Trees & Shrubs: How to Choose

Perhaps the most important step in landscaping your yard is choosing the right plants in the first place. The “right” plant is one that will thrive in the environment in which it is planted and that will suit your aesthetic needs in the process.

Evaluate your yard – is it sunny? Shady? Soggy? Dry? Knowing what you’re up against will take you a long way towards creating and maintaining a successful landscape.

Also, before you get to the garden center, have a picture in your mind of your desired landscape. Is your yard spectacular in the summer and dreary in the winter? Have you been admiring the brilliant reds and oranges of your neighbor’s yard in the fall? Plant selection at a large nursery can be overwhelming – save yourself time, money and effort by knowing your needs up front.

Following are some lists of plants to help you to choose the plant that is right for your landscape. These comprise just a sampling of the trees and shrubs that Buck Jones has to offer.

Large Shade Trees

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
Willow Oak (Quercus phellos)
Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii)
Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
Chinese Pistache (Pistacia chinensis)
Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)
Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia)

Small Ornamental Trees

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa)
Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
Laceleaf Maple (Acer palmatum dissectum)
Flowering Cherry (Prunus spp.)
Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
Little Gem Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora ‘Little Gem’)
Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana)
Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)
Lily Magnolia (Magnolia liliflora)

Trees for Fall Color

Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
Chinese Pistache (Pistacia chinensis)
Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum)
Laceleaf Maple (Acer palmatum dissectum)
Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Flowering Pear (Pyrus calleryana)
Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
Pin Oak (Quercus palustris)
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Yoshino Cherry (Prunus yedoensis)
Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Trees that Tolerate Wet Feet

Weeping Willow (Salix babylonica)
River Birch (Betula nigra)
Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)

Evergreen Trees for Screens

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara)
Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Leyland Cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandi)

Trees for Winter Interest (Foliage, Bark or Fruit)

Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
Coral Bark Maple (Acer palmatum ‘Sango Kaku’)
Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum)
River Birch (Betula nigra)
Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara)
Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana)
Canadian Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis)
Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Large Shrubs for Screens and Hedges
Nellie R. Stevens Holly (Ilex x ‘Nellie R. Stevens’)
Emily Brunner Holly (Ilex x ‘Emily Brunner’)
Burford Holly (Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordii’)
Japanese Anise (Illicium parviflorum)
Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans)
Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)
Cherry Laurel (Prunus caroliniana)
Schip Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Schipkaensis’)
English Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus)
Greenleaf Holly (Ilex opaca ‘Greenleaf’)
Ligustrum (Ligustrum japonicum)
Cleyera (Ternstroemia gymnanthera)

Shrubs for Dry, Sunny Spots

Eleagnus (Eleagnus ebbingei)
Indian Hawthorne (Raphiolepis indica)
Spiraea (Spiraea spp.)
Dwarf Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria ‘Schillings Dwarf’)
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)
Firethorn (Pyracantha spp.)
Juniper (Juniper spp.)
Abelia (Abelia spp.)

Showy Shrubs for Shade

Fatsia (Fatsia japonica)
Aucuba (Aucuba japonica)
Mahonia (Mahonia spp.)
Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.)
Japanese Camellia (Camellia japonica)
Sasanqua Camellia (Camellia sasanqua)
Pieris (Pieris japonica)
Florida Anise (Illicium floridanum)
Spreading Yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Prostrata’)
Upright Yew (Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Fastigiata’)
Hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.)
Coastal Leucothoe (Leucothoe axillaris)
Rainbow Leucothoe (Leucothoe fontanesiana)

Low- to Medium-Height Foundation Shrubs

Otto Luyken Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’ )
Indian Hawthorne (Raphiolepis indica)
Japanese Holly (Ilex crenata)
Dwarf Gardenia (Gardenia radicans)
Daisy Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides ‘Daisy’)
Firepower Nandina (Nandina domestica ‘Firepower’)
Moonbay Nandina (Nandina domestica ‘Moonbay’)
Gulfstream Nandina (Nandina domestica ‘Gulfstream’)
Juniper (Juniperus spp.)

Long-blooming Shrubs

Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)
Indian Hawthorne (Raphiolepis indica)
Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
Mock Orange (Philadelphus coronaria)
Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
Abelia (Abelia grandiflora)
Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)
Annabelle Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’)

Shrubs for Winter Interest (Berries, blooms, bark or foliage)

Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum)
Mahonia (Mahonia bealei)
Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles speciosa)
Japanese Camellia (Camellia japonica)
Sasanqua Camellia (Camellia sasanqua)
Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)

Shrubs for Fragrance (Foliage or blooms)

Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)
Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans)
Japanese Anise (Illicium parviflorum)
Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera)
Winter Daphne (Daphne odora)
Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides)
Loropetalum (Loropetalum chinense)
Native Azalea (Rhododendron spp.)
Sweet Bouquet Viburnum (Viburnum tinus ‘Sweet Bouquet’)

Shrubs for Slopes

Eleagnus (Eleagnus ebbingei)
Juniper (Juniperus spp.)
Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster spp.)
Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia) Abelia (Abelia spp.)

Shrubs for Tight Spots

Emerald Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald’)
Sky Pencil Holly (Ilex crenata ‘Sky Pencil’)
Hetzi Columnaris Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Hetzi Columnaris’)
Blue Point Juniper (Juniperus chinensis ‘Blue Point’)
Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’)

Shrubs for Fall Color

Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus ‘Compacta’)
Sweetspire (Itea virginica)
Nandina (Nandina domestica)
Oakleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia)
Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia)
Fothergilla (Fothergilla major)
Coastal Leucothoe (Leucothoe axillaris)