Trees: Suggestions for garden "bones" (Shrubs in Zone 5a)

Round Lake, IL(Zone 5a)

Hi....wondering if anyone has thoughts on selection of trees and shrubs for zone 5a.
New yard has nothing....
Was thinking of a Canadian Lilac Tree, maybe an evergreen or two (5ft in height), and want some really cool fall foliage colors.
Any thoughts?

Saint Helen, MI(Zone 5a)


Here are a few ideas
Carolina Silver bells - They have really cool looking seed pods that hang on well into fall.
Devil's Walking Stick
Tri-colored beech (awesome!)
Twisty Baby Black Locust (awesome!) - contorted branches, cool seed pods, pretty spring flowers
Amur Flame Maple - bright red fall foliage


Chatham-Kent, ON(Zone 6a)

How about Liriodendron Tulipfera , Asimina triloba , Laburnum x watereri , Koelreuteria paniculata , Decaisnea fargesii , cornus kousa , cornus mas , aesculus parviflora , cercis canadensis , castanea sp., fagus grandifolia , quercus sp. , magnolia sp. , nyssa sp. , phellodendron amurense , rhodo sp. , sassafras albidum , metasequoia glyptostroboides , sorbaria sp. , styrax japonicus , tilia sp. , cladrastis kentukea , viburnum sp., and Pterostyrax Hispida .These should get the grey matter bubbling a bit ;) Rock On !!

Philadelphia, PA(Zone 6b)

Hi Jen,
I have a few of the suggested "bones" from, Cornus kousa, Cornus florida, viburnum, magnolia, Koelreuteria paniculata, some pines and Canadian Hemlocks...and they look great as a foundation. We also have some newly planted Tulip trees, which are still 6 foot babies but their leaves are very catchy (they look like tulip flowers). Our Sweet Gum tree gets a beautiful autumn variation of color, however, I consider the seed pods as a big negative. I came into a "ton +" Laburnum seeds/Golden Chain Tree, so my plan is to have these take over some of the property here. If you'd like any seeds for these, I'd be happy to share them (ps..all parts are toxic, though). The tree specimen which gets the most attention from visitors is the Chinese Dogwood Tree/Cornus kousa..a show stopper!
Trish :)

Mission, BC

Hi Jen
I know this is rather late and you probably have your whole garden planted by now but I will forward this anyway.
How about a hedge made of Apple Trees? I saw it in a magazine and was really impressed. They had planted several small Apple trees in a row and espaliered them to make a really neat looking and hedge. They had kept the trees short, about 4 feet and about 4-5 feet apart. The hedge wasn't any wider than 2 or 21/2 feet. I'm moving next spring and am going to try it. If anyone else has seen or tried this, please send tips etc. Thanx

Hi Jen,like Cheeky_Brat says,you probably have it all planted but I do love her idea of the espalied(sp) apple hedges' They are not only beautiful but you have the joy of the fruit. Whatever you have chose or choose, try to think what effect you will have in the future,some trees are very messy' Not to mention, expensive,keeping them healthy and maintained properly' Sis'

Factoryville, PA(Zone 5a)

Shrub: Canadian Lilac (Syringa x prestoniae)
A large shrub that works well as a hedge, screen or specimen plant. Fragrant blooms appear about two weeks later than the common lilac in white, purple, or pink shades. Drought tolerant once established. 8-12' tall and wide.

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

looking for late summer early winter bloomers, please e-mail to having a hard time getting info. Thanks

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Dicentra, I have been looking for Golden Chain, it's beautiful, have you grown from seed and do you have any extra? Thanks Denise

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Sari, Do you have any extra pods from Carolina Silverbell, I'm interested PLEASE let me know. Thanks Denise

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Also looking for Hottentot tea (plecostachys serpyllifolia) blooms white. Thanks Denise

(Zone 5b)

Euonymous - aka.. burning bush is a nice small shrub and gives excellent fall color with the leaves turning red in fall. Also you might want to look a a variegated dogwood. It has cream and green leaves with the cream part tinging pink when nights become cool. Then you have the red bark for interesting winter contrast.

Evergreens - Sungold threadleaf cypress. Is there any other? lol

Perennials I recommend Autumn Joy Sedum, daylilies (can never have too many) Echinicia (sp?) All easy to care for.

Good Luck

Bensenville, IL(Zone 5a)

Dicentra, I am looking for Golden Chain, have not been able to acquire unfortunately but, will not give up hope. If you find one before I do keep me in mind and I will do the same for you. Thanks Denise

Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images