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Trees and Shrubs


For structure and a constant presence, trees and shrubs are an essential part of landscape design. Trees add character to your property, add shade and cooling for your house and offer shelter from cold winds, lowering your heating needs. Shrubs offer foliage for privacy, colorful flower in Spring, edible berries for your favorite recipes, and an essential habitat for local wildlife.

Trees come in variety of types including: evergreen, flowering, ornamental, shading, fruit and nut. When you’re talking trees, you’ll find it helpful to think about the shape at maturity. Round and V-shaped trees make for the best shade. Columnar trees are good when space is limited. Pyramidal offers a neat, structured look that often does not need pruning to stay in form. Oval and prostrate shapes are also part of the shape palette.

Shrubs are woody plants and many primary stems, as opposed to trees that typically have one central trunk. But this rule can be broken and has lots of exceptions, so in general, if a plant has a lot of woody, hard stems and is growing 20 feet or less, chances are it’s called a shrub. Shrubs are extremely versatile from a landscape perspective with uses that include: borders, specimens, ground cover, screens, foundation planting and naturalizing.

Many trees and shrubs offer continuous change in the garden throughout the four seasons. Flowering trees usher in Spring and offer a dazzling display of nature. Bright green, new, shiny leaves welcome summer. Fall offers amazing changes in foliage color in many parts of the world. And winter brings berries and bare branch forms in many varieties. Evergreens provide continuous shape and structure, as well as color in landscape. Trees and shrubs are also an invitation to birds and other wildlife, as well as a great winter source of food for many animals.

Explore the many types of deciduous and conifer trees and shrubs listed in the DigtheDirt database. Add your favorites to our database, as there are too many to count. Share your landscape concepts with trees and shrubs here. And, of course, ask your tree and shrub questions here!


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