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Recommended trees for Minnesota

Quick facts

  • Knowing the traits of where you want to plant trees will help you choose the right trees for your landscape or forest.
  • Recommended trees for each region perform reliably in that environment and should thrive for many years.
  • Recommendations include trees to replace ash trees harmed by emerald ash borer.
  • For a short list of selected winter-hardy, disease resistant trees and shrubs for home yards and gardens, see Select trees and shrubs for Minnesota landscapes.
Close up of a pair of hands planting a tree seedling in the ground.

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 landscapes and forests requires an analysis of your planting site and a careful match of the trees to that environment.

The spread of invasive pest emerald ash borer in Minnesota means that many landowners are looking for alternatives to ash. These recommendations include ash alternatives.

How to use these lists

Minnesota is an ecologically diverse state. For these 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 desktop or 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.

Southeast

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Southwest

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Northwest and central

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Northern tallgrass prairie

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Gary R. Johnson, Extension urban and community forester

Reviewed in 2018

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