This article introduces the section of HomeTips that discusses shrubs, trees, and hedges. It guides you to more help with selection, growing, and care.

Shrubs, trees, and hedges give your yard visual interest, shade, and beauty. It only makes sense to choose wisely when selecting these landscaping elements, and to care for them in a way that helps them thrive.

The Landscaping Services market in the U.S., according to ResearchAndMarkets, is estimated at US$22.6 Billion in the year 2020. And this figure is expected to grow as people spend more time at home.

In this section of HomeTips, we will give you the DIY help you need for making smart choices about shrubs, hedges, and trees. In addition, we will guide you step-by-step through planning, choosing, planting, and caring for those trees, hedges, and shrubs that are the perfect choices for your yard.

Trees, hedges, and shrubs are the landscape elements that give a yard living structure. They provide backdrops, texture, privacy, shade, color, and more.

Of course, each of these have differing specific jobs to do.

Trees, for example, provide focal points for garden views and serve as anchors for surrounding shrubs and plants. They also throw shade where it’s needed, if planned properly.

Shrubs provide lower, dense landscaping. They visually fill-in gaps and large areas with foliage and/or greenery. Those that include flowers add color. Usually established in front of trees but behind flowers, they provide a medium-height backdrop for ground-level flowers and plantings.

white garden arbor
Garden arbor, flanked by begonia hybrida shrubs, feels like an entry to wonderland. ©HannaMariah /

Because they are dense, shrubs also can hide less-than-pleasant views, enhance privacy, dampen noise, and allow a haven for wildlife.

railroad ties as garden path
Public gardens are great places to explore shrubs and trees that thrive in your area. They also offer great ideas for mixing and matching. ©Panna Studio /

Hedges are very similar to shrubs, but play a more structured role. Many are trimmed and shaped to provide a more finished or formal affect.

cutting hedge with hedge trimmer
Here a poolside hedge is sculpted with a hedge trimmer to provide a formal, green barrier. Kropic1 /

Choosing the right trees and shrubs for your yard is a process that takes into account a number of factors, including the look you’re trying to achieve, sun and water conditions, and more. In the sections listed and linked below, you’ll find all of the information you need to plan, choose, plant, and care for shrubs, hedges, and trees.

gravel garden pathway with beams
A path of gravel and railroad ties wends through lush evergreen garden.


How to Buy Shrubs

Choosing Hedges

How to Buy Trees

Planting & Caring for Shrubs

• Planting Trees & Hedges

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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years as a remodeler and builder, Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort