A list of tree varieties

Emerald Ash Borer will eventually show up in our area. While many of us have a love affair with ash trees (after all, they are beautiful trees!) we need to start thinking about growing other varieties of trees for our groves and yards. While we mostly think of spring as the best time to plant trees and perennials, fall time is a very good choice too. The heat of summer has passed which means less stress for those plants we are trying to get growing in our gardens.

The U of M Extension staff has recently put together a few good choices for gardeners to choose from that work well in our growing environment. There are many, many different varieties of trees to choose from so if you don’t see your favorite listed here, don’t worry. These are just the tip of the iceberg!

If you want a somewhat unusual tree, try a Tamarack. This is unusual because it is a deciduous conifer and it loses its needles in the winter time. You may wonder if the tree is dying at first if you don’t remember that this is part of their natural lifecycle. Another tree that is somewhat unusual is the corktree. If you chose this tree make sure to get a male plant and not a female because it is on the watch list for the potential to become invasive.

There are a couple of trees that are actually in the legume family (other examples of legumes are soybean plants). The Kentucky Coffeetree is a very tough plant but is a very large plant, growing to upwards of 70 feet tall and a canopy spread of almost 35 feet. Another choice that is also in the legume family is the Northern Acclaim thornless honeylocust. In the past other honeylocust trees were not a favorite mostly because they were so thorny. This is not the case for this tree.

Believe it or not, we actually have Dutch Elm Disease resistant elm trees that we can now purchase. Caution should be taken that no more than 5% of any total tree population be elm trees and that they should never be planted closer than 60 feet from each other. So growing these will also include making sure you know what your neighbors are growing if you are living within city limits. The two Asiatic cultivars are called Accolade and Triumph. These two have the best Dutch Elm Disease resistance which means there is always a potential that they could possibly get the disease but maybe worth a try.

There are several maples which we all know grow pretty well in Minnesota and in our area. First Editions Matador maple which has some similarities to Autumn Blaze but has color later and the color last longer. Silver Queen silver maple is another choice and yes, some think that silver maples are nearly a weed. This one doesn’t get as big as some of the silver maples currently growing in our area but it is still a big tree.

A recent show stopper tree is the Hackberry. We need to watch that we are not replacing all of our Ash trees with this tree. Hackberry trees can be grown just about anywhere but again, they are a large tree. They have some fine gold coloring in the fall and provide berries for birds to consume. The bark of this tree is very interesting too.

And finally, but not least, you can try your hand at growing Heritage River Birch, Majestic Skies Northern pin oak, Northern Catapala (another interesting tree), Dakota Pinnacle Asian white birch (developed by NDSU), Cottonwood trees (you can purchase seedless varieties and this is the favorite nesting tree of bald eagles) Shagbark hickory (a native of Minnesota and good planting for wildlife), Serviceberry (which can be often called by other names) and last but not least, Concolor fir and White pine. These are excellent choices for any yard and grove. It is important to make sure to understand what size of tree will best fit into your space and start from there. For more information on choosing trees for your space, go to https://blog-yard-garden-news.extension.umn.edu/2019/09/recommended-trees-for-minnesota.html

For more information on gardening, you can reach me at s.dejaeghere@me.com


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