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What’s a better feeling than laying under a shade tree while enjoying a cool Missouri summer breeze in your backyard? Of course, this is so much fun. Moreover, you can also have a picnic under these trees while chatting with family and friends. And for these reasons, we provide you with a list of the best tree to plant in Missouri that you will find fascinating!
Not only do they provide shade to the garden or landscape they grow, but some are flowering trees whose blooms are too beautiful to resist. There are also some of them whose leaves turn golden yellow to red when autumn arrives, giving a touch of autumn color you will never get bored of.
If you are interested in having one in your yard, you better look at our collection of the best trees to plant in Missouri before you regret it. Let’s jump into it!
1. American Elm
Elm trees are tree species that are commonly found in Missouri. One of these species is the American Elm or Ulmus americana. This large, vase-shaped tree can grow up to 80 feet tall, providing you with shade. It also has dark green leaves, which will turn into a wide array of fall colors when the season comes.
Considering its structural and architectural form, American Elm is ideal for street trees. It was, in fact, the most well-known one in the 1900s before the Dutch Elm Disease infected. However, if you want to plant this fast-growing tree, prepare a spot with full sun exposure or partial shade.
In addition, it also requires fertile, moist, sandy, limestone-based, or clay soils.
2. Black Walnut
As its name suggests, Black Walnut or Juglans nigra has a black bark color. The color does not occur when they are mature but since they are young plants. It bears broad leaves with toothed edges. Hence, you need to be aware of them if you do not want to get hurt.
Besides the dark bark, this large tree is also famous for its edible plum-like fruits, which have a sweet taste, thus a great addition to your ice cream or cakes. Similar to the previous tree, Black Walnut loves full sun. Therefore, you must provide an area where it can get at least 6-8 hours of sun exposure per day.
It also needs fertile, moist, well-drained soil to thrive.
3. Bur Oak Tree
Quercus macrocarpa or Bur Oak Tree is a deciduous tree with a large and wide crown whose height can reach up to 100 feet. Thanks to its strong trunks, it can support the horizontal, massive bark. The leaves are yellowish-green and about 9 inches long.
Moreover, this tough tree also produces the most giant acorns compared to its fellow oak species.
Regarding its growing requirements, this tree is not picky about the lighting levels as it favors full sun but copes well with partial shade and shade locations. They also tolerate various soil types and conditions as long as they have a pH of around 6.8. Moreover, it withstands drought and limey soils better than other oaks.
Hence, we include this tree in our list of the best trees to plant in Missouri.
4. Eastern Red Cedar
For those who prefer slow-growing trees to fast-growing ones, you can try planting Eastern Red Cedar. It is one of Missouri’s native trees that offer dense dark green foliage that grows up to 50 feet. Bentuknya mirip pohon cemara tetapi dengan crown yang lebih lebar.
Plus, it is also drought, heat, and cold tolerant you can always rely on to create a privacy screen for your home.
To grow them in the Missouri landscape, you must set aside a full sun or partial shade location as they do not tolerate total shade. Other than that, it prefers deep, moist, but well-drained soil with a pH of 4.7 to 7.8 to perform best.
Regarding the soil type, choose the alluvial one.
5. Eastern Redbud
It is the best tree to plant in Missouri as it grows stunning pink flowers, covering up the brown stems. Besides offering a breathtaking view, the flowers from Eastern Redbud are edible, adding a unique characteristic to the tree. They are usually processed into salad pickles because of their sour taste.
Meanwhile, for birds, the flowers are filling heaven with nectar.
If you are interested in planting it in your front or backyard, choose a part shade or shady place. Then, make sure the soil is fertile, moist, well-drained, and moderately alkaline. Once established, you only need low to medium watering.
6. Eastern White Pine
When talking about the best tree to plant in Missouri, it is impossible not to include the Eastern White Pine tree or Pinus strobus. It can grow a 50 to 80 feet tall straight trunk with 100 to 180 cm in diameter, a huge tree to cover the land from the sun. The young tree has needle-like foliage that forms a pyramidal shape and turns into a conical crown that is a bit rounded to flatten with horizontal and ascending branches as it ages.
Furthermore, this medium-size conifer grows naturally in dry, rocky, and sandy soil types under full sun. Nonetheless, it performs best in moist, well-drained soil and cool, humid climates. Despite being frost-hardy and moderately drought-tolerant, this fast-growing evergreen tree is intolerant to many pollutants, such as salts and sulfur dioxide.
7. Flowering Dogwood
While other native plants grow as flowering perennials or shrubs, Cornus Florida or Flowering Dogwood is a beautiful flowering tree. It showcases its beauty as the best flowering tree to plant in Missouri. Depending on its cultivar, it features stunning pink or white flowers that fill the stems in spring to early summer.
Moreover, the aromatic bark and root of Flowering Dogwood are a natural remedy against malaria used by native Americans. Suppose you are interested in growing this shade-loving tree because of these advantages. In that case, you can prepare a space whose soils are rich, well-drained, and acidic.
It does not need much watering, making the native tree easier to care for.
8. Paper Birch
True to its name, Paper Birch or Betula papyrifera features white bark that peels off like paper. Initially, the branches covered with leaves form a pyramid but turn into a rounded crown as the tree matures. Additionally, its green leaves will turn yellow when autumn welcomes.
Unlike Gray Birch, it favors cool, fertile, and moist soils to thrive because the conditions resemble its natural habitats. Nonetheless, the perennial tree tolerates sun, shade, and partial shade lighting levels, thus, allowing you to consider a wider optional area to plant.
Moreover, you must pay attention to the planting requirements since it is susceptible to some insects and diseases under unfavorable growing conditions.
9. Pin Oak
As strong as it looks, Quercus palustris or Pin Oak can be an ultimate choice as shade trees. It is a strong pyramidal tree whose trunks grow straight with horizontal branches as it develops. The leaves are green which will turn dark red when autumn comes and will last to the winter.
Unlike other gnarled oak trees, Pin Oaks tend to gracefully grow slender.
Being one of the easiest and fastest-growing oaks, Quercus palustris does not need any specific requirements to grow. It can grow in partial shade and shade, yet is a sun-loving species. It also does great in moist, wet, poorly drained, acidic soil since Pin Oak is intolerant to alkaline pH. Because of this quality, you can grow in your waterlogged yard without worrying about root rot.
10. Quaking Aspen
Populus tremuloides or Quaking Aspen is the best tree to plant in Missouri considering its fast growth. The medium-sized tree has a pyramidal growing habit with a rounded crown full of dazzling dark green leaves that will later turn golden yellow in the fall.
Considering its size and beauty, Quaking Aspen is widely planted as ornamental trees. This sun-loving tree best performs in fertile, humusy, moist but well-drained soils. Since it has a robust root system and can grow up to 20-50 feet tall, it is not recommended to plant this tree near the building because it can damage the building structure and polluter the roof tiles with fallen leaves.
11. Silver Maple
This maple tree can be a great option to provide shade to your landscape. It is a medium-sized ornamental tree that produces attractive summer green foliage while stunning soft yellow shades slowly appear in the fall. Thanks to these features, Silver Maple is among the best trees to plant in Missouri to give you a breathtaking landscape.
Furthermore, Silver Maple can grow under the sun, in partial shade, and in shady areas on rich, wet to moist, and slightly acidic soils. Knowing it loves moisture, regular watering is suggested.
Despite being so eye-catching, it is not recommended to be planted near sidewalks because the vigorous roots can damage the paving.
12. Sugar Maple
We believe you are familiar with maple syrup. Maple syrups are made of sap from the sugar maple tree which contains about 1-5% sugar content. The hallmark of these trees is their three to five-lobed leaves that grow thickly to form a broad crown. In addition, the leaves will turn golden to scarlet in autumn, offering a stunning view of the Missouri landscape.
Despite tolerating moderate drought, you must provide deep, moist, well-drained loamy soil to make these maples grow happily. Since it loves moisture, watering them around 5 gallons per week is necessary. Meanwhile, the site must have total sun exposure to achieve the best growth.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Question)
What tree grows the fastest in Missouri?
Nuttall Oak is the fastest-growing oak tree in Missouri, growing for 24 inches per year and can reach its maximum height of 60 feet tall with 50 widths when mature. In addition, it takes around 20 years to produce acorns.
When should I plant trees in Missouri?
The best time to plant trees in Missouri is in early spring when the ground starts to melt. You can also try to grow Missouri trees in June since the soil gets warmer as temperatures rise in summer.
But make sure you pay attention to their water requirement as hot weather can lead to excessive evaporation from the soil.
How fast do cedar trees grow in Missouri?
Cedar trees grow on average around 12-24 inches. But, some fast-growing varieties can grow up to 25 inches per year.
What is the fastest-growing tree for privacy?
Hybrid Poplar Trees are the fastest-growing and the best trees to create privacy in your home. It can grow for approximately 6 to 8 inches per year.
Other fast-growing trees for privacy you can choose are Silver Maple, Leyland Cypress, and Green Giant Arborvitae.
What are the 5 most common tree species in Missouri forests?
Although there are numerous tree species that can grow in Missouri, Pine (Pinaceae), Maple (Aceraceae), Willow (Salicaceae), Beech (Fagaceae), and Walnut (Juglandaceae).
What kind of cedar trees grow in Missouri?
Eastern Red Cedar or Juniperus virginiana is a native tree to Missouri and commonly grown in the state. It is a hardy tree that has a high tolerance to heat, drought, and cold.
Considering its tall-growing behavior with dense foliage, Eastern Red Cedar is often planted as privacy trees.