54,902 square miles. The climate in Georgia varies from humid subtropical to humid continental depending on which region you are referring to.

In general, the south-central part of Georgia is warm with wet winters and hot dry summers, while the north-eastern part is cold with wet springs and autumns that turn into dry winters.

Most trees in Georgia grow year round, but some do not due to weather conditions or elevation changes, such as forests found at higher elevations where harsh winter freezes would kill trees without leaves. Evergreen trees can be seen throughout most regions within Georgia. These are the types you will encounter most.

Related: 30 Most Common Trees In Georgia

1. Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara)

Deodar Cedar
Willamette Biology Deodar Cedar

This tree is a coniferous evergreen growing up to 50 feet high and has a lifespan of 150 years. The trunk is brown with rough light-brown bark, which becomes thicker as the tree ages. Cones grow 5-7 inches long and are dark brown or gray. They release winged seeds that can be dispersed by the wind.

Related: 7 Cedar Tree Benefits

2. Southern Magnolia (magnolia grandiflora)

Southern Magnolia
B A Bowen Photography Southern Magnolia

This tree has long, glossy leaves and small white flowers that bloom at the same time in the spring season with the surrounding Magnolia trees (which are deciduous). The bark of Southern Magnolia is very thick. It sheds, exposing light brown inner bark.

The Southern Magnolia separates itself from the common Magnolia (Magnolia virginiana) by being evergreen. It only grows in suitable climates, the state of Georgia being exactly that.

Related: 20 Gorgeous Flowering Trees For Georgia

3. Loblolly Pine (pinus taeda)

Loblolly Pine Tree

This evergreen tree grows tall (up to 80 feet) and has cylindrical cones that are 4-7 inches long. The bark is orange-brown when young, becoming darker with age. Loblolly Pine can be found in all regions of Georgia.

This is one of the most common pine trees in America. Its lumber is usually used to make wood pulp for paper products. Additionally, it is a great source of food and shelter for many species of animals in America.

Related: 17 Common Types Of Pine Trees In Georgia

4. Southern Live Oak (quercus virginiana)

quercus virginiana
oliver.dodd quercus virginiana

This evergreen tree is named for its ability to grow in regions where other trees cannot. It grows up to 65 feet tall and has a lifespan somewhere between 100-300 years. The bark of this tree is thin, scaly, and grayish brown. Leaves can take on shades of yellow, orange, or red during the fall season before dropping in the winter.

Related: 17 Great Types Of Oak Trees In Georgia

5. American Holly (ilex opaca)

This broadleaf evergreen is a small tree that gets up to 25 feet high and has very sharp leaves. The bark of this tree is dark brown, furrowed, and relatively smooth. It can survive in dry soil conditions because it stores water in its leaves and stems. American Holly trees are part of the Aquifoliaceae family of flowering plants.

6. Eastern Red Cedar Tree (juniperus virginiana)

Eastern red cedar Juniperus virginiana
Nicholas A. Tonelli Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

This tree is evergreen and can be found in all regions of Georgia, though it is less common than the Southern Live Oak or Loblolly Pine. It averages around 10 feet tall and has a lifespan of up to 200 years. Red Cedar Trees have pale bark that peels and exposes dark brown layers beneath.

7. Laurel Oak (quercus hemisphaerica) 

Quercus hemisphaerica
Bruce K. Kirchoff Quercus hemisphaerica

This broadleaf evergreen is a small tree that grows up to 20 feet high and has thick, dark green leaves. In the fall, Laurel Oak trees produce brown edible fruits. The bark of this tree is thin with wrinkles on its surface. This particular species of oak can be very invasive in places where it hasn’t been properly managed.

8. Eastern Hemlock (tsuga canadensis)

Tsuga canadensis
Plant Image Library Tsuga canadensis

This is a coniferous evergreen tree that grows up to 150 feet tall. Eastern Hemlock trees are found in all regions of Georgia; however, they are rare due to logging and forest fires. The tree has reddish-brown bark with silver streaks running through it. It sheds needles each winter like other evergreens do.

9. Loblolly Bay (gordonia lasianthus)

Loblolly bay Gordonia lasianthus
M. Aurelius Loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus)

This broadleaf evergreen is a dense, slow growing tree with an average lifespan of about 150 years. They have dark green leaves that are 2-3 inches long. Loblolly Bay trees are found in coastal regions of Georgia and can withstand salt spray fairly well. The wood is very hard and resistant to rot or insect attack.

10. Wild Olive/Devilwood (osmanthus americanus)

Osmanthus americanus
David J. Stang Osmanthus americanus

This evergreen tree has thick, glossy leaves with small flowers that bloom in clusters. It is popular for ornamental use and grows up to 25 feet high. This particular species of Olive/Devilwood trees are located along the Georgia coast.

11. Red Bay (persea borbonia)

Persea borbonia
James Steakley Persea borbonia

This broadleaf evergreen is a small tree that gets up to 25 feet tall. Its leaves are shiny and stiff with a leathery texture, making them an excellent resource for baskets. Red Bay trees have red berries that resemble apples. They can be found in Georgia’s coastal regions and other warm/tropical regions around the world.

12. Cryptomeria Tree (cryptomeria japonica)

Cryptomeria japonica
Tim Sheerman-Chase Cryptomeria japonica

This evergreen tree is native to the southeastern regions of Georgia. The Cryptomeria Tree thrives in moist soil, shallow water, or bright sunlight. They can grow up to 40 feet tall and have needles that are 1-2 inches long. These trees are often referred to as Japanese Cedar Trees.

13. Leyland Cypress (cupressus × leylandii)

cupressus × leylandii
W. Baumgartner cupressus × leylandii

This is an evergreen coniferous tree that can grow up to 60 feet high. It has a uniform pyramidal shape and dark foliage, with a lifespan of about 120 years. Leyland Cypress trees are popular in Georgia for use in ornamental landscaping, but it is considered an invasive species there due to its rapid growth.

14. Green Giant Arborvitae (thuja plicata)

Thuja plicata
F. D. Richards Thuja plicata

This evergreen tree is native to Georgia and can grow up to 40 feet tall. It has light brown bark, dense foliage, and an umbrella-shaped canopy. Green Giant Arborvitae trees are often used as windbreaks or ornamental hedges; however, they are very susceptible to insect infestation (specifically the Western Spruce Budworm).

15. Stone Pine (pinus pinea) 

Stone Pine (Pinus pinea)
Paul Asman and Jill Lenoble Stone Pine (Pinus pinea)

This coniferous evergreen is a common sight in Georgia. It can grow up to 80 feet tall and has a lifespan of up to 700 years. Stone Pines have large cones that hold long seed needles for reproduction purposes, dark green foliage, and a thick trunk with shallow roots. Georgia’s Stone Pines are usually found in coastal areas and on hillsides.

16. Cabbage Palm (sabal palmetto)

Cabbage Palm
Malcolm Manners Cabbage Palm

This evergreen is a fan-shaped tree that can get up to 80 feet high. It has deep roots, attractive green foliage, and edible orange fruit. Cabbage Palm trees are often used for landscaping in Georgia’s coastal regions. Their leaves are regularly used as sandpaper because of their abrasive texture.