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Well, after 2 years of experimenting with perennials and constantly moving items around, I’ve come up with some new perennial garden plans to make your landscape look great. This post gives some suggestions for ornamental trees in your landscape.

Layer 1: Ornamental Trees to Ground Your Landscape

Every yard, no matter how big or small, needs at least 1 tree. If you already have trees in your yard, then great! You can use what you already have and build your other layers around these trees and your house. If you don’t have an ornamental tree there are many, many options. I would suggest going to your local nursery and asking someone to help you pick one out. Make sure that you have enough room for the tree you choose, and also make sure that you plant it an appropriate distance from your house.

Perennial Garden Plan for Zone 5(ish)

Plug your zipcode into this zone finder if you aren’t sure what zone you live in. I live in Northeast Pennsylvania, so my zone is somewhere between a 5 and a 6 (or… 5B). All of the plants I will mention will work for this zone.

Now honestly I am no landscaping expert. But I have read a lot of books about landscape design, so I’d like to share some of my knowledge with you so you can understand the basic concept of planting. The goal of this post is to give you some basic tips and then present some options for each “Layer” of my perennial garden plan.

Perennial garden plan: Layer 1 Ornamental Tree Picks

 

autumn brilliance serviceberry

Autumn Brilliance Serviceberry

A hybrid cross between native serviceberries. Small deciduous tree grows to 20′. Very adaptable to soil types and fairly drought tolerant. Prefers full sun. Very showy white flowers in late April. Good autumn color of red, orange and yellow.  I have this ornamental tree in my front yard. You can read more about why I love it in this post.

Bloodgood Japanese Maple

Bloodgood Japanese Maple

Native to Japan, China, and Korea. Small deciduous tree, grows 25′ with a slow growth rate. Prefers moist, well-drained lightly acidic soil in full sun to partial shade. Avoid windy locations. “Bloodgood” is a very common form with excellent burgundy colored foliage.  Check out 11 Japanese Maples for Breathtaking Color and Form. Image Source

snowdrift crab apple tree

Snowdrift Crab Apple

Snowdrift crab is a beautiful, hardy ornamental tree with visual impact during all four seasons. 15-20′ high and wide. Image Source

Kousa Dogwood

Kousa Dogwood

This beautiful ornamental tree grows 15-20′ H and has beautiful exfoliating bark, long-lasting flowers, good fall color, and attractive fruit. Image Source

Cornus Stellar Pink Flowering Dogwood

Stellar Pink Flowering Dogwood

20′ H x 20′ W An interesting hybrid adorned with lovely pink blooms and foliage that changes to a reddish purple in the fall; vigorous grower with an erect habit and overlapping branches makes it a great choice for a front yard accent tree. Image Source

Japanese Lilac

Japanese Lilac

25′ H. Blooms in summer and has huge white/creamy clusters that are like regular lilac blooms but much larger. Image Source

Watering your Ornamental Tree

Want to learn how to care for your new tree? Read some great tips for watering.


Now that you have some suggestions, visit a nursery and actually take a look at the ornamental trees you are interested in. Still need more help? This thread has great advice about Ornamental Trees for a front yard in zone 5.

If you already have mature trees in your landscape (lucky you!) — check out my next post about Evergreen Shrubs (with zone 5 suggestions).


Keep Reading...

In my perennial garden plan, I'll go over landscape layering and give you some suggestions for each of the 5 layers:

  1. Layer 1: Ornamental Trees
  2. Layer 2: Evergreen Shrubs
  3. Layer 3: Perennial Shrubs
  4. Layer 4: Other plants & flowers
  5. Layer 5: Vines and Groundcovers
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