Trees and shrubs
Find advice on selecting and caring for trees and shrubs for your home landscape.
Selecting trees and shrubs for your landscape
- Gardening in the shade helps you understand shady areas in your yard and how to create gardens in them.
- Select trees and shrubs for Minnesota landscapes gives a short list of winter-hardy, disease-resistant recommendations for the home yard and garden.
- Trees and shrubs for pollinators recommends specific varieties that will attract pollinators to your landscape.
- UMN Forest Resources trees, shrubs and vines database lists and describes different types of trees, shrubs and vines.
The Plant Elements of Design plant selection program will help you find plants that match the conditions of your landscaping site.
- Go to the Plant Elements site
- Click on Create Account
- Enter your email address
- Create a password
- Click Logon
- Respond to your account confirmation email
- Sent from: Plantselection <Nofirstname.lastname@example.org>
Keeping trees and shrubs healthy
Hiring a tree care professional - Finding and hiring a professional arborist or forester can help you diagnose problems and get professional care for your landscape trees.
Planting and caring for trees and shrubs
- Clean and disinfect gardening tools and containers
- Planting and transplanting trees and shrubs
- Pruning trees and shrubs
- Staking and guying trees
- Water wisely to conserve water and keep plants healthy.
- Watering established trees and shrubs
- Watering newly planted trees and shrubs
- Video: Watering newly planted trees (3:31)
- Video: Pruning Hydrangeas: Equipment, techniques and timing(7:33)
- A Practitioner's Guide to Stem Girdling Roots on Trees (2000)
- How to manage deer damage on trees and other plants
- How to manage flood damage to trees
- Protecting plants from deer
- Storm damage to landscape trees
- See the Plant disease page for more detailed information on tree and shrub diseases.
- Non harmful tree conditions include burls, lichens, smooth patch, sooty mold and wetwood.
- Oak wilt risk status in Minnesota
- Tree and shrub insects page lists insects that commonly affect Minnesota trees and shrubs.
Deciduous trees and shrubs
Deciduous trees and shrubs lose their leaves in the fall and can provide color, texture and interest to your yard.
Video: Why do tree leaves change color? (2:22)
Blue beech has smooth bluish-gray bark that provides multiple seasons of interest. The fluted “muscle-like” wood on the branches and trunk is a striking feature of this plant.
Red maple is highly valued as a landscape tree for its flowers and fall foliage that light up spring and autumn landscapes.
Boxelder is a hardy tree, not commonly grown for ornamental value, but it's yellow-green flowers can provide interest to spring landscapes.
Common hackberry is a popular native shade and boulevard tree that is durable and provides fruit to wildlife.
River birch is popular for its ornamental peeling bark.
Black chokeberry provides fruit for wildlife well into the winter. It tolerates wet conditions and can be used to control erosion in very wet soils.
Redosier dogwood is native to Minnesota with colorful red or yellow winter bark.
Serviceberry, or juneberry, is a shrub or small tree native to Minnesota. This plant provides interest to the yard all year long.
Tatarian dogwood has colorful winter bark and provides a popular fruit for songbirds.
Winterberry is known for its bright red berries that last through the winter. Don't eat them, though! they are poisonous to humans and pets.
Forsythia is known for its yellow flowers that bloom in early spring.
Mockorange is grown for its fragrant white spring flowers.
Bush honeysuckle is grown for its graceful foliage and flowers that bloom spring through fall.
Lilacs come in many varieties and colors. This video (28:44) from U of M Morris gives selection, planting and growing information.
Evergreen trees and shrubs
Evergreens keep their leaves or needles throughout the year and can act as windbreaks and provide shelter for animals.
Evergreens can be conifers (cone-bearing, needle-like foliage) such as pine, spruce, juniper or arborvitae. They can also be broadleaf (leaf-like foliage) such as boxwood and rhododendron.
Stay up to date
- Read Yard and Garden News
- Listen to the Smart Gardens and What's Killing My Kale? podcasts.