Popular Landscape Trees, Shrubs and Bushes

Before purchasing any landscape plants make sure that your USDA Hardiness Zone matches well with each species requirements. Trees and shrubs can be expensive and it is well worth your time to do some research before making any decisions.

Quick growing bushes and shrubs can provide privacy, shade and protection from the wind. There are many beautiful specimens to choose from, each with its own traits and features.


Here are some of the most popular bush choices:

Bushes with Berries

  • Beautyberry is the stand out in this category, growing at an amazing rate and producing colorful berries in the fall.
  • Cotoneaster is rather spiky in appearance with herringbone patterned branches and dense growth. The plant further distinguishes itself by producing masses of red berries in late summer.

Bushes with Unique Features

  • Pussy willows are fast growing and fairly common looking plants until spring begins when the branches erupt with lovely little gray and fuzzy catkins that announce the changing of seasons.
  • Diablo Ninebark has striking bark as well as dark foliage that make it a focal point in any landscaping plan.
  • Redtwig Dogwood also has attractive bark but it not recognized for the patterns, instead it is the color that makes this plant stand out in the crowd. Although it is striking all year long the Redtwig is at its most noticeable during winter months when there is no other foliage to compete with its color.
Check Out: How to Use Bark for Winter Interest

Bushes with Scent

  • Mockorange is not part of the orange family but its blooms produce a strong and lovely citrus scent on sturdy fast growing branches.
  • Lilacs are the ultimate in traditional landscaping plants. They are fast growers that form solid hedges and produce beautiful blossoms that provide enough scent to make an entire yard fragrant. The classic purple ones are still available but there are many new varieties available that provide more color choices.
Check Out: Fragrant Winter Shrubs

Fast Growing Evergreen Shrubs

  • Hemlocks are a very popular choice and make great privacy hedges. Be sure to choose a smaller variety as hemlocks can also be very large full sized trees.
  • Yew is another common evergreen with one notable difference; yew can be grown successfully in shadier locations than many other evergreens. One thing to know is that yew berries are very toxic.
  • Arborvitae comes is a wide range of varieties, many of which are well suited as privacy screens.

Dwarf Trees

These smaller varieties are well suited to smaller yards and offer a lot of versatility in landscaping.

  • Mugo Pine is technically a tree but is mainly used as fast spreading and unique groundcover.
  • Dwarf spruce are very common trees and are often used to make entranceways more of a focal point. Pairs of spruces also make good container plants and due their slow growing habits they will be able to remain part of the landscaping for years.
  • Cypress offers gardeners many different choices in smaller varieties of trees, from tall and slender types to bushier versions.
  • Contorted hazelnut has many twists and turns in its branches and makes a great focal point in any yard.
  • Dwarf types of Japanese Maples have the same brilliant fall colors as the full sized varieties and are very popular landscaping plants.

Regardless of which variety you choose these plants will make stunning additions to your landscape plans.

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