8 Evergreens That Smell Like Citrus, Orange & More


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When you think of an evergreen tree, most people conjure up images of Christmas trees, scattered needles, and that fresh pine scent. It’s hard to forget the smell of a new evergreen tree; however, this isn’t the only fragrance you can get from evergreens. In fact, many aromas come from these beautiful trees, including some that you might not expect. 

Here are 8 evergreen trees that smell like citrus, orange and more:

  1. Concolor Fir
  2. Moonglow Juniper 
  3. Douglas Fir
  4. Donard Gold Monterey Cypress
  5. Malonyana Arborvitae
  6. Green Sport Western Red Cedar 
  7. Balsam Fir 
  8. Fraser Fir 

In this article, I’ll dive deeper into each of these evergreen trees, the fragrance they give off, and some more interesting facts about each of them. I’ll also discuss what evergreen is the most fragrant and which evergreen smells the best. 

1. Concolor Fir

The Concolor Fir (also known as the White Fir) originates in the Rocky Mountains from New Mexico to Wyoming. When its needles are broken and crushed, this evergreen is known for its slight citrus smell of oranges and lemons.

The Concolor are grown commercially as Christmas trees due to their perfect pyramid shape and ability to retain their needles. Each needle can grow to around 1-2 inches (2.54-5.08 cm) with rounded edges, making them ideal for hanging decorations. 

In a typical home environment, Concolors can reach up to 30-50 ft (9.14-15.24 m) high and 15-25 ft (4.57-7.62 m) wide when they reach maturity. 

Photo 161990577 | © Darko Plohl | Dreamstime.com

2. Moonglow Juniper

The Moonglow Juniper (also known as the Rocky Mountain Juniper) originated as a seedling from a nursery in Pennsylvania and is grown in California. This tree gets its name from the silvery tint to its blue-green foliage that shimmers in the moonlight. 

The Moonglow is known for giving off a slight citrusy fragrance with notes of apple and lemon.

Moonglows are a species that’s commonly used as an ornamental tree line or windbreak due to their ability to adapt to various landscapes. 

When Moonglows are well maintained and pruned often, they can reach 10-20 ft (3.05-6.10 m). However, left to their own devices, they can grow up to 30-40 ft (9.14-12.19 m). 

Photo 202894304 | © Alexander Mychko | Dreamstime.com

3. Douglas Fir

The Douglas Fir originates from the mountain ranges of the Pacific Northwest and the Rockies. This evergreen is also known for its citrusy scent of intense grapefruit. 

The Douglas Fir is another popular choice for Christmas trees but could be a helpful species for privacy screens and hedges. Aside from decorative purposes, this tree is also one of the most valued timber resources used to make furniture, fencing, and other homeware. 

There are two types of Douglas Firs; Coastal and Rocky Mountain. The Coastal Douglas Fir is the tallest and can grow up to 250 ft (76.2 m) tall and 6 ft (1.83 m) wide. 

Photo 219452718 | Coastal Douglas Fir © Jaahnlieb | Dreamstime.com

4. Donard Gold Monterey Cypress

The Donard Gold Monterey Cypress is most famously found on the coast of California but can also be found in Oregon. It gives off a ripe lemon scent when its needles are broken and crushed. 

People love this evergreen for its distinctive golden-yellow foliage and cinnamon brown bark. This tree’s size, shape, and color can be used as a neat-looking hedge or as a stand-alone focal point in your garden, making this an evergreen of many uses. 

The Donard Gold is a slow-growing tree but can eventually reach heights of 20-30 ft (6.10-9.14 m) tall and 8 ft (2.44 m) wide.

Photo 241630059 | © Soniabonet | Dreamstime.com

5. Malonyana Arborvitae

The Malonyana Arborvitae originated from Malonya in Hungary and was one of the first trees brought to the United States from Europe. The Malonyana is known for its unique pineapple scent. 

This evergreen typically has a narrow frame and is commonly used as a hedge plant or privacy screening. The Malonyana is also known for its ability to withstand the cold and is often used to substitute for trees that can’t cope with freezing temperatures. 

The Malonyana can grow up to 40 ft (12.19 m) high and up to 15 ft (4.57 m) wide.  

Photo 184603720 | © Owsx30 | Dreamstime.com

6. Green Sport Western Red Cedar

Originating from the Pacific Northwest, the Green Sport Western Red Cedar (Thuja Plicata) is known to have a scent of fresh apples. 

The Green Sport has dense green foliage and an excellent ability to handle harsh weather. These qualities make a row of these trees a great candidate for a very effective privacy screen or hedge. 

The Green Sport is a fast-growing tree that can grow up to a foot (0.30 m) a year. In total, this evergreen can grow up to 70 ft (21.34 m) tall and 20 ft (6.10 m) wide in its maturity.  

Photo 223625169 | © Marina Denisenko | Dreamstime.com

7. Balsam Fir

The Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) originates from various places in the United States, including Maine and West Virginia. 

Unlike the previous evergreens that we’ve discussed, the Balsam doesn’t have a fruity aroma but a very distinctive sweet smell of pine. 

Its dense pyramid shape makes the Balsam a popular selection for Christmas trees, so much so that it was used as the Christmas tree at the Capitol. 

The Balsam Fir can grow up to 40-60 ft (12.19-18.29 m) tall in its maturity. 

Photo 198081213 | Abies Balsamea © Gerald D. Tang | Dreamstime.com

8. Fraser Fir 

The Fraser Fir is native to the Appalachian Mountains of Southeastern United States. It’s known to have a sweet pine smell similar to the Balsam but not as distinct. 

The Fraser is another evergreen commonly used as a Christmas tree and has been used as the White House Christmas tree more times than any other species of evergreen. 

The Fraser is also used for timber due to its strong trunk. Although due to their popularity as a Christmas tree, other species are generally used in place of it. 

The Fraser can typically grow to 30-50 ft (9.14-15.24 m) but can grow as tall as 80 ft (24.38 m) in some rare cases.

Photo 46475941 | Fir © Francois Therrien | Dreamstime.com

Which Evergreen Is the Most Fragrant?

Evergreens are a great plant to brighten up your home or garden with their all-year-round color and enticing aroma. Now that you’ve learned a little more about which evergreen smells of what, let’s find out which one is the most fragrant. 

Balsam Firs are the most fragrant of evergreens. Typically, evergreen needles are crushed to get their scent. However, this isn’t needed with Balsams. The appealing smell of firs comes from the oil (pinene) in their needles. The pinene compounds with other chemicals to emit the fresh pine smell. 

Although it’s the most fragrant, the Balsam tends to dry out, which can cause its scent to fade. To prevent this from happening, ensure that you give your Balsam plenty of water, particularly if it’s positioned in a spot exposed to a lot of sun. 

Which Evergreen Smells the Best?

Out of all the evergreens, the Malonyana Arborvitae smells the best. With its unique pineapple scent, it isn’t something that you come to expect from these trees. Malonyanas need to be watered weekly and planted in deep fertile soil to ensure they’re kept at their best. 

Lars

I am always happy to share all my knowledge about how to keep your garden in good condition and make it special.

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