Spring is the time most of us think about relandscaping or starting from scratch. I will try to share with you some of my mistakes and some successes. The more I garden, the more I believe it is important to have more than just one season of interest in our landscaping materials.
I am not a fan of Winged Euonymous even though it turns a beautiful red in the fall. It seems to be a favorite of landscapers but is susceptible to scale which can kill most of the bush before it's noticed. A better choice would be Cranberry Virburnum (trilobum'Bailey') which has interesting shaped leaves and is a brilliant red in the fall. I have learned to stay away from Spiria because of the care they take in pruning and clearing out all of the dead wood they seem to have each year. However, Goldflame Spiria (pink flowers in summer) is a more carefree one and is a beautiful color for three seasons.
I still see many Purple Plums planted in our area, but it is not recommended by the Morton Arboretum, very disease prone. A spectacular multi-stemmed tree is the Redbud (cercis canadensis). It is really a four season specimen heart shaped leaved and magenta flowers, large green leaves all summer, stunning yellow in the fall and a pleasing vase shape all winter. It is considered an understory tree or shrub (meaning it does well planted under large trees or closer to the underhang of the house). There is a tree form of the Redbud also, but it is not as pleasing of a shape as the multi-stemmed variety.
The White Birch is also prone to disease, so take a look at the River Birch, will take a moist area, and looks beautiful in the fall.