Selecting Trees, Shrubs and Ornamentals

Once planted, trees and shrubs will be around for decades, so choose wisely. Be sure to select trees and shrubs that will grow well in your climate. Your local nursery can provide you with the information you need. Choose plants with healthy, vigorous top-growth that have a good root system with no signs of disease, pests or damage.

Instead of planting a hedge of just one type of bush, consider a variety of low-growing evergreens in various heights, colors, shapes and textures. This will create an interesting bed when full of seasonal flowers and will also continue to look appealing in winter.

Be sure to give the trees and shrubs you plant plenty of room. One mistake people often make is to plant trees or shrubs too close to each other. Remember, these plants will grow up and out, and they need room. Deciduous trees should not be planted too close to the house, either, as they may interfere with the foundation or wiring, drop leaves into the gutter, and be more trouble than you ever intended. Don’t plant a tree too close to your neighbor’s property, either.

Many evergreens are ideal for foundation plantings. Pyramidal yews and junipers may be used as strong vertical forms at the front of a house or on either side of an entrance. Large conifers planted on the west or north sides of open space can shield a home from the wind and actually reduce heating costs and make outdoor activities more pleasant.

Dont forget broadleaf evergreens when choosing plantings for your yard. These plants often produce flowers or berries and maintain their leaves throughout the winter. Broadleaf evergreens such as rhododendrons, azaleas and hollies need acidic soil.