Close-up of pine bough with hydrangeas in background

Shrubs and Trees

In Blog, Feature, Perennials, Trees and shrubs by Megan Nichols

Here’s the good, the better, and the best news about trees and shrubs.

The Best

Why save it for last? Trees and shrubs are 25% off the week of July 27 – Aug. 2! Who can resist? Not us, we’re “eat our dessert first” kind of people. Plus, for every $100 of trees, shrubs and perennials purchased, you get a free bag of Espoma Bio-Tone Plus.

The Next Best Thing (a.k.a. “The Better”)

Did you know? According to Dr. Charlie Hall, Chief Economist for AmericanHort and a Professor of Horticultural Sciences at Texas A&M:

• Every $250.00 spent on landscaping increases the value of a home by $4000

• A well landscaped home yields a 12% higher price than one that is not properly landscaped

• 2 trees in the yard reduces cooling costs by 25% and reduces noise levels by 4 decibels, and an air conditioning unit shaded by a tree or shrub is up to 10% more efficient

• 1 tree provides enough oxygen for 2 people for a year

Much more than just background material, shrubs are gaining in popularity for the larger presentation they make and the solutions they provide to garden and landscaping problems. Shrubs also take up more space than perennial plants, so they provide more show with less fuss. Every landscape will benefit from trees and shrubs that provide structure and interest, but which is the right shrub for the right space, with the right light requirements? We can’t name ‘em all, but here are a few to consider.

Yews

If you have shade, you’ll love yews. They grow in next-to-no sunlight, or full sun, you choose. For height, plant Capitata upright yew, which grows 25’-40’ and has a spread of 25’-30’. For a shorter option go with a Taunton Spreading Yew.

Hydrangeas

We have Limelight, Little Quickfire, Bobo, even some Martha’s Vineyard left (but not for long)! And of course we have the beautiful Annabelle in spades. Depending on variety, hydrangeas like part to full sun.

Clethra

Ever hear of this one? It’s also called Summer Sweet. Pollinators love it and it’s got a beautiful bottlebrush type bloom. Full sun to part shade.

Want more options? We’ve got a variety of Junipers, Dogwoods, Ninebarks (trees, too!), Amur Maple, Lilacs, Arborvitae, Exochorda Lotus Moon (also called Pearl Bush)…give that one an internet search and check out the stunning, yet delicate, spring flowers.

The Good (good to know, that is)

How do you plant these things?

1. Choose the right shrub for the right place.
2. Dig a hole only as deep as the root ball, but two to three times as wide.
3. Fill the hole to the top with water, let it drain. If it drains in about 10 minutes it should be a good spot.
4. Remove the shrub from the container and release the roots to signal to the plant that it’s time to get growing. This can be as simple as running your fingers through them, or if the shrub is root bound it may require a serrated knife or clippers. Set the shrub in the middle.
5. Add Espoma Bio-tone Starter Plus* while backfilling the hole with 1/2 planting mix or compost and 1/2 original soil.
6. Water well.

*Bio-tone Starter Plus contains micorrihizae, a naturally occurring fungus that creates a symbiotic relationship with the roots, increasing the growth of the tiny hairs on the roots and allowing the plant to absorb more nutrients, which gets the plant off to a healthier start.

Want to see it in person? Check out our 15-minute planting demonstrations July 27 and 28, at 10 am, noon, 2 pm and 4 pm (or by request), outside in the Perennial department.

Or, check out our latest video: