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Recommended trees for Minnesota

Trees shade and cool us in the summer, protect us from cold winter winds, supply us with clean air to breathe, beautify our communities and provide habitat for wildlife. Selecting the trees that will survive and grow into healthy urban forests requires a thorough analysis of the planting site and a careful match of the trees to that environment.

The 2009 discovery of invasive pest emerald ash borer in Minnesota means that many landowners are looking for alternatives to ash. These recommendations reflect this concern and can assist landowners making decisions about ash alternatives.

How to use these lists

Minnesota is an ecologically diverse state. For this series of lists, the state is divided into major ecological regions, each with characteristic soils, precipitation patterns, topography and natural vegetation. Recommended trees for each region perform reliably in that environment and should thrive for many years.

Each set of recommendations includes:

  • Link to a Google spreadsheet that you can download as an Excel file and sort based on desirable traits. The spreadsheet cannot be sorted online and must be downloaded or saved to your own Google Drive.
  • Link to a PDF of the spreadsheet if you do not have access to Excel or Google sheets. The PDF cannot be sorted.





Northwest and central


Northern tallgrass prairie


Gary R. Johnson, Extension urban and community forester

Reviewed in 2009

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