Midwest landscaping can be difficult to excel at with all the seasons and different temperatures in this part of the world. As midwesterners, we love our wide open spaces, green lawns and flowering shrubs as the landscape for our little piece of the American dream. In order to fulfill our little pieces of lawn heaven, we need to understand the midwest climate, which shrubs and trees grow best and survive over time. Here are Summit Turf’s favorite five shrubs and five trees that are suitable for midwest landscaping and the midwest climate the best.

Best Midwest Shrubs

Best, in this case, refers to performance and is not linked to blooming. That isn’t to say that there aren’t hardy flowering shrubs that bloom in regional gardens. Trees and shrubs are part of midwest landscaping. They can fill shady, sunny, moist, dry, or windy areas, and they can thrive on very little attention. They are wonderful for providing texture, color, or a  backdrop between multiple garden areas. When choosing midwest landscaping plants, remember what you are wishing to accomplish. We are listing the hardiest and most reliable shrubs for midwest landscaping and climates, those with sturdy branches that lose their leaves during the wintertime.

Flowering Almond (also known as Prunus glandulosa and trileba)

midwest landscaping tips on planting trees and shrubs

midwest landscaping summit turf services

This shrub loves the full sun. Flowering Almonds generally bloom in late April, before opening its leaves. The Rosplena will produce double pink blooms and grow to be about five feet tall. The Multiplex species has a one inch pink blooms and grows to about eight feet tall. You may need to prune to maintain your midwest landscaping. When should you prune? Summit Turf Services recommends to prune after the blooms have faded to get prepared for the best blooming next year. 

Alpine Currant (also known as Ribes Alpinum) 

An alpine currant is a great addition to your midwest landscaping. A flexible shrub, happy with full sun to shade and hardy in zones two to seven. The Alpine is popular for a variety of reasons. The shrub is adaptable in harsh conditions, disease resistant, and shows off lush and healthy deep green leaves. Even though the plant tends to grow slowly, the shrub can reach up to 5 feet tall and 6 feet wide. 

Amur Maple (also known as Acer ginnala)

The amur maple survives with full sun to part shade, hardy in zones three to six. We love this midwest landscaping plant for the fall because the shrub is stunning with beautiful yellow and red hues. Notably, this large hardy shrub can tolerate dryness but performs best in moist, well-drained soils. There are a variety of types of the amur maple listed below:

  • Embers leaves turn the brightest red in autumn and can grow to 20 feet high and 25 feet wide. However, the embers foliage prunes well and makes your midwest landscaping bush more dense. 
  • Flames grows to 20 feet high and 25 feet wide and thrives in the winter. 
  • The Bailey Compact is a more dense type of amur maple. The Bailey grows seven to eight feet high and wide and is the perfect shrub for hedges, foundation plantings, and borders for your midwest landscaping
  • Emerald Elf is just a few feet smaller than the Bailey Compact. The elf is five to six feet high and wide, slow-growing and a beautiful red-plum color. 

Amelanchie (also known as Serviceberry, Shadbush, or Amelanchier canadensis)  

Amelanchie can thrive and grow with full sun, part shade or shade. This shrub is hardy in zones four through eight with brilliant red leaves in the fall and bright, white flowers in the spring. The perfect midwest landscaping plant to form hedges or screens, reaching a height of 20 feet and five to eight feet wide. 

Azalea (also known as Rhododendron canescens) 

Summit Turf Services favorite trees and shrubs for midwest landscaping

azalea midwest landscaping summit turf

Azalea, a flowering shrub that thrives in both shade and part sun, is hardy in zones four through nine. Your midwest landscaping will rise to another level with the azalea’s gorgeous blooming qualities. Summit Turf Services offers a few tips when planting the azalea. 

  • Do not plant the azalea too deep. 
  • The plant prefers a cool, moist organic soil.
  • Water often.
  • Utilize acidic fertilizers
  • Apply an anti-transpirant in December and February to prevent foliage from drying. 

Best Midwest Trees

best trees for midwest landscaping by Summit Turf Services

best trees midwest landscaping summit turf services

Planting trees is an investment that can provide beauty to your midwest landscaping. However, many people just plant what their neighbor plants, but that’s not exactly the best idea. We should all diversify our landscapes by planting a variety of tree species. It’s also important to avoid “one-tree-fits-all” thinking. Summit Turf Services believes each yard has different needs. Keep in mind the soil type, space at maturity, and area temperatures. 

Crab apple (also known as Malus selections)

Let’s dive into the best trees to plant for your midwest landscaping ventures, starting with the crab apple. Crab apples known to be a part of the easiest and most beautiful trees to grow. However, you will want to choose a disease-resistant type with small fruit that don’t make a huge mess when they fall. Some of Summit Turf’s favorite crab apple trees are the ‘Golden Raindrops’ and the ‘Adirondack’. The ‘Golden Raindrops’ is disease-resistant and is known for its distinctive yellow fruits and beautiful white flowers. The deeply cut, ornamental leaves turn a blood orange-red in the fall. The ‘Adirondack’ has strong, straight branches for small spaces. During the spring, its leaves are snow white and turn to deep orange-red for the fall. 

Japanese tree lilac (also known as Syringa reticulata)

Looking for an accent plant for your midwest landscaping? The Japanese tree lilac can do the trick! Plan this tree in full sun with loose, well-drained soil, and allow space for good air circulation. You can enjoy the showy plumes of creamy-white flowers when summer begins, and as the seasons turn, the copper red bark will beam in the landscape. The low maintenance Japenese tree lilac is a great addition to your home!

Pagoda dogwood (also known as Cornus alternifolia)

We recommend to plant this stunning tree in sun or partial shade with moist, rich acidic soil to receive the best results! The pagoda dogwood is a favorite of gardeners and perfect for northern, midwest landscaping. What can you expect from the pagoda dogwood? Clusters of decorative white flowers for the spring will be followed with blue and purple colors for the fall. 

Korean fir (also known as Abies koreana)

midwest landscaping top 10 trees and shrubs

summit turf services midwest landscaping tips

Korean firs bring an architectural aspect to your midwest landscaping with their pyramidal shape and ornamental cones. ‘Horstmann’s Silberlocke’ and the ‘Aurea’ are the two types we recommend. Both grow to 30 feet wide with up to a 20 foot width. 

Seven-son flower (also known as Heptacodium miconioides)

Last, but not least, the seven-son flower is a drought-tolerant, insect and disease free tree with beautiful peeling bark. The flowers start out as white in

the spring and mature to a unique pinkish red color in the fall. It thrives in a wide range of soils in full sun or part shade.

Deciding on which tree or shrub to plant can be difficult with so many options. When your midwest landscaping is ready for new shrubs and trees, we hope this list helps. Summit Turf Services, Lee’s Summit lawn care experts, specialize in commercial and residential landscaping services. Give us a call for any questions and concerns regarding lawn and landscaping, and we are here to help!