University of Minnesota Extension
www.extension.umn.edu
612-624-1222
 Menu  Menu

Extension > Garden > Yard and Garden > Fitting trees and shrubs into the landscape

Print Email Share

Fitting trees and shrubs into the landscape

Michael Zins

It is important to have an idea of the approximate size at maturity of the trees and shrubs commonly used in landscape plantings. Mature size is greatly influenced by the length of the growing season, temperature, light, water, soil type, fertility, and many other factors. This makes it impossible to predict the exact mature size of a plant. Plants in shade will often grow taller with a thinner crown than ones growing in an open area. A plant not competing for light may eventually attain the same height, but is likely to be much broader.

The following list contains many of the better plant materials for landscape purposes and some less desirable but commonly used materials. Some of the plants on this list are not hardy in all areas of the state. Plants with numerous named cultivars are noted. The adaptability of some plants to specific problem areas is mentioned here, as well as plants possessing certain outstanding characteristics.

Other publications that may also be helpful include:Choosing Landscape Evergreens, #FO-1430 and Native Trees That Can Be Used for Landscaping, #FS-0466.

If you have questions, contact your local county office of the University of Minnesota Extension found in the telephone book under county offices.

Trees

Trees-large-50 feet and over

green-ash

Silver Maple and its cultivars(Acer saccharinum)
Sugar Maple and its cultivars(Acer saccharum)
Hackberry(Celtis occidentalis)
Kentucky Coffeetree and its cultivars(Gymnocladus dioicus)
Black Walnut(Juglans nigra)
Norway Spruce(Picea abies)
Red Pine(Pinus resinosa)
White Pine(Pinus strobus)
Sycamore(Platanus occidentalis)
Eastern Cottonwood and its cultivars(Populus deltoides)
White Oak(Quercus alba)
Bicolor Oak(Quercus bicolor)
Bur Oak(Quercus macrocarpa)
Red Oak(Quercus rubra)
Basswood or American Linden and its cultivars(Tilia americana)
Elm hybrids(Ulmus spp.)

Trees-medium-25 to 50 feet

honey-locust
river-birch
ginkgo
butternut

Balsam Fir(Abies balsamea)
White Fir(Abies concolor)
Freeman Maple and its cultivars(Acer x freemanii)
Boxelder and its cultivars(Acer negundo)
Red Maple and its cultivars(Acer rubrum)
Ohio Buckeye(Aesculus glabra)
Autumn Splendor Buckeye(Aesculus ‘Autumn Splendor’)
Common Alder(Alnus glutinosa)
Sweet Birch(Betula lenta)
River Birch(Betula nigra)
Paper Birch(Betula papyrifera)
Bitternut Hickory(Carya cordiformis)
Shagbark Hickory(Carya ovata)
Northern Catalpa(Catalpa speciosa)
Ginkgo and its cultivars(Ginkgo biloba)
Thornless Honeylocust and its cultivars(Gleditsia triacanthos inermis)
Butternut(Juglans cinerea)
Eastern Red Cedar(Juniperus virginiana)
European Larch(Larix decidua)
Tamarack or Eastern Larch(Larix laricina)
Cucumbertree Magnolia(Magnolia acuminata)
Ironwood(Ostrya virginiana)
Amur Corktree and its cultivars(Phellodendron amurense)
White Spruce(Picea glauca)
Black Hills Spruce(Picea glauca densata)
Black Spruce(Picea mariana)
Serbian Spruce(Picea omorika)
Colorado Spruce and its cultivars(Picea pungens)
Swiss Stone Pine(Pinus cembra)
Korean Pine(Pinus koraiensis)
Austrian Pine(Pinus nigra)
Ponderosa Pine(Pinus ponderosa)
Scotch Pine(Pinus sylvestris)
Quaking Aspen(Populus tremuloides)
Douglasfir(Pseudotsuga menziesii)
Northern Pin Oak(Quercus ellipsoidalis)
Pin Oak(Quercus palustris)
Black Locust(Robinia pseudoacacia)
Weeping Willow(Salix alba ‘Tristis’)
Laurel Willow(Salix pentandra)
Arborvitae and its cultivars(Thuja occidentalis)
Littleleaf Linden and its cultivars(Tilia cordata)
Canada Hemlock(Tsuga canadensis)

Trees-small-under 25 feet

russian-olive

Serviceberry or Shadblow(Amelanchierspp.)
Tatarian Maple(Acer tataricum)
Shantung Maple(Acer truncatum)
Blue Beech(Carpinus caroliniana)
Eastern Redbud(Cercis canadensis)
Pagoda Dogwood(Cornus alternifolia)
American Smoketree(Cotinus obovatus)
Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn(Crataegus crusgalli inermis)
Rocky Mountain Juniper and its cultivars(Juniperus scopulorum)
Amur Maackia(Maackia amurensis)
Loebner Magnolia and its cultivars(Magnolia x loebneri)
Star Magnolia and its cultivars(Magnolia stellata)
Flowering Crabapple and its cultivars(Malus spp.)
Wild Plum(Prunus americana)
Apricot(Prunus armeniaca mandshurica)
Princess Kay Plum(Prunus nigra ‘Princess Kay’)
Amur Chokecherry(Prunus maackii)
Canada Red Chokecherry(Prunus virginiana ‘Canada Red’)
Wafer Ash(Ptelea trifoliata)
Korean Mountainash(Sorbus alnifolia)
European Mountainash and its cultivars(Sorbus aucuparia)
Showy Mountainash(Sorbus decora)
American Bladdernut(Staphylea trifolia)
Japanese Tree Lilac and its cultivars(Syringa reticulata)
Arborvitae and its cultivars(Thuja occidentalis)
Nannyberry(Viburnum lentago)

Shrubs

Shrubs-large-8 feet and over

Serviceberry or Juneberry(Amelanchierspp.)
White Fringetree(Chionanthus virginicus)
Pagoda Dogwood(Cornus alternifolia)
Redtwig Dogwood and its cultivars(Cornus sericea)
Winged Euonymus(Euonymus alatus)
Eastern Wahoo(Euonymus atropurpureus)
European Euonymus and its cultivars(Euonymus europaeus)
Vernal Witchhazel(Hamamelis vernalis)
Common Witchhazel(Hamamelis virginiana)
Seabuckthorn(Hippophae rhamnoides)
Chinese Juniper(upright forms)(Juniperus chinensis)
Mockorange and its cultivars(Philadelphus spp.)
Mugo Pine(Pinus mugo)
Newport Plum(Prunus cerasifera ‘ Newport’)
Flowering Plum(Prunus triloba)
Smooth Sumac(Rhus glabra)
Staghorn Sumac(Rhus typhina)
Roseacacia Locust(Robinia hispida)
American Elderberry(Sambucus canadensis)
Silver Buffaloberry(Shepherdia argentea)
Chinese Lilac(Syringa x chinensis)
Late Lilac and its cultivars(Syringa villosa)
Common Lilac and its cultivars(Syringa vulgaris)
Upright Japanese Yew(Taxus cuspidata ‘Capitata’)
Wayfaringtree Viburnum(Viburnum lantana)
Nannyberry(Viburnum lentago)
European Highbush Cranberry(Viburnum opulus)
Sargent Viburnum(Viburnum sargentii)
American Cranberrybush Viburnum and its cultivars(Viburnum trilobum)

Shrubs-medium-5 to 8 feet

Glossy Black Chokeberry(Aronia melanocarpa elata)
Purple-fruited Chokeberry(Aronia prunifolia)
Russian Peashrub(Caragana frutex)
Buttonbush(Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Gray Dogwood(Cornus racemosa)
Royal Purple Smokebush(Cotinus coggygria‘Royal Purple’)
Hedge Cotoneaster(Cotoneaster lucidus)
Many Flowered Cotoneaster(Cotoneaster multiflorus)
Lemoine Deutzia(Deutzia lemoinei)
Leatherwood(Dirca palustris)
Northern Pearls Pearlbush(Exochorda serratifolia ‘Northern Pearls‘)
Forsythia and its cultivars(Forsythia ovata)
Panicle Hydrangea and its cultivars(Hydrangea paniculata)
Winterberry and its cultivars(Ilex verticillata)
Chinese Juniper(spreading forms)and its cultivars(Juniperus chinensis)
Privet(Ligustrum spp.)
Sakhalin Honeysuckle(Lonicera maximowiczii sachalinensis)
European Fly Honeysuckle and cultivars(Lonicera xylosteum)
Mockorange Cultivars(Philadelphus spp.)
Ninebark and its cultivars(Physocarpus opulifolius)
Purpleleaf Sandcherry(Prunus x cistena)
Dwarf Flowering Almond(Prunus glandulosa)
Nanking Cherry(Prunus tomentosa)
Mollis Hybrid Azalea(Rhododendron x kosteranum)
Northern Lights Hybrid Azalea(Rhododendron x kosteranum x prinophyllum)
Lights Series Hybrid Azalea(Rhododendron spp.)
Cutleaf Staghorn Sumac(Rhus typhina laciniata)
Hardy Shrub Roses(Rosa spp.)
Purpleosier Willow(Salix purpurea)
Vanhoutte Spirea(Spiraea x vanhouttei)
Miss Kim Manchurian Lilac(Syringa patula ‘Miss Kim’)
Arborvitae Shrub cultivars(Thuja occidentalis)
Arrowwood Viburnum(Viburnum dentatum)
Weigela hybrid cultivars(Weigela spp.)

Shrubs-small-3 to 5 feet

Korean Abelialeaf(Abeliophyllum distichum)
Korean Littleleaf Boxwood(Buxus microphylla koreana)
Pygmy Peashrub(Caragana pygmaea)
Summersweet and its cultivars(Clethra alnifolia)
Smooth Hydrangea and its cultivars(Hydrangea arborescens)
Dwarf Ninebark(Physocarpus opulifolius 'nanus')
P.J.M. Hybrid Rhododendron(Rhododendron ‘P.J.M.’)
Fragrant Sumac(Rhus aromatica)
Skunkbush Sumac(Rhus trilobata)
Alpine Currant(Ribes alpinum)
Clove Currant(Ribes odoratum)
Rugosa Rose and its cultivars(Rosa rugosa)
Ural Falsespirea(Sorbaria sorbifolia)
Garland Spirea(Spiraea x arguta)
Grefsheim Spirea(Spiraea x cinerea ‘Grefsheim’)
Snowmound Nippon Spirea(Spiraea nipponica ‘Snowmound’)
Threelobe Spirea and its cultivars(Spiraea trilobata)
Common Snowberry(Symphoricarpos albus)
Meyer Lilac(Syringa meyeri)
Spreading Japanese Yew(Taxus cuspidata)

Shrubs-very small-under 3 feet

Globe Peashrub(Caragana frutex ‘Globosa’)
New Jersey Tea(Ceanothus americanus)
Cranberry Cotoneaster(Cotoneaster apiculatus)
Burkwood Daphne and its cultivars(Daphne x burkwoodii)
Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle(Diervilla lonicera)
Smooth Hydrangea and its cultivars(Hydrangea arborescens)
Kalm St. Johnswort(Hypericum kalmianum)
Creeping Juniper and its cultivars(Juniperus horizontalis)
Japgarden Juniper(Juniperus procumbens)
Savin Juniper and its cultivars(Juniperus sabina)
Russian Cypress(Microbiota decussata)
Japanese Kerria(Kerria japonica)
Canby Paxistima(Paxistima canbyi)
Bush Cinquefoil and its cultivars(Potentilla fruticosa)
Japanese White Spirea(Spiraea albiflora)
Bumald Spirea and its cultivars(Spiraea x bumalda)
Japanese Spirea and its cultivars(Spiraea japonica)
Cutleaf Stephanandra(Stephanandra incisa crispa)
Blueberry hybrid cultivars(Vaccinium spp.)
Dwarf European Cranberry(Viburnum opulus ‘Nanum’)

Dwarf and slow growing conifers

Certain cultivars of the following species will remain small (1 to 10 feet) for many years.

Balsam Fir(Abies balsamea)
Sawara False Cypress(Chamaecyparis pisifera)
Norway Spruce(Picea abies)
White Spruce(Picea glauca)
Serbian Spruce(Picea omorika)
Colorado Spruce(Picea pungens)
Bristlecone Pine(Pinus aristata)
Mugo Pine(Pinus mugo)
Austrian Pine(Pinus nigra)
Japanese Stone Pine(Pinus pumila)
Red Pine(Pinus resinosa)
Eastern White Pine(Pinus strobus)
Scotch Pine(Pinus sylvestris)
Arborvitae(Thuja occidentalis)
Hemlock(Tsuga canadensis)

Foliage color

Summer foliage color

Maroon and dark purple

Royal Red Maple(Acer platanoides ‘Royal Red’)
Royal Purple Smokebush(Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’)
Red/Purple Leaved Crabapple cultivars(Malus spp.)
Purpleleaf Sandcherry(Prunus x cistena)
Newport Plum(Prunus cerasifera ‘Newport’)
Canada Red Chokecherry(Prunus virginiana ‘Canada Red’)

Silver gray

Common Seabuckthorn(Hippophae rhamnoides)
Silver Buffaloberry(Shepherdia argentea)
Coyote Willow(Salix exigua)

Yellow

Sunburst Honeylocust(Gleditsia triacanthos inermis ‘Sunburst’)
Golden Mockorange(Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’)
Golden Ninebark cultivars(Physocarpus opulifolius)
Golden Elderberry(Sambucus canadensis ‘Aurea’)
Sutherland Golden Elderberry(Sambucus racemosa ‘Sutherland’)

Autumn foliage color

Red

Red Maple(sometimes yellow) (Acer rubrum)
Sugar Maple(usually yellow) (Acer saccharum)
Juneberry or Serviceberry(sometimes yellow) (Amelanchierspp.)
Black Chokeberry(Aronia melanocarpa)
Blue Beech(usually orange/red) (Carpinus caroliniana)
Winged Euonymus(Euonymus alatus)
Virginia Creeper(Parthenocissus quinquefolia)
Boston Ivy(Parthenocissus tricuspidata)
Pin Oak(Quercus palustris)
Northern Pin Oak(Quercus ellipsoidalis)
Smooth Sumac(Rhus glabra)
Staghorn Sumac(Rhus typhina)
American Highbush Cranberry(Viburnum trilobum)

Reddish purple

Pagoda Dogwood(Cornus alternifolia)
Gray Dogwood(Cornus racemosa)
Northern Bayberry(Myrica pensylvanica)
Arrowwood Viburnum(Viburnum dentatum)
Nannyberry(Viburnum lentago)

Yellow

Red Maple(usually red) (Acer rubrum)
Silver Maple(Acer saccharinum)
Sugar Maple(Acer saccharum)
Tatarian Maple(Acer tataricum)
Sweet Birch(Betula lenta)
River Birch(Betula nigra)
Paper Birch(Betula papyrifera)
Shagbark Hickory(Carya ovata)
American Bittersweet(Celastrus scandens)
Hackberry(Celtis occidentalis)
Leatherwood(Dirca palustris)
Ginkgo(Ginkgo biloba)
Honeylocust and its cultivars(Gleditsia triacanthos)
Kentucky Coffeetree(Gymnocladus dioicus)
Black Walnut(Juglans nigra)
Larch(Larix spp.)
Sakhalin Honeysuckle(Lonicera maximowiczii sachalinensis)
Aspen(Populus spp.)

Fruits persist into winter

American Bittersweet(Celastrus scandens)
Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn(Crataegus crusgalli inermis)
Eastern Wahoo(Euonymus atropurpureus)
Winterberry(llex verticillata)
Flowering Crabapple Cultivars
‘(Malus ‘Bob White’; ‘David’; ‘Donald Wyman’;’ Indian Summer’;
‘Prairiefire’; ‘Professor Sprenger’; ‘Red Splendor’; and other cultivars)
European Mountainash(Sorbus aucuparia)
Snowberry(Symphoricarpos albus)
Nannyberry Viburnum(Viburnum lentago)
Highbush Cranberry(Viburnum trilobum)

Especially attractive bark

River Birch(exfoliating pinkish-tan) (Betula nigra)
Paper Birch(white) (Betula papyrifera)
Blue Beech(smooth gray) (Carpinus caroliniana)
Shagbark Hickory(shaggy gray) (Carya ovata)
Redtwig Dogwood(red) (Cornus sericea)
Yellowtwig Dogwood(yellow) (Cornus sericea flaviramea)
Kentucky Coffeetree(distinct roughened ridges) (Gymnocladus dioicus)
Amur Chokecherry(metallic bronze) (Prunus maackii)

Tolerates standing water in spring

Balsam Fir(Abies balsamea)
Red Maple(Acer rubrum)
Silver Maple(Acer saccharinum)
Alder(Alnus spp.)
River Birch(Betula nigra)
Hackberry(Celtis occidentalis)
Buttonbush(Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Redtwig Dogwood(Cornus sericea)
Winterberry(Ilex verticillata)
Tamarack(Larix laricina)
Eastern Cottonwood(Populus deltoides)
Swamp White Oak(Quercus bicolor)
Willows(Salixspp.)
Arborvitae(Thuja occidentalis)
American Linden(Tilia americana)
American Elm(Ulmus americana)
Nannyberry Viburnum(Viburnum lentago)
American Cranberrybush Viburnum(Viburnum trilobum)

Tolerates drought

Acanthopanax(Acanthopanax sieboldianus)
Pygmy Peashrub(Caragana pygmaea)
New Jersey Tea(Ceanothus americanus)
Gray Dogwood(Cornus racemosa)
Hawthorns(Crataegusspp.)
Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle(Diervilla lonicera)
Common Juniper(Juniperus communis depressa)
Eastern Red Cedar(Juniperus virginiana)
Bush Cinquefoil(Potentilla fruticosa)
Ninebark(Physocarpus opulifolius)
Jack Pine(Pinus banksiana)
Red Pine(Pinus resinosa)
Scotch Pine(Pinus sylvestris)
Wild Plum(Prunus americana)
Chokecherry(Prunus virginiana)
Bur Oak(Quercus macrocarpa)
Fragrant Sumac(Rhus aromatica)
Smooth Sumac(Rhus glabra)
Staghorn Sumac(Rhus typhina)
Silver Buffaloberry(Shepherdia argentea)

Tolerates shade

Balsam Fir(Abies balsamea)
Sugar Maple(Acer saccharum)
Juneberries(Amelanchierspp.)
Chokeberries(Aronia spp.)
Korean Littleleaf Boxwood(Buxus microphylla koreana)
Pagoda Dogwood(Cornus alternifolia)
Leatherwood(Dirca palustris)
Winged Euonymus(Euonymus alatus)
Common Witchhazel(Hamamelis virginiana)
Smooth Hydrangea and its cultivars(Hydrangea arborescens)
Ironwood(Ostrya virginiana)
Alpine Currant(Ribes alpinum)
Scarlet Elderberry(Sambucus pubens)
Ural False Spirea(Sorbaria sorbifolia)
Japanese Yew(Taxus cuspidata)
Arborvitae and its cultivars(Thuja occidentalis)
Canada Hemlock(Tsuga canadensis)
Arrowwood Viburnum(Viburnum dentatum)
Nannyberry(Viburnum lentago)
European Highbush Cranberry(Viburnum opulus)

Tolerates alkaline soils (pH 7.5 or greater)

Deciduous trees

Boxelder(Acer negundo)
Black Maple(Acer nigrum)
Tatarian Maple(Acer tataricum)
Ohio Buckeye(Aesculus glabra)
Yellow Birch(Betula allegheniensis)
Paper Birch(Betula papyrifera)
Bitternut Hickory(Carya cordiformis)
Northern Catalpa(Catalpa speciosa)
Hackberry(Celtis occidentalis)
Eastern Redbud(Cercis canadensis)
Yellowwood(Cladrastis kentuckea)
Turkish Filbert(Corylus colurna)
American Smoketree(Cotinus obovatus)
Cockspur Hawthorn(Crataegus crusgalli)
Downy Hawthorn(Crataegus mollis)
Manchurian Ash(Fraxinus mandshurica)
Ginkgo(Ginkgo biloba)
Honeylocust(Gleditsia triacanthos)
Kentucky coffeetree(Gymnocladus dioicus)
Butternut(Juglans cinerea)
Black Walnut(Juglans nigra)
Amur Maackia(Maackia amurensis)
Crabapples(Malus spp.)
Common Mulberry(Morus alba tatarica)
Ironwood(Ostrya virginiana)
Amur Corktree(Phellodendron amurense)
Canada plum(Prunus nigra)
Ussurian Pear(Pyrus ussuriensis)
Bur Oak(Quercus macrocarpa)
Chestnut Oak(Quercus prinus)
Chinkapin Oak(Quercus muehlenbergii)
European Mountainash(Sorbus aucuparia)
Japanese Tree Lilac(Syringa reticulata)
American Linden(Tilia americana)
Littleleaf Linden(Tilia cordata)
American Elm(Ulmus americana)

Evergreen trees

White Fir(Abies concolor)
Eastern Red Cedar(Juniperus virginiana)
Norway Spruce(Picea abies)
White Spruce(Picea glauca)
Black Hills Spruce(Picea glauca densata)
Serbian Spruce(Picea omorika)
Austrian Pine(Pinus nigra)
Ponderosa Pine(Pinus ponderosa)
Scotch Pine(Pinus sylvestris)
Northern White Cedar(Thuja occidentalis)

Deciduous shrubs

Buttonbush(Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Russian Peashrub(Caragana frutex)
Gray Dogwood(Cornus racemosa)
Roundleaf Dogwood(Cornus rugosa)
Redtwig Dogwood(Cornus sericea)
Daphne(Daphne x burkwoodii ‘Carol Mackie’)
Dwarf Bush-Honeysuckle(Diervilla lonicera)
Leatherwood(Dirca palustris)
Burning Bush(Euonymus alatus)
Eastern Wahoo(Euonymus atropurpureus)
Sea Buckthorn(Hippophae rhamnoides)
Blue Leaf Honeysuckle(Lonicera korolkowii)
Sakhalin Honeysuckle(Lonicera maximowiczii sachalinensis)
Common Ninebark(Physocarpus opulifolius)
Bush Cinquefoil(Potentilla fruticosa)
Skunkbush sumac(Rhus trilobata)
Scarlet Elder(Sambucus pubens)
Silver Buffaloberry(Shepherdia argentea)
Bumald Spirea(Spiraea x bumalda)
Vanhoutte Spirea(Spiraea x vanhouttei)
Snowberry(Symphoricarpos albus)
Chinese Lilac(Syringa x chinensis)
Common Lilac(Syringa vulgaris)
Tamarisk(Tamarix ramosissima)
Wayfaringtree Viburnum(Viburnum lantana)
Nannyberry Viburnum(Viburnum lentago)

Evergreen shrubs

Chinese Juniper(Juniperus chinensis)
Common Juniper(Juniperus communis)
Creeping Juniper(Juniperus horizontalis)
Savin Juniper(Juniperus sabina)
Mugo Pine(Pinus mugo)
Northern White Cedar (shrub forms)(Thuja occidentalis)

WW-00604 Reviewed 2009

  • © 2016 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy