Oakleaf Hydrangeas are a multi-season plant for your landscape. The older versions are 6'-8' tall and wide, but there are newer introductions that are smaller. In addition to spectacular blooms, they have fall color and a corky exfoliating bark in winter. Their large, course, oak shaped leaves in a tall plant are a good texture variation in the garden.
Blooming on old wood, the last two winters in Chicago winters have taken their toll on blooms and fall color. In 2013, the plants died back to the ground, so while the plants survived, no flowers bloomed. Generally, the flowers should be removed after flowering and should not be pruned in late fall or spring to avoid removing next year's flower buds. If the location becomes too shady, the plants may fail to bloom and fall color will be less spectacular.