Adding trees to your Minnesota property is a careful balance of personal preference and climate requirements. You do not need to search high and low for the best trees to plant in Minnesota as we’ve curated a list of the top trees to choose for enhancing your landscape.
Northern White Cedar
If you want a genuine Minnesotan species added to your property, the northern white cedar is native to the Twin Cities area. The oldest tree in Minnesota is a white cedar that is said to be over 1,000 years old. Despite its name, the northern white cedar is a type of cypress. This tree is an excellent choice if you have cool and moist soil but avoid this tree if deer frequently visit your property.
The ginkgo is a popular tree introduced from China hundreds of years ago. They are a popular option due to their tolerance to harsh conditions, as well as insects and disease. Be careful with female trees because their fruit has a foul odor.
Another native Minnesota tree, the bur oak, is a variety of savannah trees. Although it grows slowly, it lives for many years. You can plant a Bur Oak in full sun, plus it is resistant to extreme heat. In the fall, you will notice that it sheds fringed acorns. These acorns lead to the colloquial name ‘Mossycup Oak.’
The river birch is the ideal tree for your landscape if you do not have the best soil makeup. It can tolerate poorly-drained soil but is very easygoing in other aspects such as being tolerant of heat and full sun. River birches are available in many different shapes with single trunks and clumps. You can find one to match the aesthetic of your property.
Eastern Red Cedar
The eastern red cedar is a native tree to southeast Minnesota. They will thrive on properties that have well-drained soil and plenty of sunshine. The roots of this tree spread far, so do not plant them near gardens, in small spaces, or near your home’s foundation.
For anyone who enjoys beautiful fall colors, red maples provide picturesque views. They can adapt to almost any soil type but avoid interaction with salt from roadways in the winter and they do not tolerate salt.
Serviceberry trees are a favorite ornamental option in Minnesota because they can be multi-use since they come in both shrub and tree form. If you need something for a border or a group they are a great option. Typical growth is between 8 feet and 45 feet, depending on the cultivar. Unlike red maples, serviceberry trees are very tolerant of salt, which means you can plant them by roads or parking lots that get treated in the winter.
The Scots pine, originally from Europe, provides an iconic color combination of evergreen needles with bright orange bark. You might recognize the Scots pine as a popular choice for Christmas trees. This conifer tree is hardy and works well for shade trees or windbreaks. Do not install on poorly-drained sites.
The white fir is not a tree that will drop fruit, leaves, or other debris around your property. These relatively low-maintenance trees can handle heat and drought conditions and are a reliable alternative to disease-prone blue spruces. Choose a big space on your property because white firs can grow up to 50 feet tall and 25 feet wide.