Expert Guide to Trees & Shrubs best suited for your yard

Tree and Shrub Guides

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Discover the ideal trees and shrubs suited for your unique landscape requirements with our specialized recommendations. Our guides offer a diverse selection tailored to address specific challenges including drought, planting near black walnut trees, and deer and rabbits munching on your landscape. Our expertly compiled recommendations will help your landscape flourish!

Be sure to browse our wide selection of trees, shrubs, evergreens, and roses!

Trees and Shrubs
 

Trees Evergreens Shrubs
American Beech American Holly Arrowwood Viburnum
American Elm Arborvitae Barberry
American Hornbeam Canadian Hemlock Elderberry
Blackgum Chinese Juniper Euonymus
Catalpa Common Juniper Forsythia
Dogwood Eastern Red Cedar Fragrant Sumac
Honeylocust   Koreanspice Viburnum
Japanese Maple   Mockorange
Mulberry   Ninebark
Peach, Plum, Cherry   Purple Leaf Sandcherry
Quaking Aspen   Rose of Sharon
Red Maple   Smooth Hydrangea
Red Oak    
Redbud    
River Birch    
Serviceberry    
Sugar Maple    
Sycamore    
Tuliptree    
Willow    

Buddleia davidii - Butterfly Bush

This is easily the most popular bush to plant in northern butterfly gardens since we don't have to worry about it spreading. It produces spires of tiny, honey-scented flowers that draw butterflies like a magnet.

Caryopteris x clandonensis - Bluebeard

The amazing blue flowers of Caryopteria appear in late summer and continue through fall. They attract the late-season butterflies (and bees) in droves. Give it well-drained soil and lots of sun.

Ceanothus americanus - New Jersey Tea

New Jersey Tea is a deeply rooting native, making it especially drought-tolerant. The white flower poms are attractive to all pollinators. It's the host plant for Spring Azure and Summer Azure butterflies.

Cephalanthus occidentailis - Buttonbush

Buttonbush is a wetlands native of eastern North America and it's particularly popular with Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies. The blooms are white and look like spikey ping pong balls.

Clethra alnifola - Summersweet

The long, fragrant flower panicles of Summersweet are irresistible to butterflies! This shrub needs lots of moisture to thrive and prefers slightly shady conditions.

Diervilla lonicera - Bush Honeysuckle

Tube-like yellow flowers, resembling the flowers of true honeysuckle, bloom in panicles in early summer. Good for early pollinators. It's a densely branched shrub that typically has amazing fall color.

Heptacodium miconioides - Seven-Son Flower

Seven-Son Flower is a large, fountain-shaped, multi-stemmed shrub. It blooms in late summer with creamy white flower clusters, and the bark is exfoliating. The late-season nectar it provides is invaluable!

Hibiscus syriacus - Rose of Sharon

The big show-stopping blooms of Rose of Sharon are enough on their own to make this flowering bush that attracts butterflies a must-have for many gardeners. Hummingbirds love it too!

Hypericum kalmianum - St John's Wort

This ultra-hardy, non-fussy native shrub thrives in almost any type of soil and attracts bees, caterpillars, and butterflies. It's also the host plant for the Gray Hairstreak butterfly. Deer and rabbit-resistant too.

Itea virginica - Sweetspire

Sweetspire boasts drooping spires of tiny white flowers that open from base to tip. This North American native loves moisture, similar to the Summersweet. It attracts early season butterflies.

Salix discolor - Pussy Willow

Pussy Willow shrubs are typically overlooked for ornamental use, but it's extremely important for those early emerging, hungry pollinators! It's the host plant for 18 different butterflies and moths! That means that the Pussy Willow is an absolute “must-have” for pollinator gardens.

Sorbaria sorbifolia - Ash Leaf Spirea

This butterfly magnet blooms in July with creamy white, Astilbe-like plumes. The foliage is extra gorgeous in shades of caramel pink and lime green. Then the foliage turns bronze in the fall!

Weigela florida

This large flowering shrub flowers in early summer, with small tubular pink and white flowers. It flowers best in full sun, though it can take some light shade. Popular with hummingbirds too!

Less Favored by Deer
Shrubs Trees Evergreens
Butterfly Bush Birch Boxwood
Calycanthus American Larch Hemlock
Caryopteris Bald Cypress Juniper
Cotoneaster Gingko Pieris
Forsythia Honey Locust Pine
Kerria Magnolia  
Lilac Oaks Vines
Potentilla Redbud Bittersweet
Red Twig Dogwood   Grape
Spirea   Honeysuckle
Viburnum   Wisteria


Less Favored by Rabbits
Shrubs Trees Evergreens
Alpine Currant Birch Austrian Pine
Butterfly Bush Ginkgo Boxwood
Cotoneaster Oak Holly
Deutzia Redbud Pine
Elderberry   Yew
Hydrangea    
Lilac    
Mockorange    
Privet   Vines
Red Twig dogwood   Wisteria
Spirea   Climbing Hydrangea
St. Johnswort   Virginia Creeper

Salt Tolerant

Bald Cypress
Catalpa
Ginkgo
Honeylocust
Japanese Tree Lilac
Norway Maple
Oak
River Birch
Serviceberry


Alpine Currant
Barberry
Cotoneaster
Forysythia
Hydrangea paniculatas
Hypericum
Miss Kim Lilac
Potentilla
Rose of Sharon


Not Salt Tolerant

Beech
Dawn Redwood
Dogwood Tree
European Hornbeam
Hackberry
Hemlock
Red Maple
Sycamore
Tuliptree


Azaleas
Euonymus (Wintercreeper)
Evergreen Holly
Flowering Quince
Red Twig Dogwood
Rhododendron
Spirea
 
 

As a general rule of thumb all trees should be planted at least 20 feet from septic systems. Trees with invasive roots should be planted even further, at least 50 feet from septic systems.

Roots that COMMONLY invade septic systems

Red Maple Acer rubrum
Silver Maple Acer saccharinum
Birch Betula
Beech Fagus
Weeping Willow Salix alba
American Elm Ulmus americana
Dogwood Cornus sericea


Roots that Rarely invade Septic Systems

Norway Maple Acer platanoides
Sugar Maple Acer saccharum
Dogwood Cornus
Crabapple Malus
White Pine Pinus strobus
Cherry (fruit and ornamental) Prunus
Scarlet Oak Quercus coccinea
Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa
Northern Red Oak Quercus rubra
Hemlock Tsuga
Trees Shrubs
Bald Cypress Arrowwood Viburnum
Birch Beautyberry
Blackgum Bigleaf Hydrangea
Catalpa Blueberry
Dawn Redwood Buttonbush
Dogwood Chokeberry
Honeylocust Cranberry Viburnum
Hornbeam Dogwood
Pin Oak Elderberry
Quaking Aspen False Spirea
Red Maple Fothergilla
Red Oak Koreanspice Viburnum
Redbud Ninebark
Serviceberry Spirea (Most)
Silver Maple Summersweet
Swamp Oak Sweetspire
Sycamore Willow
Tuliptree Winterberry
Willow Witchhazel
Evergreens
American Holly
Arborvitae
Basalm Fir
Black Spruce
Canadian Hemlock
Eastern White Pine

Tree Planting Instructions

  1. Consider mature size of tree. Caution: Call utility companies before digging.
  2. Dig hole one and a half times wider than the container.
  3. Remove container. Roughen sides, bottom and top of root ball. Remove any loose soil from the top of the roots.
  4. Important: Place tree in hole with the trunk straight and the root flare (see diagram) 2 inches above the surrounding grade.
  5. Fill soil in around the roots and tamp down. Adding Bumper Crop is extremely beneficial.
  6. Water thoroughly. Refill soil if needed, water again.
  7. Add 3 inches of mulch around tree, keeping away from trunk.
  8. Water as needed to maintain evenly moist soil.
  9. Staking is beneficial for larger trees or windy sites. Remove after one year.

Growing Quality Plants to the Glory of the Creator

Instrucciones para plantar árboles

  1. Consider el tamaño maduro del árbol. Precaución: Consulte con las empresas de servicios públicos antes de cavar.
  2. Cavar el hoyo más grande que el recipiente.
  3. Retire el recipiente. Raspe los lados, la parte inferior y la parte superior del capellion. Quite la tierra suelta de la parte superior de las raíces.
  4. Importante: Coloque el árbol en el hoyo con el tronco recto y la raíz ensanchada 2” (5 cm) por encima del suelo circundante -ver illustración-.
  5. Rellene con tierra alrededor de las raíces y apisone.
  6. Riegue abundantemente. Rellene el suelo si es necesario y vuelva a regar.
  7. Agregue 3” (7.5 cm) de mantilla alrededor del árbol, manteniendolo alejado del tronco.
  8. Riegue según sea necesario para mantener el suelo uniformemente humedo.
  9. Usar un tutor es beneficioso para árboles grandes o sitios ventosos. Eliminar el tutor despues de un año.

Growing Quality Plants to the Glory of the Creator

Tough Trees for Midwestern Landscapes

Article from Midwest Living

Crabapple Trees

There's nothing prettier than crabapples blooming in the spring! Newer varieties are much more disease resistant these days. They also come in so many colors too. Try 'Gladiator' or 'Coral Burst'.


Japanese Lilac Trees

The huge, fragrant white blossoms will stop you in your tracks. This variety of lilac much later than it's regular cousins too. 'Ivory Silk' is our favorite specimen.


Black Hills Spruces

This evergreen is drought tolerant and disease resistant with its church steeple shape and short, blue-green needles. Its prickly and aromatic foliage contribute greatly to its natural deer resistance.


Serviceberry Trees

A three season beauty! Showy spring flowers, delicious summer fruit, and spectacular orange colors in the fall. 'Autumn Brilliance' is our favorite cultivar.


Hornbeam Trees

These trees are excellent at providing privacy! They're dense, fairly narrow, and can eventually reach 40 feet in height. Hornbeams aren't picky about soil, but they do prefer to be an understory tree.


Willow Trees

Hands down the best water loving tree on earth! You can't go wrong with a willow. They do well in a dry area too! Willows tend to be bell shaped, so give them plenty of space to spread out!


Birch Trees

Did you know that birches are actually hardwood trees? They're tough! Birches are great understory trees too. Another winning factor is their winter beauty! The exfoliating bark is just stunning.


Oak Trees

Oaks are known for slow to moderate growth, sturdiness, and easy care. They have exceptional drought tolerance, pollution tolerance, and can handle poor soils with no issue whatsoever.


Bald Cypress Trees

Bald cypresses are slow-growing, long-lived trees that can reach up to 600 years in age. They thrive in poorly drained, wet conditions where many other trees fail.