Deciduous plants are ones which shed their leaves in late summer or autumn, and does not regrow new leaves until after winter. Deciduous often refers to woody plants, but many herbaceous plants and perennials are also classified as deciduous. In moderate climates, such as those in the Chesapeake Bay region, a wide biodiversity of deciduous plants exist and are excellent sources of water filtration from spring to autumn. Many deciduous species have extensive root systems and are critical to preventing stream bank erosion.
Deciduous trees are excellent plants for residential landscapes. In addition to water quality benefits, there is extensive research showing how large shade trees dramatically reduce cooling costs for homeowners. Deciduous trees shade homes in the summer when its hot, and- because the leaves fall off in autumn, let warm sunlight in during the winter.