Woody ornamental plants are key components in a well-designed,
useful environment. This large group of plants can be divided into
three general categories: trees, shrubs, and vines.
Trees are woody plants that produce one main trunk and a
more or less distinct and elevated head (height of 15 feet or
Shrubs are woody plants that remain quite low and
usually produce multiple shoots or stems from the base (height of
15 feet or less).
Vines are climbing or crawling woody plants without
self-supporting upright stems.
This chapter will cover factors to consider in selecting plants
based on desired uses of the plants and environmental factors
influencing plant growth, procedures for planting and care of
Plants serve many important functions in the landscape. They
clean the air of particulates while they consume carbon dioxide
and produce oxygen. Plants buffer and reduce noise pollution,
control traffic, and provide security. Plants can provide
windbreaks, and if strategically placed can actually be a crash
buffer. Plants provide shade and buffer high and low temperatures
through transpiration and by blocking solar radiation. Plants can
prevent soil erosion, they can frame a view, or screen an eyesore.
Plants provide beauty, fragrance, food, and wildlife habitat.
Landscaping can increase your property value and the value will
continue to increase as the plants grow. Landscapes can contribute
as much as 20% of a home's value.