Trees, shrubs and vines for Minnesota landscapes
In choosing trees, shrubs, and vines for landscaping, it is useful to know about each plant's characteristics. This publication provides a brief description of commonly available plants and points out their important merits and faults. Some of the plants listed are relatively new but they should be widely available in the nursery trade in the next few years. Evergreens are not included.
This bulletin is divided into three sections: trees, shrubs, and woody vines. Plants are listed by their common names. The scientific name and the average size at maturity are also given. Plant names that are listed with single quotation marks are cultivars; that is, they are selections of plants that have been propagated by cuttings, budding, or grafting. They are often slightly more expensive than plants started from seed, but they are usually of better quality or have a special characteristic that makes them more desirable than a seedling plant.
Figure 1. Plant hardiness zones
In Minnesota, plant hardiness is an important consideration. Study the plant hardiness zone map carefully when ordering nursery stock from sources outside Minnesota. Within zones there are differences in the severity of the winter. In general, the southern half of each zone is less severe than the northern half.
There are also microclimates, that is, small areas with milder or more severe weather than the zone in general. Large cities, windbreaks, the leeward side of large hills, and large bodies of water can have a moderating effect on the climate. In Minnesota the moderation is minimal, but should be considered in selecting plants. Plants that are listed as "trial" are those that will grow in a protected site, but may not always do well. Plants that are listed as "hardy" or "adapted" generally do well in Minnesota's climate.
For additional information, local county extension educators and nursery people are good sources, especially if you need help determining the adaptability of a particular plant to your area. Most plants listed in this bulletin are growing in the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum located near Chaska.
WW-00545 Reviewed 1997
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