Larger Trees and Shrubs

By Ben Chu


Buxus 'Green Gem'
boxwood
Broadleaf evergreen

Resists winter bronzing. It's a good evergreen in mixed plant compositions or for a short hedge.
Buxus sempervirens 'Vardar Valley'
boxwood
Broadleaf evergreen

Adaptable to various sun exposures; tolerates shearing; good foundation plant.
Ilex x meserveae BLUE PRINCE
blue holly
Broadleaf evergreen

Pollinator for ‘Blue Princess’ holly; purplish stems a good contrast to dark glossy leaves. One male within 400’ for 9-10 plants.
Ilex x meserveae BLUE PRINCESS
blue holly
Broadleaf evergreen

Attractive red berries against purple stems; winter food for birds.
Pieris japonica
Japanese pieris
Broadleaf evergreen

Spring blooming; new spring foliage bronze-colored--attractive characteristic; provide some winter protection; match with acid-loving plants.
Rhododendron 'English Roseum'
rhododendron
Broadleaf evergreen

Good combination with hollies; new spring growth lush, attractive light-green foliage.
Rhododendron 'Herbert'
evergreen azalea
Broadleaf evergreen

Can tolerate sun; very nice small azaleas to use in combination with Buxus ‘Green Gem’; good city garden azalea.
Aesculus parviflora
bottlebrush buckeye
Deciduous shrub

Exceptional in mass planting, particularly when in bloom; can colonize an area making it useful for erosion control; one of the nicer fall yellows.
Aronia arbutifolia 'Brilliantissima'
chokeberry
Deciduous shrub

Good for low lying areas; good erosion control; brilliant red fall color; persistent fruit attracts late winter birds. 
Betula nigra 'Little King' FOX VALLEY
river birch
Deciduous shrub

Very attractive dark exfoliating bark that exposes lighter bark underneath; works well against dark background plantings.
Buddleja davidii 'Black Knight'
butterfly bush
Deciduous shrub

One of the best deep purple blooms; as name implies is a butterfly magnet.
Callicarpa americana
beautyberry
Deciduous shrub

Nice to grow on wall so fruit can be viewed at eye level.
Cephalanthus occidentalis
buttonbush
Deciduous shrub

Good for wet shady area; attractive to butterflies.
Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird'
sweet pepperbush
Deciduous shrub

Good compact cultivar; not as open as species; very fragrant; good yellow fall color.
Cornus sericea 'Cardinal'
red twig dogwood
Deciduous shrub

Remove 2-3 year old stems annually to encourage newer more colorful stems; good to plant with background to show off stems.
Corylus avellana 'Contorta'
Harry Lauder's walking stick
Deciduous shrub

Interesting branch characteristics; good specimen plant.
Hamamelis vernalis
Ozark witch hazel
Deciduous shrub

Good winter-blooming plant; can be very fragrant; displays interesting fruit.
Hydrangea quercifolia
oakleaf hydrangea
Deciduous shrub

Large persistent flower heads which are useful in floral arrangements; excellent deep red fall foliage; best characteristic is exfoliating bark that reveals brown inner bark.
Ilex verticillata 'Jim Dandy'
winterberry
Deciduous shrub

Pollinator for Ilex verticillata ‘Nana' RED SPRITE.
Ilex verticillata 'Nana' RED SPRITE
winterberry
Deciduous shrub

Best of the red-berried deciduous hollies; birds enjoy this plant for late winter fruit; good for wet conditions.
Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet'
Virginia sweetspire
Deciduous shrub

Good for low, wet area; graceful arching habit; one of the best deep red fall colors.
Nandina domestica 'Pygmaea'
heavenly bamboo
Deciduous shrub

Good vertical plant; coppery spring foliage changing to green with deep purple in the autumn.
Rhododendron yedoense var. poukhanense
Korean azalea
Deciduous shrub

Evergreen foliage with brown pubescence; orange-red fall foliage.
Rhus typhina 'Dissecta'
staghorn sumac
Deciduous shrub

Excellent fall color; shorter at maturity than species sumac; fine texture combines well with grasses.
Spiraea japonica 'Limemound'
Japanese spiraea
Deciduous shrub

One of the better yellow-foliage plants; nice plant to add contrast to planting groups; can tolerate shearing.
Viburnum carlesii
Koreanspice viburnum
Deciduous shrub

Very fragrant; very showy flowers that are waxy in appearance; birds attracted to mature blue fruit.

Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum 'Shasta'
doublefile viburnum
Deciduous shrub

Personal favorite; very architectural plant with good branching structure; branching is open and horizontal; double row of flowers very attractive.

Viburnum rhytidophyllum
leatherleaf viburnum
Deciduous shrub

Good mid-layer evergreen that provides good screen; attractive blooms enjoyed by bees.
Acer griseum
paperbark maple
Tree

Showy cinnamon to reddish-brown exfoliating bark; slow grower does best with afternoon shade; fall color is fiery red.

Acer japonicum 'Aconitifolium'
full moon maple
Tree

Needs shaded site; incredible orange to red fall foliage; small red springtime flowers contrast well with newly emerging leaves.

Acer palmatum var. dissectum 'Filigree'
Japanese maple
Tree

Drooping form; finely dissected leaves makes an exceptional specimen plant; golden fall color.

Amelanchier canadensis
serviceberry
Tree

Beautiful orange, red autumn color; good in a mass planting; edible blueberry-size fruit is a good wildlife and bird attractant.

Cercidiphyllum japonicum
katsura tree
Tree

Needs moist soils and afternoon shade; heart-shaped leaves turn a nice canary yellow in the fall; tree smells like cotton candy in late summer-early fall.

Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'
eastern redbud
Tree

Burgundy summer foliage; avoid hot afternoon sun; flowers more intense in color than species redbud.

Chionanthus virginicus
fringe tree
Tree

Full sun for best flowers; flowers intensely fragrant and can be smelled before the tree is seen; flowers have unusual fringe appearance; grows broader than tall.

Cornus kousa var. chinensis
Chinese dogwood
Tree

Later bloom than native dogwood; flower shape is longer and more pointed than species; branches take on a layered habit; mottled bark very rich with grey, green spots; fruit is edible; fall color is vibrant red.

Ginkgo biloba
maidenhair tree
Tree

Best fall yellow; autumn leaves will often fall all at once.
Magnolia stellata
star magnolia
Tree

Nice glossy leaves; blooms very early spring often at a time when frost threatens.
Nyssa sylvatica
black gum
Tree

Good tree for wet, periodically flooded conditions; incredible fall foliage with ranges of red to burgundy.
Parrotia persica
Persian ironwood
Tree

Early spring bloomer; blooms best in full sun; new foliage emerges glossy red then matures to green.
Quercus bicolor
swamp white oak
Tree

One of the better oaks for fall color; adapts to wet conditions; my ideal tree for structure and habit.
Quercus macrocarpa
bur oak
Tree

Very large acorns and caps, which can pose a litter problem if tree is not properly sited; good for wet sites.
Styrax japonicus
snowbell
Tree

Unusual drooping flowers and fruit; grey bark with underlying orange inner bark.
Ulmus parvifolia 'Dynasty'
Chinese elm
Tree

Mottled exfoliating orange bark; very attractive leaves and samaras that are red in the autumn.