Choosing Trees & Shrubs

Acreage Owner Question:  We just bought a new house and are trying to get started landscaping it.  Can you recommend some fast growing, sturdy trees?  Sure thing.  I should preface my remark by saying that literally every new acreage owner that I know wants fast growth, sturdy limbs/branches and no pests.  Unfortunately, this simply doesn’t exist.  In fact, trees that are fast growing are always non sturdy and very pest prone ie. poplar, aus tree, cottonwood, Russian olive, etc.  Instead, choosing a diversity of trees that are known for medium growth rate usually provides privacy, framing, shade and aesthetic appeal with a minimum of pests.  Windbreaks excluded, depending on the size of the landscape, it’s best to avoid planting more than 2 of any one particular tree.  There are lots of good choices.  I recommend using Google Images or Yahoo Image Search to look at the features of each and then a source such as the Morton Arboretum, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum or OPPD Arboretum to help finalize the choice.  Here is a short list of underutilized, sturdy trees.  Some are medium growing and some are slow growing; some are larger and some are smaller.

NE underutililized trees

Midwest Tree Viewing Locations

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