OSU guide helps with choosing woody landscape plants

Last Updated: 
August 4, 2008

CORVALLIS - When selecting woody landscape plants for your yard, you should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Where will the plant be located? Sun, shade or somewhere between?
  • In what climate zone will it be planted?
  • What shape or manner of growth do I want? How tall? Deciduous or evergreen?
  • What special features am I looking for?

You need to choose a plant that matches your site's growing conditions as well as your other desires, such as flower color or a particular form.

Do you need help choosing woody plants for your property? The Oregon State University Extension Service offers a 60-page guide, "Plant Materials for Landscaping," to help home gardeners choose among the dizzying array of trees, shrubs and other woody plants available in nurseries.

The OSU guide is loaded with useful information on nearly 400 woody landscape plants suitable for the Pacific Northwest - Oregon, Washington and Idaho. It provides the botanical name, common name, growth pattern, suitable climate zones, flowering color and season, exposure preferred and other growing information. Color maps of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zone and American Horticultural Society Heat Zone are included.

Also, there's a list of "indicator plants" for each USDA zone, listed under the coldest zone where they normally succeed. If one of the plants on this list is growing successfully on a site near you, then other plants hardy in the same zone are likely to be hardy there as well.

For more information on "Plant Materials for Landscaping," PNW 500, visit our on-line catalog. Our publications and video catalog at: https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/ shows which publications are available on the web and which can be ordered as printed publications.

Author: Carol Savonen