Zone 5 evergreen shrubs

Bushes For Zone 5 Climates – Tips On Planting Zone 5 Shrubs

If you live in USDA zone 5 and are looking to overhaul, redesign or just tweak your landscape, planting some zone 5 suitable shrubs may be the answer. The good news is that there are many options for growing shrubs in zone 5. Zone 5 shrub varieties can be used as privacy screens, accent plants along with seasonal color or as border plants. Read on to find out about bushes for zone 5 climates.

About Bushes for Zone 5 Climates

Shrubs are an important feature in a landscape. Evergreen shrubs become anchors of permanence and deciduous shrubs add interest with their changing foliage and blossoms throughout the seasons. They add scale and structure to the garden in conjunction with trees and other perennials.

Before planting zone 5 shrubs, do some research and carefully consider their requirements, ultimate size, adaptability, and seasons of interest. For instance, does the shrub have a creeping habit, is it mounded, and what is its overall spread? Know the shrub’s site conditions. That is, what pH, texture, and drainage of the soil does it prefer? How much sun and wind exposure does the site get?

Zone 5 Shrub Varieties

It’s all very well to read a list of shrubs suited to zone 5, but it’s always a good idea to do a little local research as well. Take a look around and note what types of shrubs are common to the area. Consult your local extension office, nursery or botanical garden. On that note, here is a partial list of shrubs suited to growing in zone 5 gardens.

Deciduous shrubs

Deciduous shrubs under 3 feet (1 m.) include:

  • Abelia
  • Bearberry
  • Crimson Pygmy Barberry
  • Japanese Quince
  • Cranberry and Rockspray Cotoneaster
  • Nikko Slender Deutzia
  • Bush honeysuckle
  • Japanese Spirea
  • Dwarf Cranberry Bush

Somewhat larger (3-5 feet or 1-1.5 m. tall) shrubs that are suited to zone 5 are:

  • Serviceberry
  • Japanese Barberry
  • Purple Beautyberry
  • Flowering Quince
  • Burkwood Daphne
  • Cinquefoil
  • Weeping Forsythia
  • Smooth Hydrangea
  • Winterberry
  • Virginia Sweetspire
  • Winter Jasmine
  • Japanese Kerria
  • Dwarf Flowering Almond
  • Azalea
  • Native Shrub Roses
  • Spirea
  • Snowberry
  • Viburnum

Larger deciduous shrubs, those that get from 5-9 feet (1.5-3 m.) in height, include:

  • Butterfly Bush
  • Summersweet
  • Winged Euonymus
  • Border Forsythia
  • Fothergilla
  • Witch Hazel
  • Rose of Sharon
  • Oakleaf Hydrangea
  • Northern Bayberry
  • Tree Peony
  • Mock orange
  • Ninebark
  • Purple Leaved Sandcherry
  • Pussy Willow
  • Lilac
  • Viburnum
  • Weigela

Evergreen shrubs

As to the evergreens, several shrubs of between 3-5 feet (1-1.5 m.) in height include:

  • Boxwood
  • Heather/Heath
  • Wintercreeper Euonymus
  • Inkberry
  • Mountain Laurel
  • Heavenly Bamboo
  • Canby Paxistima
  • Mugo Pine
  • Leatherleaf
  • Eastern Red Cedar
  • Drooping Leucothoe
  • Oregon Grape Holly
  • Mountain Pieris
  • Cherry Laurel
  • Scarlet Firethorn

Larger, more tree-like shrubs that grow from 5 to 15 feet (1.5-4.5 m.) in height may include varieties of the following:

  • Juniper
  • Arborvitae
  • Rhododendron
  • Yew
  • Viburnum
  • Holly
  • Boxwood

Bushes and Shrubs

Landscape Shrubs and Bushes for Privacy, Flowers and More

Today’s modern landscape design relies heavily on shrubs and bushes. In fact, one of the hottest trends is using shrubs to create low maintenance shrub borders instead of traditional perennial borders. Most bushes are easy to care for and will remain attractive for long periods of time with minimal effort.

Imagine your personal garden oasis. Your backyard design is anchored with evergreen bushes, then punctuated with magnificent, easy-care flowering Forsythia, Lilac, Hydrangea and Rose of Sharon shrubs. These can be perfectly coordinated to provide a cascade of blooms for you through the entire growing season.

As you landscape your front yard, you may rely on smaller shrubs such as Spirea that rebloom for months. Use a Burning Bush or Sumac shrub that blazes red in autumn as a memorable focal point near your house.

If you are a bird lover, include Viburnums which produce a full spectrum of bountiful berries, from Cardinal Candy red to Blueberry Muffin blue. Barberry bushes provide a safe shelter for birds.

Best of all, we ship these gorgeous fruiting plants straight from our experts directly to your door. With the proper care, our nut and fruit trees and plants will produce just as well as those grown in professionally managed orchards.

Evergreen shrubs can provide an inviting look to an entry way or driveway. Some evergreen shrubs can be sheared into hedges. Try Privet, Boxwood, or Holly.

Want more help? Chat with us online or give us a call at (888) 864-7663 for recommendations for your landscape.

Cost-Saving Landscaping Tips

Top 3 ways to save money on your landscape By: Maureen Gilmer

This species of Agave is shown here in 1, 5 and 15 gallon pots, each with a different price but all achieve the same size at maturity.

Specialty plants such as topiaries may cost more than the average container price due to the time and labor to achieve such precise forms.

Just three tips can help you save thousands on your landscape project without sacrificing any of the design or beauty. The key is to know where to make the cuts that have the greatest impact on your bottom line.

Tip #1 Reduce Plant Sizes:

Every plant of the same species used in landscaping today will mature at a specific height and diameter. For example, a pin oak matures at 40 feet tall with a 25 foot diameter. This is true whether you start it from seed or plant an expensive specimen for a small fortune. Big budget projects where instant landscapes are desired allow landscapers to buy plants from specimen growers who specialize in very large plant material with a price to match. Though their pin oak will be installed at a large size, yours will eventually reach the exact same size for a fraction of the price.

Your designer produces a planting plan that shows the location of each and every plant that goes into your landscape. In the plant list she will specify the size of the container your contractor must buy for your project. Container size is how the industry prices nursery plants.

The optimal size for a shrub on your planting plan is a 5 gallon container. Herbaceous perennials are 1 gallon containers. Trees are usually 15 gallon containers, but the next size up is considered specimen and grown in a 24 inch square wood box. The box sizes graduate up from there.

Because all the plants achieve the same size at maturity, you can save money by planting smaller container sizes than those designated on the plan. Do not reduce the number of plants because this negatively influences the design, just drop their purchase sizes. A 5 gallon shrub can be reduced to a 2 gallon, or even a 1 gallon, reducing its cost up to 50%. Though the labor charge to plant it is roughly the same, you save on the purchase price of that shrub, or perennial or tree.

It’s not always a good idea to apply this across the entire planting plan, however. Sometimes certain plants are sized for very important reason. If there is a problem view or a need for privacy, shrubs for a screen hedge should be larger or specially trained to start in order to achieve this end as soon as possible. Similarly, if you are planning a big specimen tree to shade a patio so it is immediately usable, then this would not be a good choice for downsizing either.

Note: Plant costs can vary by region and season of purchase.

This outdoor living space saves money by reserving special paving for the seating area but it is linked to the rest of the garden by gravel paths.

High end stack stone veneer is used at the entry wall of this home, but on the inside the wall is simply plastered like the neighboring wall at left.

Tip #2. Vary hardscape material finishes.

Anything built of concrete or masonry will demand a large share of your landscape budget. The most common examples are paving, walls or raised planters. The basic costs of a concrete slab or a block wall doesn’t vary much, but the finish materials used can significantly increase costs. Often the materials such as stone finish over a slab offers a really high end look, but price is beyond the budget. Don’t give up on your dreams if you can’t afford that look because there is a strategy that allows you to save enough money to enjoy it where it matters.

To better understand how to save, consider a movie set with one side detailed out to face the camera. Your landcape has a movie set side, which is determined by the most common or important vantage points. For example, the front entry or around the sliding door at the patio are viewed often and at short range. This is where you want to use your high end stone or tile for immediate impact.

The edges of the movie set are still in camera range but not front and center. These are places where you can use a second class material that blends visually with the high end one, but costs considerably less. Their similar color or texture ensures that where the two materials intersect doesn’t show much contrast.

The third class locations are like the back of the set – purely functional and off camera altogether. These require masonry or paving but it’s only seen by you, and even then it may be rarely. This would be a service porch off the kitchen, utility yard or a low wall to stabilize a slope along a sideyard. These may have some design characteristics such as color or hand textured concrete finishing, but that’s still a very low end choice.

Use this guide to select three types of materials for your project. Apply them to different parts of the site and you’ll save enough to manage that high end look at high profile locations and still stay within your budget.

Big savings result when you use a prefabricated amenity such as this outdoor fireplace instead of a built-in one.

A built in fountain requires masonry, plumbing and electrical, but a plug and play package fountain brings water to the garden for a fraction of the cost.

Tip #3 Avoid specialty construction.

One of the best things about today’s landscape industry is the growth of prefabricated amenities. These are factory made portable units that take the place of expensive onsite construction, offering enormous savings on both masonry and mechanical. The most well known innovation are plug-and-play fountains. Before them water features were strictly for the wealthy.

Today you can buy whole outdoor kitchens made out of light-weight portable composites with the latest grilling features. These cost less than half the price of a built-in barbecue center, and you have much more flexibility with location. Because they are not constructed on site, they do not need building permits nor do they need to conform to building codes. Best of all they are immediately useful and don’t require construction to install.

Whenever your project requires special detailed plans to create an amenity such as a fire feature, water feature or other outdoor entertainment units, inquire if there is a prefabricated alternative. One of the most popular are propane fired outdoor fireplaces which replace such costly built-in versions that in the past were restricted to very high end projects.

This also applies to arbors, gateways and gazebos, which are now prefabricated in a wide variety of materials including wood, PVC plastics and metal. They are shipped as a package that your contractor assembles and installs. This is vastly less expensive than building such a structure from scratch. Best of all, you can select the style from a catalog, for more direct control on the look and feel of your project.


Hardscape: The portion of a landscape that is built such as paving, walls, decks, water features or a pool along with all the utilities associated with them.

Bush Basics: Tree Shrub Service

Shrubs are plants that are too short to be considered trees, usually 20′ is the cutoff. Hedges are a series of closely planted shrubs used to form a boundary or mark a specific area. Confusingly, another name for a hedge is not a shrub, but a shrubbery, which signifies a connected growth of shrubs. Bushes, on the other hand, can be single shrubs or a line of hedges, but bushes are characterized by shorter, denser growth than other tree shrubs.

As a homeowner, you don’t need to know all the confusingly synonymous terms, but you do need an understanding of the different concerns and services surrounding each. A single, stand alone shrub is more exposed to the elements than hedges, but latter requires more consistent pruning services to maintain healthy growth. And this is just one of the subtle, but important, distinctions to make when caring for all the bushes in your yard….

Tree Shrubs

So, somewhere between an oak tree and a tomato plant lays the tree shrub. The oak may require next to no maintenance in a five-year period; the tomato plant will need attention multiple times a week, or even multiple times a day. The frequency of your tree shrub service is, fittingly, in the middle of the two. Unlike that elm or maple, a tree shrub is more affected by physical damage. Many a tree has been hit by a car, and quite a few have lived to tell the tale. Shrubs, on the other hand, can be permanently damaged under much less strain. Shrub service begins before you plant. If your bush is to be placed in a high-risk area (like along a driveway), you may consider putting up a fence or other barrier to protect your plants.

Tree Shrub Service: What to Plant

Another preventative form of tree shrub service is picking the right plant for your property. Decorative tree shrubs can certainly add beauty and value to a lawn, but if they aren’t suited to your particular area, they might end up being more trouble than they are worth. Have your soil’s acidity and composition checked before you pick out your plant. The speed at which the soil drains, the percentage of clay and sand, and the soil’s pH level should all be taken into account when deciding on what your property will host. An easy way to ensure a well-growing, low-maintenance plant is to opt for native species. Native tree shrubs will be more likely to flourish and require little or no extra watering or fertilizer to thrive.

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Hedges and other Bush Basics

Landscaping service for hedges is almost exclusively pruning services. You may want some advice about the placement and growth pattern. Good planting will help create an even exposure to sunlight and rainwater, but usually hedges suffer from a lack of pruning. Most homeowners like to keep clean lines for aesthetic reasons, but if you’re at least willing to go outside to prune dead or dying branches, your hedge will suffer from this “dead weight.” Once your hedges are flourishing, you should prune them at least once a year. Fortunately, it doesn’t take too much botanical knowledge, as most are well-adapted to non-selective pruning. Other varieties of shrubberies will need more attention when pruning time comes around.

Professional Pruning Practices

A “heading cut” will stimulate growth beneath the cut mark and is made anywhere on a branch that is not a point of origin or attachment; a “thinning cut” is made at a point of attachment or origin and should not encourage extra growth. Proper pruning is a combination of these two types of cuts. There is a definite science to where these cuts should be made. Having a good-looking shrub will depend on the amount of knowledge the person doing the pruning has.

Though there are certainly exceptions, shrub pruning is generally done during the early spring or late winter. This is because it is the time of year when plants are already preparing for new growth. Flowering shrubs that are meant to bloom at this time of year, however, are often pruned during early summer, after the flowers have run their course. That said, when a shrub is damaged by physical trauma (either natural or manmade), it should be pruned at once, regardless of the season. Diseased shrubs should also be pruned as soon as the ailment becomes apparent. It is a good idea to rinse the clippers you are using between cuts to hinder the spread of disease.

Tree Shrub Service Costs

Naturally, it all depends on what type of service you’re looking for, not to mention the number, size, and species of the shrubs. If you’re trying to nurse an ailing shrub back to good health, you can often get a diagnosis and a preliminary treatment for as little as $50-$150, although more extensive treatment services can run several hundred dollars. This cost range is also likely to reflect one-time consultation for shrub planting. Trimming your hedges or bushes is even less certain. Some trimming services can cost $100 or less, although most of these inexpensive jobs are usually for the elderly or people with limited mobility. More often, a homeowner will hire hedge trimming as part of a larger lawn care, landscaping, or tree trimming service. The average cost for this type of project is a more robust $800, although the range goes from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand.

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