Selecting the Right Trees, Shrubs, or Plants for Your Yard in the Four State Area

Selecting the Right Trees, Shrubs, or Plants for Your Yard in the Four State Areafeatured image

Posted on September 27, 2022 by Jeremiah Sooter

It can be a challenging decision-making process when it comes to planting trees, shrubs, or plants in the four states. That’s because the options are nearly endless, with over 400 species of plant life and 160 of those being native hardwood trees

We’ve narrowed the scope to these top picks across the four states with many options.

  • Northwest Arkansas
  • Northeast Oklahoma
  • Southeast Kansas
  • Southwest Missouri

Tree Selection

Selecting trees is a fun process but should be done with the understanding that you want to avoid planting a single species. Without good diversification of trees, shrubs, or plants, you risk subjecting your vegetation to pests or diseases that could spread and result in mass die-offs.

For example, during the early 19th century, the American Chestnut lined the streetscapes in a monoculture planting period, a popular landscaping movement. Unfortunately, many chestnut trees died because of blight and proximity to other chestnuts.

We will also look at various heights and growth patterns for trees, shrubs, and plants in urban and rural landscapes. In addition, we factor into our recommendations deciduous (seasonal) varieties that change color and shed leaves once annually, or coniferous vegetation that rarely sheds and commonly has a pinecone.

Northwest Arkansas

We begin looking at some of the best native options for urban and rural landscapes for homeowners living in northwestern Arkansas. Some popular Arkansas native trees that can grow above 45 feet are the Swamp White Oak and the Black Tupelo. 

In addition, a Sassafras tree can reach 30 to 40 feet before reaching full maturity. But if you’re looking for trees that grow below 30 feet and still make for good shade trees, then look for a Deciduous Holly tree or an Ozark Witch Hazel tree.

Two popular plant choices grow exceptionally well across northwestern Arkansas: the Arkansas Yucca, part of the succulent family, and the Virginia Creeper, a vining plant.

Northeast Oklahoma

For people living in Northeastern Oklahoma, some excellent native trees that love loamy soils or are superior drought-tolerant plants known for being fast growers are the Bald Cypress and the Osage-Orange Whiteshield. Both can grow 24 inches annually to reach heights over 40 feet.

While a Purpleblow Maple matures at a slower rate of 12 inches per year and reaches heights of 20 to 40 feet, if you’re looking for a tree that reaches full maturity at 20 feet, then look no further than either the English Hawthorn and the Mexican Plum, which grow 12 to 24 inches per year.

Southeast Kansas

Homeowners living in southeastern Kansas might find various deciduous and coniferous trees grow successfully in urban or rural areas. Although the Bosnian Pine and Ponderosa Pine are slow growers, they are capable of reaching 40 feet in height. 

While the Roughleaf Dogwood and Common Witchhazel are fast growers, reaching heights of 15 to 25 feet. The Bottlebrush Buckeye and the American Filbert are two deciduous shrubs native to Kansas that grow to heights of 10 to 15 feet. 

A popular flower plant that produces fragrant blooms in the Spring and flourishes throughout Kansas is the Meyer Lilac, which often matures under 5 feet.

Southwest Missouri

For urban or rural homeowners in southwest Missouri, several native trees are known to thrive and survive in compact soil and throughout periods of drought: the River Birch and the native Pawpaw tree.

Both are known for growing at an average rate but can reach heights of 30 to 70 feet. Together, these two trees add a unique texture, color, and appearance flare with the curling bark of the River Birch that exposes a stark white trunk and an almost tropical appearance from the Pawpaw’s burgundy flower.

One of the most extraordinary ornamental trees, or flowering trees, of southwest Missouri, is the flowering Dogwood, known for growing to heights of 20 feet.

Looking for Additional Native Options

Contact the team at Ground Up Services today if you are interested in other colorful varieties but have trouble finding the best-suited tree, shrub, or plant for that special place in your yard. With over 15 years of experience as a locally owned business, they’re an excellent source for all your landscaping and lawn care needs.

From the team at Ground Up Services, you gain a full-service landscaper that can help you with your lawn care and source locally for all your trees, shrubs, and plants. In addition, they offer drainage solutions to homeowners and business owners experiencing difficulty with standing or pooling water.

Contact the team at Ground Up Services today to schedule your first service, or call (417) 439-1009.