Nature’s Canopy: Discover the 12 Best Trees to Plant in Upstate New York

Living in New York with beautiful plants you can have in the backyard might be one of your dreams. Usually, New York residence areas are covered with various houses that have spacious yards in front of the house or the backyard. If you just moved to New York and want to decorate your garden with green and fresh ones, you better take a look these best trees to plant in Upstate New York

Furthermore, you can choose whether the evergreen trees, shrubs, or fruit trees you want to establish. It is not only pretty to look at, but also can give you privacy and add the accent for your house.

BEST Trees to Plant In Upstate New York

As the gentle breezes of Upstate New York sway through the seasons, a tapestry of trees unfurls, each telling a unique story. From the rustic charm of the countryside to the heartbeat of the city parks, these trees stand as silent witnesses to the passage of time. In this guide, we embark on a journey to uncover the best companions for your landscape canvas.

Discover the trees that will stand tall against the winters and dance with the summer sun, creating a harmonious sanctuary of shade, beauty, and life. Join us in exploring the vibrant palette of possibilities that Upstate New York’s soil and climate have to offer.

1. Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer Freemanii)

best trees to plant in upstate new York
Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer Freemanii)

For adding the shade inside your garden, this one is a great option. Since autumn blaze maple is stunning, particularly during fall, you can create a colorful and warm ambience in the yard. The tree can grow fast as long as the soil is well draining. The drought tolerant plant like this can adapt to the environment with ease as well.

2. Northern Red Oak (Quercus Rubra)

best trees to plant in upstate new York
Northern Red Oak Tree (Quercus Rubra)

The fast growing one is ready to be yours with its drought tolerance capability while you only have well-drained soil for planting The Northern Red Oak. This becomes the fast one since it can grow more than two feet each year for 10 years. So, you can imagine how big this one can be when it reaches a perfect maturity.

As the fall comes, you can enjoy the view with its stunning yellowish foliage. The fall season becomes warmer and festive by having the tree in your yard.

3. Red Barron Crabapple (Malus ‘Red Baron‘)

best trees to plant in upstate new York
Red Barron Crabapple (Malus ‘Red Baron’)

Isn’t it lovely to have a fruit tree that can be used as a shade tree as well. Moreover, the appearance or look of the flora is adorable to see. As you have Red Barron Crabapple, there will be deep red flowers during spring and followed by the deep red fruit when the fall comes.

The fruit trees are quite friendly to other plants, hence you can have other shrubs in your garden in order to create a beautiful view outside. Since the beauty of this flora cannot be denied, you also have to pay more attention and take an extra effort to avoid the disease that can come by. So, better to schedule for gardening or ask the gardeners to look after your lovely tree.

4. Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja Occidentalis ‘Smaragd’)

best trees to plant in upstate new York
Emerald Green Arborvitae (Thuja Occidentalis ‘Smaragd’)

For small or narrow spaces, you can have this Smaragd or Emerald Green Arborvitae as the screens in front of your house. The glossy green evergreen has a sleek pyramid shape that is perfect for adding privacy for your property as well. This one will cover the small space since its density is high and almost no supervision when you establish it.

You can enjoy the private life in your own home after this one is yours, particularly the tree is fast growing too. It is such a perfect accent for the New York landscape.

5. Leyland Cypress (Cupressus x Leylandii)

best trees to plant in upstate new York
Leyland Cypress (Cupressus x Leylandii)

If you are looking for a windbreaker in your garden, catch this one for your garden since the dense barrier works to hold the wind. Besides its benefit when you establish this one, the Leyland Cypress is quite popular in New York for a landscape plant in the residence area or even your backyard.

Despite the strength to hold the wind, this one is tough as well since the trees tolerate the wide variety of soil and any seasons. As the tree has already reached full maturity, you can use it as a Christmas tree too!

6. Spartan Juniper (Juniperus Chinensis ‘Spartan’)

best trees to plant in upstate new York
Spartan Juniper (Juniperus Chinensis ‘Spartan’)

The shrubs that will make your neighbors envy since the shape is very sleek and attractive. This one is drought tolerant and requires low maintenance. These evergreen are versatile since it can be a landscape for your garden or yard behind your house.

Also, if you have a narrow or small space, then this one is a great choice to add the new plants. It can thrive in drought conditions as well so that no more worries about the heat temperature that comes in New York.

7. Hedge Maple (Acer Campestre)

best trees to plant in upstate new York
Hedge Maple (Acer Campestre)

This maple is more sturdy and tougher than other maple tree since it can tolerate the air pollution or pests that may come in upstate NY. It is disease resistant as well, so you don’t have to worry much when planting this one in your backyard.

When fall comes, the rounded leaves will turn from yellow to golden, although the yellow is not that bright. Furthermore, the soil conditions for this tree is well drained soil. This one is suitable for the new trees in New York State.

8. Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia Glyptostroboides)

Dawn Redwood Trees
Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia Glyptostroboides)

Not all people know that Dawn Redwood is one of the ancient trees that became the silent witness of dinosaurs on earth. Although this one is ancient, the appearance still matches for the modern landscaping in upstate NY. The beautiful fall foliage became one reason why this tree is popular among the gardeners.

When in summer and spring, the bright green leaves and feathery textures will beautify your yard and can be seen clearly from your house. The tree loves full sun exposure and well drained soil. Moreover, this one is fast growing, so no regret to fill your yard with these kinds of plants.

9. Honeycrisp Apple Tree

Honeycrisp Apple Tree
Honeycrisp Apple Tree

Growing apple trees in upstate New York has become popular and common. Because it is not only useful for your yard with its green view, but also you can enjoy the red apple once the fruits can be harvested directly from your backyard.

The Honeycrisp Apple Tree can be placed under the sunlight since it can avoid the tree from the disease and kill fungi and bacteria. Although it takes quite long to ripe the fruit, once the fruits are ripe, you will feel how delightful it is to plant the apple trees.

10. Franklin Tree (Franklinia Alatamaha)

Franklin Tree (Franklinia Alatamaha)
Franklin Tree (Franklinia Alatamaha)

The flowering trees that will brighten your yard are various, but you can choose the Franklin Tree here. The pure white petals and yellow flower pistil is going to be your favorite spot to see. It is pretty uncommon and rare to find, although the tree that produces stunning flowers like this belongs to the wild flora.

This plant is firstly known and found in 1765 along the river banks of Georgia’s Altamaha by John Bartram and his son William. Although they found the trees, they did not name it by their name, but their friend, Benjamin Franklin and the river name where they found it. If you find it on the flora store or tree store, the price might be increasing and expensive, but the stunning flower cannot be denied.

11. ‘Randy’ Magnolia

'Randy' Magnolia
‘Randy’ Magnolia

Although the size is small, it is still the favorite of trees to plant by New York gardeners. The reddish purple and pink to white foliage becomes the best plant to beautify your yard and best to enjoy while you relax on the weekend. This shrub is a slow growing one, that’s why the height of this tree is 10-15 feet tall. It is suitable when your backyard is not that spacious.

If you fall in love with Magnolia Randy to plant in Upstate NY, then place it in a full sun or light shade. Since this one can thrive in poor drainage, then heavy clay soils or dry areas will be no problem for this tree.

12. Hybrid Poplar Tree (Populus)

Hybrid Poplar Trees ( (Populus))
Hybrid Poplar Trees (Populus)

It is like a pine tree or Christmas tree if you have Hybrid Poplar trees in your backyard. For a spacious backyard, you can plant two trees to create a shade and green view. This one is fast growing, moreover it can grow up to 8 feet a year! So, you better trim it regularly to keep its shape.

Instead of hard to take care of, this one is tough and sturdy. It can thrive in poor soil, windbreaks, and disease. For the pest, it is pest resistant as well. So, you don’t have to worry about the issues that usually happen for the plants.

Final Thought

In the tapestry of upstate New York, these trees are not just leaves and branches; they’re storytellers of seasons, guardians of tranquility, and companions for life. As you plant these roots, remember that you’re not just shaping landscapes, but weaving memories for generations to come. The rustle of leaves in the wind, the dappling shade on a summer day – these trees offer more than aesthetics; they offer experiences.

So, embrace the role of a planter, a caretaker, a dreamer. With each tree, you’re gifting the future a piece of your heart, a breath of fresh air, and a haven for life to flourish.

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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What trees grow the fastest in New York?

Fastest tree growth ever is Hybrid Poplar. A fast-growing tree that grows at a rate of up to a foot annually. Leyland Cypress, Dawn Redwood and Maple have a high speed to grow as well. So, you can choose whether the fast one or slow one, it depends on your preference.

What kind of fruit trees grow in upstate NY?

New York tree fruit crops include apples and plums and peaches and apricots. Apples represent 79% of a total farmland and peaches and sour cherries represent about 3.5%. New York ranked third in apple manufacturing behind Washington State. Hence, you can get Honeycrisp Apple Tree or Red Barron Crabapple.

What trees grow best in upstate NY?

When choosing a good tree for your small backyard there are several factors to take into account. Some of the finest trees in small gardens included in this list. Maple can be one of the best trees in upstate New York, since it can grow fast. A sanatorium in the midst of winter. Apple Grove Honey Crispers will be the great choice if you consider fruit trees to plant. 

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