The states that are considered part of the vast Northeast region of the United States include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, the District of Columbia and West Virginia. As the Northeast expanse ranges in temperature zones from 2 to 7 of the USDA Hardiness Zone Map, there is quite a variance in which landscape plants will be hardy and thrive from zone to zone. What consolidates these states into a region is the fact that they all undergo mild to harsh winter weather conditions, from Kentucky's gentle winters, to Ohio and Michigan's blizzards to New England's ice storms and nor'easters.
Winters such as these call for hardy plant varieties. Choose trees and shrubs that are evergreen and/or provide some degree of landscape decor even after sloughing off their leaves. Evergreens and conifers that come in many shapes and shades are staples for the northeastern landscaper. In addition to these staples, you may want to incorporate ornamental shrubs into your landscape to add color, texture and natural stimulus during the winter. Tall shrubs are a better bet as low growers become buried in the snow. Shrubs that shoot off bright berries and attract lingering birds are great for northeastern landscapes because they also trap delicate icicles caught mid drip. Winterberry holly shrubs are deciduous (lose their leaves) and sexed--be sure to purchase groupings with male and female shrubs whose union will beget eye-catching crimson berries. Your landscaper can help you identify Winterberry holly sexes. The Japanese Barberry is a second astute landscaping choice for the Northeast as it displays color in all seasons. Yellow blossoms in the spring surrender to red berries in the autumn when the foliage begins to turn orange, red and maroon. Northeast winter landscapes do not have to be dull or lifeless with the help of a competent landscaper who knows his plant hardiness.