Choosing Plants for your Landscape

Choosing Plants for your Landscape

Several factors must be considered before deciding what varieties you should use in your landscape. The hardiness, growth rate, and form of a plant should be determined before making your purchase.

This information allows you to determine what the best selections are for your plantings.

Your hardiness zone is ultimately determined by the lowest temperatures your region experiences on the coldest years. If you do not know your hardiness zone, you can follow this link to the USDA website for a map of US hardiness zones.

USDA Hardiness Zone Map Quicklink
USDA Zones


We have listed every plant on our website an average annual growth rate, to make an easy determination of how dwarf your plant is.

Also, many customers want to know an “ultimate size,” to ensure their tree will never outgrow its spot in the landscape. However, it is important to note that nothing stops growing. If a tree stops growing it is, by definition, dead.

We list a 10-year size on each variety because this is generally the age at which these plants are considered mature in a landscape setting. Also, for many varieties, the annual growth rate slows considerably once they reach this age.

It is also good to reference the 10-year size when selecting your plants to assess their growth pattern and shape. The height is listed first, followed by the width. For instance, narrow conifers such as Pinus sylvestris ‘Spaan’s Slow Column’ are listed as 7’x1.5′. This narrow pine will not require as much room in the garden as will spreading forms like Pinus banksiana ‘Schoodic’, which is represented by a 10-year size of 1’x4′.

Much of the decision-making is simply based on preferences, however. Some people prefer variegated conifers such as
Acer p. – 10C
P. contorta -15C
p. sylvestris -25C
p. strobiformis – 20C
p. abies -25C
A. born. – 15 C
2, 3, & 4 no overwintering
5. 2 & 3 needle pines, & spruce
6. everything except Abies & Cedrus, Acer ok
7. all good

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