Evergreens are appropriately named as ‘Evergreen’.
They don’t tend to lose their needles and come back to life.
But in Ohio, there are 2 narrowleaf, deciduous trees that drop their foliage in the fall, and leaf out in Spring.
The two Narrowleaf Deciduous trees are Bald Cypress
and Dawn Redwood.
And they have begun to leaf out in Northern, Ohio.
Bald Cypress, Taxodium distichum, is a narrowleaf deciduous tree that is closely related to cypress that grow in swampy areas of the south.
There are cultivated varieties available from nurseries that include Shawnee Brave Cypress, Taxodium distichum ‘Shawnee Brave’ that tends to have a more upright growth habit,
and Falling Water Bald Cypress, Taxodium distichum, ‘Falling Waters’ which as a weeping growth habit.
Bald cypress tolerates very wet location but will produce aerial roots above the soil that are referred to as knees.
But in a lawn, these are really hard on lawnmower blades.
Paul Snyder points this out in his article about Bald Cypress knees:
Dawn Redwood, Metasequoia glyptostraboides, is a narrowleaf deciduous tree that loses its needles in fall,
but leaf’s out again in the spring.
It grows well in moist-well-drained locations and can reach heights of 75 feet or taller.
It is characterized by its very fluted trunk.
We typically will get calls in the office in the fall that my evergreen is dying,
just to learn that it is either a Bald Cypress or Dawn Redwood as I point out in the following article:
Also, all evergreens will naturally lose some of their needles as Joe Boggs points out referring to White Pine:
Unfortunately, most true evergreens do not lose needles and grow them back on the same locations of a branches.
Examples include Arborvitae devastated by bagworm.
Also, Blue Spruce that are heavily infested with bagworm are doomed.
Another challenge facing Blue Spruce that will defoliate the tree from the bottom branches up is Rhizosphera.
More about this disease is covered in the following Fact Sheet by The OSU Plant Pathology scientists:
But as a general rule, a dead branch on an evergreen will not just come back to life.
Exceptions include Japanese Yew that was browsed on by deer in the winter.
Another plant that may grow new growth is Arborvitae, again, browsed on by deer.
But if the ‘evergreen’ just comes back to life, it may be due to the fact it is ‘not evergreen’!