Last month we shared our recommended trees and plant lists for rewilding your backyard woods in East Central Minnesota (also known as the Anoka Sand Plains, Big Woods, and St. Paul-Baldwin Plains and Moraines subsections).
Today we’re sharing tree and plant lists for the Chippewa Plains and Pine Moraine-Outwash Plains ecoregion— area 3 on the map.
As a reminder, all of the trees in our recommendation lists are: 1) native to Minnesota or nearby in the Eastern Deciduous Forest, 2) climate resilient, and 3) beneficial to the little creatures that are the base of the ecosystem.
Forests in transition
You may be surprised at some of the recommended tree species. You may ask why are our native pines and quaking aspen not on this list, yet we’re recommending shagbark hickory. Aren’t pines and aspen very common to the landscape in this region?
These recommendations, which may be unsettling at first glance, fall into the larger conversation on climate adaptation. Climate adaptation practices can look very different depending on the goals and objectives of the landowner and manager. Climate adaptation practices fall on a spectrum of three approaches and differ based on the desired future conditions of the forest: Resistance, Resilience, and Transition.
We’ll expand more on each of these concepts in an upcoming article. These recommended tree and plant lists fall under Transition, in which assisted migration is one of many management tools that we use to create healthy future forests that will thrive in the future climate.
Assisted migration involves moving species that are predicted to perform well in a future climate to new locations based on their predicted future range. Assisted migration is only one of many climate adaptations that natural resource managers can use to manage forests for long-term health and productivity under a changing climate.
We highly recommend working with a natural resource professional to determine if assisted migration is the best option for your land and your goals.
Luckily, you have more flexibility to experiment with planting trees in your backyard woods compared to people with larger acreages. You can dedicate extra care to the assisted migration species you plant in your backyard woods, monitor how well they perform during our cold winters and stormy summers, and manage those trees appropriately. (The USDA Forest Service has this helpful article if you want to learn more about assisted migration.)
One last reminder: If you have a woodlot between 1-20 acres, want to rewild your backyard woodland, and live in area 3 on the map, these tree and plant lists are for you. If you don’t live in this area or have more acreage, stay tuned for future lists for the rest of the state and for woodlands larger than 20 acres.
|Common name||Scientific name||Height||Width||Soil requirements||Light requirements|
|Basswood||Tilia americana||90'||50'||Adaptable, Prefers evenly-moist, Tolerates dry, Tolerates sandy soil||Full sun|
|Black oak||Quercus velutina||60'||50'||Prefers droughty soil||Full sun|
|Black walnut||Juglans nigra||60'||75'||Prefers evenly-moist||Full sun|
|Bur oak||Quercus macrocarpa||75'||80'||Adaptable||Full sun|
|Chokecherry||Prunus virginiana||25'||20'||Adaptable||Full sun|
|Eastern hemlock||Tsuga canadensis||40'||25'||Prefers well-drained||Full sun|
|Honeylocust||Gleditsia triacanthos||60'||50'||Adaptable, Prefers evenly-moist, Tolerates alkaline, Tolerates dry, Tolerates sandy soil||Full sun|
|Ironwood (hophornbeam)||Ostrya virginiana||65'||25'||Prefers well-drained, Tolerate alkaline, Tolerates dry||Part sun|
|Juneberry (serviceberry)||Amelanchier spp.||30'||15'||clay, does well in medium to course texture||part shade, sun|
|Mockernut hickory||Carya tomentosa||85'||60'||Good drainage, moist, occastionally dry||Full sun, Part sun|
|Northern red oak||Quercus rubra||80'||50'||Tolerates dry||Full sun, Part sun|
|Pignut hickory||Carya glabra||60 - 80'||25 - 40'||Adaptable||Full sun, Part sun|
|Post oak||Quercus stellata||50 - 75'||40 - 70'||Moist, well-drained, adaptable||Full sun|
|Red maple||Acer rubrum||55'||45'||Prefers acidic, Prefers evenly-moist||Full sun, Part sun|
|Red mulberry||Morus rubra||25 - 80'||25 - 35'||Moist to dry||Part shade, shade, sun|
|Shagbark hickory||Carya ovata||80'||35'||dry sandy or rocky soil||Full sun, Part sun|
|Sugar maple||Acer saccharum||80'||60'||Prefers evenly-moist, Prefers well-draine||Full sun, Part sun|
|Sweetgum||Liquidambar styraciflua||60 - 100'||40 - 50'||Well-drained soils||Full sun, Part sun|
|Sycamore||Platanus occidentalis||75-100'||75-100'||Prefers fertile soils, tolerates clay, sand, loam, alkaline and wet soils||Full sun|
|White oak||Quercus alba||75'||80'||Prefers well-drained, Tolerates dry||Full sun|
|Common name||Scientific name||Plant type||Height||Width||Soil requirements||Light requirements|
|Canada mayflower||Maianthemum canadense||Herbaceous Plant||6"||8"||Prefers acidic, Prefers high organic matter||part shade, shade|
|Wood anemone||Anemone quinquefolia||Herbaceous Plant||4 - 8"||1"||Prefers humus-rich soil||shade|
|Pale bellwort||Uvularia sessilifolia||Herbaceous Plant||4 - 12"||Moist, good drainage||part shade|
|Common strawberry||Fragaria virginiana||Herbaceous Plant||12"||12"||Prefers organically rich, sandy loams||Full sun, part sun|
|Hoary puccoon||Lithospermum canescens||Herbaceous Plant||6 - 18"||mesic to dry, loamy to sandy||part shade, sun|
|Mountain rice grass (rough-leaved rice grass)||Oryzopsis asperifolia||Herbaceous Plant||10 - 26"||alkaline, average to dry rocky soil||part shade, sun|
|Common yarrow||Achillea millefolium||Herbaceous Plant||36"||24"||Adaptable, Prefers well-drained, Tolerates alkaline, Tolerates dry||part shade, sun|
|Early meadow-rue||Thalictrum dioicum||Herbaceous Plant||36"||24"||rich, well drained soils||Full sun, Part sun|
|Large-flowered bellwort||Uvularia grandiflora||Herbaceous Plant||16"||9"||Prefers alkaline, Prefers evenly-moist, Prefers loam, Prefers well-drained||Full sun, Part shade, Part sun|
|Large-leaved aster||Eurybia macrophylla||Herbaceous Plant||60"||24"||Adaptable||part shade, shade|
|Prairie willow||Salix humilis||Shrub||1 - 10'||4'||Average to dry sandy or gravelly soil||Sun|
|Smooth wild rose||Rosa blanda||Shrub||5'||4'||Prefers evenly-moist, Prefers loam, Tolerates dry||Full sun, Part sun|
|Downy arrowwood||Viburnum rafinesquianum||Shrub||6'||6'||tolerates alkaline, dry, well-drained, moist||part shade|
|American hazelnut||Corylus americana||Shrub||8'||8'||Prefers evenly-moist, usually found on drier sites compared to beaked hazelnut||Full sun, Part sun|
|Beaked hazelnut||Corylus cornuta||Shrub||12'||9'||Prefers medium textured soil, usually found on moister sites compared to American hazelnut||Full sun|