MANKATO, Minn. — When selecting trees and shrubs for your landscape, always plant a variety of species to help protect against invasive insect pests or disease pathogens infesting and damaging your plantings. Properly selected and placed trees and shrubs in the landscape can offer multiple benefits to both urban and rural areas. These benefits include producing edible fruit or nuts, saving energy (heating and cooling), protection from the wind or snow, increase property value, protect soil and water resources, increase wildlife habitat, provide living screens and beautify the land.
Arbor Day is celebrated every year on the last Friday in April, and May is Arbor Month. (www.arborday.org/) The University of Minnesota Extension offers resources to help you decide what kind of trees to plant in your region, http://z.umn.edu/rectrees. Minnesota residents must consider planting shade trees other than ash, since emerald ash borer (EAB) was found in the state in 2009. Visit Extension’s emerald ash borer website at https://extension.umn.edu/tree-and-shrub-insects/emerald-ash-borers to learn more about EAB and alternative shade trees.
Shade tree species to consider in rural or urban areas include ginkgo, hackberry, American linden or basswood, sugar maple (Fall Fiesta), Freeman maple (Sienna Glen), red maple (Northwood), and Dutch Elm Disease – resistant elms (Discovery, Accolade, St. Croix). Residents can plant trees that produce nuts and pods to add diversity, but they need to consider debris or maintenance in these areas. Trees that produce nuts include Ohio buckeye (Autumn Splendor), shagbark hickory, bur oak, white oak, bicolor or swamp white oak, and black walnut (can inhibit some plants from growing near it). Trees that produce pods are northern catalpa, Kentucky coffeetree (podless cultivar Stately Manor), and honey locust (pod less cultivars are Northern Acclaim, Shademaster and Sunburst). Before planting, call Gopher State One Call at: 800-252-1166 to identify underground utilities.
Other helpful web sites include:
Recommended trees and the climatic adaptive trees are available at trees.umn.edu
(Then Learn More…Educational Resources…Fact Sheets)
Recommended trees and plants (MnDOT) https://plantp.dot.state.mn.us/plant/
Tree planting and care (MN DNR) www.dnr.state.mn.us/treecare/index.html
What’s wrong with my plant, diagnostic website http://z.umn.edu/diagnose
(Links to the UM Plant Disease Clinic and Soil Testing Lab)
For local assistance with tree and shrub selections contact garden and tree nurseries, certified arborists, Tree Care Advisors (http://www.mntca.umn.edu/tree-care-advisor), Master Gardeners (http://z.umn.edu/mnmg) and Extension offices. Soil and Water Conservation District offices in each county sometimes offer cost share programs for conservation plantings and may sell conservation trees and shrubs, (www.maswcd.org/, click on SWCD Directory)
Remember landscape diversity by planting several different species of trees, shrubs and plants. No one species should represent more than 15 percent of your landscape. Make it a family activity to plant trees or shrubs this year. You can pass on the benefits of trees when you explain them to your children.
— Gary J. Wyatt, Extension Educator in Agroforestry with the University of Minnesota Extension
Gary R. Johnson, Professor in Urban Forestry with the University of Minnesota
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