10 Trees and Shrubs We Can't Get Enough Of

Believe it or not, even people with black thumbs can grow trees and shrubs. Take a look at some easy-to-grow tree and shrub varieties that we adore.

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    Sugar Maple

    You know why tourists flood the Northeast each autumn? The sugar maple—think crazy-cool leaf colors. Of all maple trees, sugar maple is the easiest to grow. They reach 70 feet tall, so they're perfect for shade or privacy purposes.

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    Hydrangeas

    Hydrangeas come in a ton of varieties—some with big, showy blooms, others with stunning foliage. They’re tough and don’t mind a bit of shade, too. Need a climber? Try their vine cousin, climbing hydrangeas, which grow up trees, fences, and walls.

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    Hydrangea Varieties You Have to Try

    Growers continue to improve the species, creating hardier, more colorful varieties. Try one of these outstanding hydrangea varieties in your garden!

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    Red Oak

    A fast grower, red oak puts on a colorful show in fall; the textured, furrowed bark adds year-round interest. Oak trees need plenty of space to extend their branches, so be sure your planting space has room for your tree to grow.

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    Spirea

    Spirea is popular for good reason: It's timeless. Birdal Wreath has multiple seasons of interest, from spring's tiny white flowers to fall's color-changing foliage. 

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    Eastern Redbud

    Looking for a bright, attention-grabbing tree to fit in a small space or lot? Eastern redbud a great yard addition. Redbud sets its pretty pink flowers early in spring, has beautiful gold and orange foliage in the fall, and always adds graceful structure.

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    Smoke Bush

    Grown as a tree or shrub, smoke bush is ideal for gardens in hot or dry conditions. Smoke bush (or smoke tree) gets its name from the fluffy pink clusters that emerge in summer. Foliage turns from purple to burnished orange-purple in autumn, and its sturdy branches make great elements in bouquets.

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    Japanese Maple

    The lacy leaves of Japanese maple trees offer dappled shade and a pretty draping form. Trees range from 3 to 15 feeet. Tried and true varieties include Bloodgood, Full Moon, and Burgundy Lane. No matter what climate you reside in, there's a Japanese maple there for you.

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    Boxwood

    This evergreen shrub is easy to clip into fun shapes. Try forming boxwood into an arbor, building it into a topiary, or hedging your yard. 

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    Crabapple

    After its long-lasting, showy flowers drop, crabapple trees produce scarlet, gold, or orange fruits that attract flocks of birds. Of the many varieties, try Brandywine for roselike clusters. If you're looking to make homemade jelly, Golden Hornet is the tree for you. The possibilities go on!

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    Viburnum

    A little bit tree, a little bit shrub, viburnums work as an accent or focal point in any landscape. Viburnums' flowers that range anywhere from pale cream to rich pink and are often fragrant. Colorful fruit adds appeal to your yard and attracts birds.

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    More Trees for Small Spaces

    Trees aren't limited to big yards. If you're looking for a tree to fill a corner spot or patch of grass, consider these dependable trees that stay under 20 feet tall. Our favorites include crape myrtle and coral bark maple.

  • Next Slideshow Our Favorite Small Trees

    Our Favorite Small Trees

    Small trees can pack a big punch into your landscape. Here are some of our editors' favorite varieties.
    Begin Slideshow »
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