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Maximize your new home's value, comfort and curb appeal by planting trees and shrubs for a landscape that brims with year-round beauty. Trees and shrubs provide beauty and interest throughout the year — even in winter. However, because these plants are pricier than flowers or vegetables and can last for decades, make sure you pick the right ones, plant them properly and take good care of them.
Use this checklist when you go to the store and purchase your items.
Although you may be tempted to pick up a tree or shrub when new plants appear in the Lowe's Garden Center in spring, think about your overall landscaping plans first. Established trees and shrubs are difficult to move, so you need to plant them in the right place the first time — both for your yard and for the plants themselves. Learn more about planning and designing your yard's overall landscape.
Read all plant labels to ensure you choose the best trees and shrubs for your lifestyle. Pay attention to:
Think of your landscape in layers by height. For lush landscape, you want to fill each layer with a mix of plant types.
Shrubs can give your landscape much more than greenery. Look for plants with attractive or colorful leaves, flowers, and fruits or berries (even if you can’t eat them, wildlife will thank you). Surefire shrubs include:
Ornamental trees are often smaller than traditional trees and are loved for their gorgeous foliage, dramatic flower displays, beautifully shaped limbs and surprising colors in spring or fall. Some favorites include:
Shade trees are large — some varieties can grow more than 50 feet tall and spread branches more than 25 feet from their trunks. When properly planted and cared for, a tree can provide decades of shade and natural beauty. Get started with the following:
While it may take several hours, the process of planting a new tree or shrub is simple:
Dig a hole with your shovel. Put all removed soil on a tarp or in a wheelbarrow. Create a hole that allows room on the sides of the container as well as at the root. Check your digging progress by placing the plant in the hole or using the shovel handle to measure. When you have the proper-sized hole, make sure the plant base sits level and securely in the opening.
In the wheelbarrow or on the tarp, mix the removed soil with new topsoil. You can mix in compost at this point.
Remove the tree or shrub from its container. Lift the plant close to its base. You can use a utility knife to cut the container open or off. Gently loosen the root ball and place the plant in the hole.
Note: Trees and shrubs wrapped in natural burlap can be untied and dropped in the hole. The burlap will decay over time.
Rotate the plant and find the best position to showcase its best shape and branches.
Use a shovel to backfill the hole with the mixed soil. Fill about half the hole, then tamp the soil firmly with your foot. Finish filling the hole and tamp again. Rake the soil smooth and cover with 2 to 4 inches of mulch.
Thoroughly water the tree or shrub. Allow for 20 minutes or so of direct watering with a soaker hose or a slow-trickling sprinkler.