1. My five recommendations for planting shrubs along the north side of the house
a) Purpleleaf Sand Cherry; Prunus x cistena
The purple leaf Sand Cherry (Prunus x cistena) is 5' to 10' tall and 5' wide, with red leaves for fall color. The bloom time is in May with fragrant, single, attractive, pink-purple flowers.
b) Arrowwood Viburnum; Arrowwood dentatum
The Arrowwood Viburnum (Arrowwood dentatum) is a native shrub to Maine with some plants turning yellow and some red to reddish purple in autumn. The shrub has a 5' to 9' height and width. It has flowers that are creamy white, held in clusters, and bloom in May to June.
c) American Cranberrybush Viburnum; Viburnum trilobum
The American Cranberry Viburnum (Viburnum trilobum) has a rounded crown with dense foliage. It can grow 8' to 12' tall and wide. This shrub has a red to purple fall color, with red edible fruit that matures in September and persist into winter. The flowers are white flat-topped cymes and blooms in June. Birds and wildlife are attracted to the shrub's fruit and flowers.
d) Blackhaw Viburnum; Viburnum prunifolium
The Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) is a North American native, medium-sized shrub. It can grow 15' tall and have a 8'-12' width. The shrub is soil adaptable, has white flowers that blooms during spring, and has dark blue berries. The Blackhew's leaves turn pink to mauve to dark purple in autumn.
e) Star Magnolia; Magnolia Stellata
The Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia Stellata) is a small tree/large shrub that grows up to 15' to 20' tall and 10' to 15' wide and is very clean looking. The flowers are white to pink tinged, and blooms in April with a light fragrance to the flowers. The Magnolia is an excellent flowering tree for small spaces and is adaptable to soils.
2) My suggestions for planting shrubs around the front of the home below 4' windows with minimal pruning.
a) Boston Ivy; Parthenocissus tricuspidata
Even though this isn't a shrub, the Boston Ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) would be a good suggestion because vines planted alongside shrubs give a better visual effect. The Boston Ivy is a wall cover deciduous vine with tendrils; it grows 30'-50' tall without support. The vine is salt tolerant and tolerant of most soils. It has greenish white flowers that bloom in June, with bluish fruit that attracts birds and ripens in September.
b) Bigleaf Hydrangea; Hydrangea macrophylla
The Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) is a fast growing shrub that requires pruning after flowering. It grows 3' to 6' tall with an equal spread. It has a flowering effect with pink, white, blue or purple colored cultivars. It blooms in July through August. The fruit is a dry capsule.
c) Burkwood Daphne; Daphne x burkwoodii
The Burkwoodii Daphne (Daphne x burkwoodii) is a small semi-evergreen shrub that grows 3' to 4' tall. It has pink buds with pale pink to white flowers that are strongly fragrant. Flowers bloom in May and June and can re-flower in early fall. The fruit are small that becomes noticeable in late summer and fall. The fruit is poisonous to mammals.
d) Rugosa Rose; Rosa rugosa
The Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa) is a 4' to 6' tall shrub with a 4' to 6' spread. It has a yellow fall color, with white or pink flowers 2.5'' to 3.5'' across. The flowers bloom in June through August and are fragrant. The Rugosa Rose has red hip fruit that mature in August. The fruit is 1'' across and attractive. The shrub is covered in prickles and has a tendency to sucker.
e) Rock Contoneaster; Cotoneaster horizontails
The Rock Contoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontails) is a semi-evergreen shrub that is 2' to 4' tall and 6' to 8' wide. It has light pink flowers that blooms in May. The Cotoneaster has small, red pome fruits held through winter and are showy. The fruit ripens in September through August and are .25'' in diameter. The flowers are attractive to bees.
3) My suggestions for replacing the Korean Mountain Ash tree on campus that did not survive the winter.
a) Japanese Maple; Acer Palmatum
The Japanese maple tree (Acer Palmatum) is a small deciduous tree with a slow growth rate that is 15' to 25' tall. It has small red or purple flowers that bloom in May and June. The tree has reddish tinged green samara fruit.
b) Paperbark Maple; Acer grisuem
The Paperbark Maple tree (Acer grisuem) is a small 30' tall slow grower. It has green flowers and samara fruit 1.5'' to 2'' long. It has attractive ornamental exfoliating cinnamon bark and is a good choice for small yards. The Paperbark maple is an expensive tree to purchase.
c) Green Hawthorne; Crataegus viridis 'Winter King'
The Green Hawthorne (Crataegus viridis) tree is easily grown in average-to-medium dry, well drained soils and is tolerant of urban pollution. The tree grows to 25' to 35' tall and has an equal spread. It has glossy green leafs, showy fruit and profuse white flowers in clusters that bloom in May. The green leaves turn red to reddish-purple in the fall. This Hawthorne tree is mostly spineless with only occasional small thorns. The 'Winter King' is one of the most disease free hawthorns, but will have susceptibility to rust.
d) Staghorn Sumac; Rhus typhina
The Staghorn (Rhus typhina) is a large shrub or weedy tree that grows 15'-25' tall. It is a fast growing tree with dioecious flowers borne into large panicles, with the male flower larger then the female, and blooms in June. This tree's fruit is a crimson red pyramidal panicle of seeds that matures in August. This tree is soil adaptable, but it has a tendency to sucker.
e) Panicled Goldenraintree; Koelreuteria paniculata
The Goldenraintree (Koelreuteria paniculata) is a medium sized tree that grows 30' to 40' tall and 30' to 40' wide. It has small flowers borne in large clusters that are 12'' to 15'' long. The flowers are yellow with a red center, and bloom in July. This tree has an interesting ornamental, papery fruit which are large, 2'' long, with a yellowish-green color in late summer. The Goldenraintree has a yellow or golden color with an orange cast in the fall. The tree tends to be weak wooded and has twig kill in hard, serve winters. This tree can be tolerant of pollutants.
4) My five recommendations for incorporating plants into an edible landscape.
a) Winterberry; Ilex verticillata
The Winterberry (Ilex verticillatais) is a shrub with edible fruit that grows native in the United States. It is 6'-9' in height when mature and 6'-9' in width. This winterberry species has male and female flowers on separate plants. The fruit will produced only when the male pollinates the female. The fruit is a bright red berry on female plant and is a yellow-pale color in fall.
b) Highbush Blueberry; Vaccinium corymbosum
The highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) is a native North American twiggy, deciduous shrub. It has dense foliage and grows 6'-12' tall and 6'-12' wide. The flowers bloom in May; the color is white to very light pink. The fall colors are a mix of red, orange, purple, and yellow. The fruit ripens in July and is readily eaten by wildlife and humans. The size of the berries are .25'' to .50'' in diameter and are blue-black in color. They grow best in soil that is well-drained, moist and high in organic matter. The better the sunlight, the better the blooms, the yield and the fall color will be.
c) Bradord Pear; Pyrus calleryana
The Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana) is a medium-sized deciduous tree. This fast growing tree can get as tall as 30' to 40' and can have a 10' to 20' spread. It has white flowers that form corymbs they are attractive and bloom in April to May. The tree's fruit is round, pome fruit that is olive-brown to tan in color. Autumn color is very attractive with reds, purples, and oranges. Its soil requirement is very adaptable, but it needs full sun. The tree will split with age and does suffer from limbs that are prone to breakage during harsh weather conditions.
d) Ginkgo:; Ginkgo biloba
The Gingko tree (Ginkgo biloba) is a large tree, growing between 40' to 80' tall and 30' to 40' wide. It has an excellent yellow fall color. The flowers are dioecious; the male is a 1'' long catkin in April and the female is green, with naked ovules. The tree may not flower for 20 years and the female plants have a foul smelling fruit, which are edible. The tree's fruit is produced from the female plant only, and are in clusters of two to six with an orange to tan color. The tree is adaptable to pH and prefers deep sandy, moist soils. It is tolerant of pollutants, salt, insects (pests) and heat.
e) Rugosa rose; rosa rugosa
The Rugosa rose (rosa rugosa) is a fast growing, deciduous shrub, 4' to 6' tall and has a 4' to 6' spread. It has showy white or pink flowers, 2.5'' to 3.5'' across, that are fragrant when it blooms in June through August. The Rugosa Rose's fruit is red hip and can be used for jams, jelly, syrups and beverages. The red hip is 1'' across and matures in August. The stems are covered in prickles and the plant does sucker.
5) My recommendations for planting an informal hedge that is 8 ft high with minimal maintenance.
a) Border Forsythia; Forsythia x intermedia
The border forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia) is a shrub 8' to 10' tall and 10' to 12' wide. It grows upright and vigorously with arching over shoots. The shrub has brilliant yellow colored flowers on good selections. It flowers mostly in clusters of two to six blooms in March and April, with blooms lasting two to three weeks. This shrub is a single season plant, with a small brown fruit capsule. Some consider forsythia as being overused in the landscape.
b) Flowering quince; common flowering quince
The flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) is a deciduous and multi-stemmed shrub. It can grow 6' to 10' tall, with an equal spread. The branches are spiny, with spurs, and does not have consistent fall color. The fruit is apple-like, with yellow-green colored fruit that is 2'' to 2.5'' long. The fruit can be harvested for preserves in October. The flowers are the best attribute to this shrub. They bloom in May, in the color red, and have cultivars that color in salmon, pink or white.
c) Meyer Lilac; Syringa meyeri
The Meyer Lilac (Syringa meyeri) is a deciduous shrub that is rounded and broad shaped. It is dense and twiggy, but clean, and not ratty. It can grow to 4' to 8' tall and 6' to 12' wide. It is a heavy bloomer with numerous clusters of small tubular flowers. Pink and purple colored flowers are fragrant and bloom in May. The fruit are small capsules, held in panicles. This plant does not develop fall color, but is adaptable to many soils and is fairly easy to grow.
d) Arrowwood Viburnum; Viburnum dentatum
This Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum) is native to North America, and is a dense multi-stemmed shrub. It grows 5' to 9' tall and 5' to 9' wide. The flowers are creamy white, held in clusters. They bloom in May to June. The Arrowwood's fruit is blue-black in flattened clusters and attracts birds. This shrub is grown in full sun to part shade, and is easily adaptable to wet or dry soils.
E) Harry Lauder's walking stick; corylus avellana 'contorta'
The Harry Lauder's walking Stick (corylus avellana 'contorta') is 8' to 10' tall and has a 8' to 10' spread. It is a low maintenance, deciduous shrub that has showy flowers which bloom in April. This is a monoecious plant, with its male flowers 2-3'' long in yellowish catkins. This species is commonly grown for nut production, but this cultivar usually does not produce fruit. This corkscrewed shrub is easily grown in average, medium well-drianed soil with full sun to part shade.
6) My recommendations for planting a small, ornamental tree (max 25' height, 20' spread) with fruit and flowers, but does not leave a mess to clean.
a) Swiss Pine Stone; Pinus Cembra
The Swiss Pine Stone (Pinus Cembra) is an evergreen. It is monoecious, with not a lot of flowering. The tree's fruit is a violent brown cone, ovoid to elongated oval, 3'' long. The tree grows to 25' to 35' tall with a 10' to 20' spread. The Swiss Stone is a slow grower and uncommon. The tree prefers a well-drianed, loamy soil with full sun.
b) Flowering Dogwood; Cornus florida
The flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is a small deciduous tree about 15' to 30' tall with an equal spread. The tree flowers in May for two weeks. The flowers are small and yellowish-green. The fruit on the tree is bright red, and shiny. They are held in clusters of three to four. The tree prefers cool, moist, acidic soils and full sun. This tree is considered almost overused.
C) American Plum; prunus americana
The American Plum (prunus americana) tree is small; about 12' to 25' tall and 20' wide. It has white flowers, in clusters of five, that bloom in April. The Plum tree's edible fruit is attractive to birds. The fruit is rounded and fleshy, colored yellow to red. This tree does have thorns and needs full sun to part shade, but is soil tolerant.
D) Amur maackia; maackia amurensis
This small deciduous tree (maackia amurensis) grows 20' to 30' tall and has an equal spread. The Amur maackia fruit are flat pods that grow 2'' to 3'' long. The tree blooms in June and July. Its blooms cluster up to 4'' to 6'' long, giving a nice appearance. The flowers are small and dull white in color. The tree's bark exfoliates and has a nice cooper or amber color. The tree prefers loose, well-drained soil, and full sun.
e) Tea Crabapple; Malus hupehenis
The Tea crabapple (Malus hupehenis) is a small deciduous tree which can grow up to 20' to 25' tall. It has flowers in April to May, with buds that are deep pink opening into blush pink and white flowers. The flowers are fragrant, held in clusters, which are extremely showy. The tree's fruit is held in clusters and are green-yellow, with red blush on the side. This tree is somewhat resistant to most crabapple diseases and insect problems. The tree prefers full sun, with moist, organic soil.
7) My list of five native plants that would attract wildlife into yards.
a) Flowering Crabapple; Malus Royal raindrop
This Flowering Crabapple (Malus Royal) is best grown in medium moist, acidic, organically rich, well-drained loam with full sun. The tree is disease resistant and an easy to grow crabapple tree. It has magenta-pink, single flowers in spring, with tiny maroon, red crabapples .25'' in diameter,. that mature in late summer. The fall color is orange-red. This tree will grow 15' to 20' tall and 12' to 16' wide.
b) Winterberry; Ilex verticillata
Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) is a deciduous shrub that grows 6' to 15' tall and has an equal spread. It has flowers in May to June, which are followed by bright red berries in late summer. The berries remain on after leaf fall and persist into the winter months to provide food for wildlife. The winterberry prefers part-shade to full-sun, and moist, acid soils.
C) Arrowwood viburnum; viburnum dentatum
The arrow wood viburnum (viburnum dentatum) is a native shrub that grows to 6' to 12' tall, with an equal spread. The shrub prefers full sun to part shade, with moist well-drained soil. This shrub will sucker and has a slightly unpleasant fragrance. The flowers are creamy white in broad flat clusters in late spring. The fruit is somewhat showy of small dark blue flat clusters in late summer. It has a red color for autumn foliage.
D) Highbush Blueberry; Vaccinium corybosum
The blueberry bush (Vaccinium corybosum) is native to North America. It is a deciduous, twiggy shrub with a growth of 6' to 12', and with a 6' to 12' spread. It flowers in May, with flowers that are white to light pink in color. The fruit is eaten by humans and wildlife. It is a .25'' to .50'' diameter blue-black berry that ripen in July through August. The blueberry bush prefers well-drained soils, with full sun to part shade.
e) American Linden; Tilia americana
The Tilia americana (Tilia americana) is a medium to large deciduous tree, 70' tall, with small, creamy white flowers. The flowers bloom in June to July, and are fragrant and attractive to bees. The fruit are whitish-yellow, rounded, fuzzy nutlets held in clusters .2'' to .3'' in diameter. The tree prefers moist, fertile, and deep soils with full sun to light shade. This tree does suffer from Japanese beetle damage to its foliage and suckers.
8) My list of plants great for ground cover with a maximum height of 12'' in a sunny location.
A) creeping juniper; juniperus horizontalis 'Pancake'
This creeping juniper (juniperus horizontalis) is a needled evergreen that grows .25'' tall, and 0.5'' to 2' wide. It is a non-flowering and low maintenance plant that tolerates dry, shallow or rocky soil. It is also tolerant of drought, air pollution and deer. It is commonly used as ground cover and does provide excellent winter interest along with good erosion control.
b) Creeping juniper; juniperus horizontalis 'limeglow'
This Juniper (juniperus horizontalis) adapts to a wide range of soils, but prefers dryish, sandy soil. It reaches .05'' to 1' tall and 1' to 3' wide. This Juniper is a good use for ground cover, erosion control and winter interest. The junipers are susceptible to blight, often in unusually rainy, wet springs.
C) Creeping cotoneaster; cotoneaster adpressus
The creeping cotoneaster (cotoneaster adpressus) is a deciduous shrub. It grows .5'' to 1' tall with a 4' to 6' spread. It is best grown in moist, loamy, well-drianed soils with full sun to part shade. It grows slow blooms in May to June with five-petaled, tiny white flowers tinged with pink. The fruit is spherical dark red .25'' long that mature in late summer. The shrubs are susceptible to cotoneaster webworm and lace bug.
D) Cotoneaster; Cotoneaster hessei
The Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster hessei) is a deciduous shrub that grows 1' to 1.5 tall and 3' to 5' wide. It is best grown in well-drained, moist, loamy soil with full sun to part shade. It attracts bees to its flowers, which are tiny, five-petaled, reddish-pink in color, and bloom in May. The fruit is bright red and .25'' wide. The fruit matures in later summer to fall but remain on the plant mush through the winter. This plant attracts birds, and tolerates rabbits and air pollution. The plant's dense foliage makes it difficult when cleaning dead leaves and trash from the interior of the planting.
E) fragrant sumac; rhus aromatica 'gro-low'
The sumac (rhus aromatica) is a deciduous shrub that grows 1.5' to 2' tall and spreads 6' to 8' wide. It is easily grown in average, dry to medium, well-drained soils with full sun to partial shade. The sumac will tolerate clay soil, dry soil, rocky soil, drought and rabbits. It is used for erosion control and ground cover. This plant has tiny yellow flowers at the twig tips in April to May with separate male and female flowers. This plant is dioecious with 1'' long catkins that are male and short terminal panicles that are the female flowers. Its fruit is hairy red drupe on female plants only. This shrub does sucker and can suffer from mites, scale, leaf spot or rust.
9) My five examples for planting a landscape with winter interest.
a) Paperbark Maple; Acer grisuem
The Paperbark Maple (Acer grisuem) is a small tree that grows 30' tall. The tree is slow growing, mostly pest free, and is a good choice for small yards. The tree's bark is a cinnamon-brown color that exfoliates into thin sheets. It has green flowers with fruit samaras 1.5'' to 2'' long. The paperbark is the last trifoliate maple to color in the fall with red overtones on green leaves. This tree prefers moist, well-dranied, slightly acidic soils with full sun or partial shade.
B) English Oak; Quercus robur
The English Oak (Quercus robur) tree is a large deciduous shade tree that will reach a maximum height of 50' to 70' tall with beautiful large spreading branches. The tree's flowers are monoecious with the male flowers, yellow-green catkins, and the oaks's fruit is a small acorn. The tree prefers moist, fertile well-drained soil with full sun. It has green leaves late into autumn. The English Oak tree is not suitable for small yards, but is long lived.
c) Linden viburnum; Viburnum dilatatum
The Linden Viburnum (Viburnum dilatatum) is a multi-stemmed shrub, 8' to 10' tall and 8' to 10' wide. It blooms numerous white creamy clusters of small flowers in May to June. The shrub's fruit is bright red and persists in September and October, then the fruit shrivels looking like red raisins. The plant does best in moist, fertile soil and is better to plant several clones to aid its fruit set. Fall color is good and can be russet red, bronze or burgundy.
d) Cranberry cotoneaster; Cotoneaster apiculatus
The Cranberry Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster apiculatus) is a small deciduous shrub 3' tall and 6' wide with a slow growth rate. It has clusters of small pink flowers that bloom in July and attract bees. It has small red pome fruit that ripens in September through October. The shrub prefers well-drained, loose soil with full sun to partial shade and is salt tolerant. In the fall, colors are red to purple and they continue through most of the season.
e) Bradford Pear; pyrus calleryana
The Bradford pear (pyrus calleryana) tree is medium sized with a fast rate of growth that will reach 30' to 40' tall and 10' to 20' wide. Its white flowers bloom in late April to early May and form corymbs. The pear tree's fruits are round pomes covered in russet dots and olive-brown to tan in color. The tree is very adaptable to soils with full sun. It has very attractive fall colors of reds, purples and oranges. This tree does suffer limb breakage from wind, snow and ice.
10) My examples of conifers that could be planted in a narrow 15' planting area
A) White spruce; picea glauca 'celilia'
The White spruce (picea glauca 'celilia') is an evergreen that grows from 1.5' to 2' tall and 1.5' to 2' wide. It is a low maintenance plant that tolerates deer, and is a dwarf cultivar shrub which forms a tight bluish-green flat-topped globe. It is a slow grower (3'' to 6'' per year) and is susceptible to spiders, bagworm and root rot.
b) Mugo pine; Pinus mugo
The Mugo pine (Pinus mugo) is an evergreen dwarfed tree with a dense shrub growth habit. It varies in size from 5' to 20' with an equal spread. It has a bright green color with monoecious flowers and a dark gray cone 1'' to 2'' long. The fruit is held in clusters of two to four or found alone. The Mugo pine prefers deep, well-drained soil and sun to partial shade. Its size varies even though it is considered a dwarf so cultivar choice is critical.
c) Oreintal arborvitae; platycladus (thuja) orientalis
The Oriental Arborvitae (platycladus (thuja) orientalis) is a dense large shrub or small tree evergreen. It can grow 18' to 25' tall and 10' wide. The flowers are monoecious and have a woody horn-like cone for fruit that is brown in color. It will tolerate most conditions except boggy areas and prefers full sun. Ice and snow build up can break the tree's branches.
d) Anglojap Yew; Taxus x media
The Anglojap Yew (Taxus x media) is a medium sized tree or large evergreen that has a slow growth rate. The flowers are dioecious that form on the previous years wood. They bloom in May and April. The fruit is a seed slightly-compressed olive-brown in color and covered by a red aril. The yew prefers well-drained, sandy, moist, slightly acidic soil with sun or shade. This evergreen might be overused in landscapes.
e) Korean Fir; Abies koreana
The Korean Fir (Abies koreana) conifer's size reaches 20' to 25' tall with a 10' to 15' spread. It has a slow to moderate growth rate (2''-4'') on average per year. The tree has violet/purple to almost blue colored cones. The size of the cone is 2'' to 3'' long and 1'' wide that start to appear when the tree reaches 3' to 5' in height. The needles are bright green with a white underside. The korean abies requires full sun to part shade and does best in well-drained soils with some organic content. This evergreen is hard to find in the commercial market.