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Plant Selection
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  1. Plant Selection Landscaping Chapter 7

  2. Objectives • Describe the origins and forms of the plant used in landscapes • Explain plant nomenclature • Describe the factors relevant to proper plant selection

  3. Origins of Landscape Plants • Native Plants • Evolved naturally within a certain geographic location over a long period of time. • Ex: Eastern White Pine, Douglas Fir • Exotic Plants • Introduced into an area by some means other than nature. • Ex: Junipers and Yews are native to China and Japan • Naturalized Plants • Entered the country as exotics but have adapted so well that they have escaped cultivation and are often mistaken for native plants • Ex: Bird of Paradise is a plant native to South America but grows like a native plant in the desert of the SW US.

  4. Plant forms available • Woody plants • Trees, shrubs, vines, many ground covers • May be broken down further into coiferous and flowering • Herbaceous • Vines, grasses, nearly all plants used to create floral displays (flowers)

  5. How Landscape plants are sold • Bare rooted • Balled and burlapped • containerized

  6. Bare rooted plants • Dug from the nursery field and then had the soil washed away from the roots • To prevent drying the roots may be wrapped in damp moss and inserted into a plastic bag or dipped in wax • Plants sold in bare-rooted form are usually deciduous species that are small and dormant at the time of harvest

  7. Bare Rooted plants Advantages Disadvantages Harvesting techniques reduce the root system and slows new growth Transplanting season is limited to early spring and late fall • Light weight • Least expensive

  8. Balled & Burlapped (B & B) • Dug at the nursery with a ball of soil intact around the root system • Ball size is determined by plant size and standards established by The American Nursery and Landscape Association • Once the root ball is dug it is wrapped in burlap and tied or pinned to prevent the soil ball from breaking apart • Another harvest trend is to replace or supplement the burlap with a wire basket around the root ball • Essential for the successful transplant of all types of evergreens and large deciduous wood plants

  9. Balled & Burlaped Advantages Disadvantages Added weight makes handling difficult More costly • Less disturbance to the root system • Allows a longer season for transplanting • Allows large plants to be moved and installed

  10. Containerized • Plants are grown and sold in containers such as metal cans, plastic buckets, bushel baskets, plastic bags and wooden boxes • No loss of roots because they are grown in the container they are sold in • Transplant easily with little to no transplant shock and no loss of growth time • Young plants—3 to 4 years old or less • Can be installed at almost any time of year

  11. Containerized Advantages Disadvantages Large plants seldom available Plants become rootbound if in container too long • Usually small and easy to handle • Entire root system is intact. No harvest injuries to impede transplanting success • Few restrictions on time of transplant

  12. Herbaceous Plants • May be started from seeds • Bedding plants • bulbs

  13. Plant nomenclature (X) • Common name- the name the plant is know by within a country or region of a country • Botanical name- name that is used and recognized internationally • Expressed in Latin • Assigned to the plant by a taxonomist • Important for landscapers to know both the common and botanical names of plants

  14. Selecting the proper plant • Plants need to be selected for more reasons than sentimentality, easy availability, low price or trendiness.

  15. Selection factors • Role • Hardiness Heat zone • Physical • Cultural Factors

  16. Role factors • What function will it serve in the landscape? • Architectural element • Engineering element • Climate control • Aesthetic • See fig 7-6 p. 103

  17. Hardiness factor • Will it survive the winter? • Most reliable measurment of a plants potential for survival is its hardiness rating • USDA prepares and periodically updates a Hardiness Zone Map • fig 7-10

  18. Heat Zone Considerations • Not as well studied • Mid 90’s the American Horticultural Society tracked the number of days various regions of the US experienced tempertures over 86˚F • This is called a heat day • AHS developed a map similar to the one put out by USDA only for heat • To view a copy of a heat map go to

  19. Physical factors • Mature size and rate of growth • Density of the canopy with and without leaves • Branching habit • Thorns • Shape or silhouette • Leaf size and thickness • Leaf pubescence • Type of root system • Flowering characteristics • Seasonal variation

  20. Cultural factors • The requirements for the growth and maintenance of plantings

  21. Summary • Landscape plants can either be native, exotic or naturalized • Several types and forms available for use • Plants are sold bare rooted, balled and burlaped or containerized • Flowers also come in a variety of forms • Important to know both the common and botanical names of plants • Plants should be selected based upon 4 factors- role, hardiness/heat zone, cultural and physical

  22. Assignment • Achievement Review parts A, B, C, E • 35 points • Due on Thursday