Winter-Friendly Trees & Shrubs To Use In Landscaping

Living in a seasonal state, NJ homeowners are often stumped in their landscape design. They want unique curb appeal, but need help learning which plants will both survive and thrive in the winter. (After all, no one wants a dead-looking yard!) Fortunately, NJ’s soil falls under Zones 6 & 7, both of which are ideal for winter-friendly and evergreen trees and shrubs.

These are some of our favorites!

Blue Atlas Cedars

A single Blue Atlas Cedar tree on a clear sunny day

Many landscapers love to use the weeping version of Blue Atlas Cedars for its artistic curb appeal. This is a hardy tree with an elegant aesthetic and will look lovely all year round. However, if you choose this tree make sure that you have ample space for it. It can reach up to 60’ tall and 40’ wide, growing quickly when it’s young and slowing as it ages.

Sweetbay Magnolia

A Single White Magnolia Flower

Who says that winter-hardy trees can’t have flowers? The Sweetbay Magnolia is the tree that brings a little something to your curb appeal every season. In late spring, beautiful white flowers bloom. Then, in late summer the flowers give way to bright red seeded fruits, attracting lovely birds to your yard. In winter, this tree still stands tall and beautiful with its thick green leaves. It’s no wonder why so many prefer to use the Sweetbay Magnolia in their landscape design.


A Juniper bush

Do you want curb appeal literally at the curb or edge of your property? Then juniper is the fragrant shrub for you! This dark green plant not only thrives all year, but it is resistant to road salt in the snowy months. There are some interesting things about Juniper that give it extra appeal:

  1. A young plant will have needles, but as the plant matures the needles change shape and become scales.
  2. This plant has gender! A female plant will produce berries or cones. If these are features you want seasonally in your landscaping then, be sure to pay attention to which gender you buy.


Berries and leaves from a Holly bush

If you want a shrub that has natural festive style in the winter but looks rich and healthy in the summer months, then Holly is the way to go. If you plant this bush in well-drained soil and in full sun, it will reward you all year round. Like Juniper, Holly has both male and female varieties. If you want the classic Holly aesthetic with red berries, be sure to plant a female one. Note that some female varieties will produce berries alone, but others need to have a male near by. This plant also ranges drastically in height so be sure to do your research and choose a variety that will complement your yard space best.

Thunderhead Pine

Character is the best way to describe Thunderhead Pine. This compact form of the Japanese Black Pine does not grow uniformly. Its dark green needles grow tightly packed and in quirky bulbous shapes, reminiscent of a thunderstorm cloud. The Thunderhead Pine is also a great choice for light topiary. Since it grows in unusual shapes it naturally lends itself to an artistic flair. Plus, its tall, silvery “candles” give it its own holiday decoration. Alone or pruned, this winter-friendly plant will make a great focal point in your NJ landscape.

Do you live in Hillsborough, NJ & need help designing a winter-proof landscape?

Call Your Local Experts!