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Indiana Guide to Growing Trees

The Hoosier State is home to many different trees, so it might be hard to choose which one you want to plant. Luckily, we have created this guide to help you make the right decision for your yard! 

Trees in Indiana

The Best Flowering Trees to Grow in Indiana

Carolina Sweetheart Redbud

Delivering the timeless aesthetic of mature trees with a fresh new perspective, the Carolina Sweetheart Redbud Tree is in a class all its own. Unlike its more well-known relatives, the Eastern Redbud and the Freeman Oak, it offers you beautiful colors that will instantly transform your lawn into an oasis of nature’s beauty. Blooming pink flowers greet spring and new leaves are a deep purple. Over time the voluminous foliage transitions to shades of green, white, and hot pink. The Carolina Redbud's bright, dimensional color sets it apart from most other trees. You can place Carolina Redbud in your front yard as the focal point or add it to your garden with others to make an eye-catching display. And when you have a Carolina Sweetheart Redbud, one of just 150 perfect specimens in the world, you'll build your own award-winning landscape.

Planting & Care

Select a location with soil that drains well and benefits from 4 to 6 hours of sunlight. Dig your hole 2x as wide as the root ball, backfill the dirt up into the hole, water gently, then cover with 3-4 inches of mulch. To ensure healthy growth, water your tree 1 or 2 times per week during the first year and continue to monitor watering requirements. After the first year, you can rely on rainfall for moisture purposes. A complete fertilizer like 5-10-5 should be applied in early spring to provide nutrients for the tree. Pruned branches that cross over each other or rub together should be cut off with a saw blade; tree stubs are left behind, and new shoots that grow from the bottom of the trunk can also be removed as long as they are not damaging to the tree.

White Dogwood

White dogwood trees are a beautiful sign of spring and are easy to grow in USDA zones 5-8. Growing up to 20-30 feet tall, these flowering ornamental trees perform well when other springtime counterparts can't due to climate or weather patterns. These trees do well in full sun but prefer dappled shade. They have a beautiful early spring flower show and both red fall leaves and bright red winter berries that attract wildlife. Grow May-June flowers from this tree. These flowers are enveloped in dark green leaves, and their deep red color creates a seasonally changing sight that changes month by month. These trees may be small, however, they are versatile. It's perfect both as the focal point in your garden and as a border in your yard. Moreover, it still blooms beautifully even when surrounded by other trees.

Planting & Care

Choose a planting site for your dogwood that is in either full or filtered shade and has moist, fertile soil with 5.5 pH levels. When planting a Dogwood tree in Indiana, make sure to keep the root ball and top of the trunk at or below ground level. Use soil from your original location for filling in around the hole that you dug. Make an effort to distribute roots evenly while raking out any air pockets with dirt. Fill up some space between stones with mulch but leave room for water to accumulate so it doesn't evaporate away quickly. Dogwood trees are highly sensitive to overwatering or neglect, with leaves drooping when watered too much and green excess indicates a need for more water. If you fertilize at all, get it in early spring rather than waiting for the late summer months. In the first year, don't allow weeds or grasses to be within 2-3 feet of your dogwood. Pull the weeds initially and use a growing mat (or mulch) and then insulate its roots 2-4 inches thick with straw at least twice a month. Do not spray Roundup around young trees and ensure that wind doesn't blow chemical drift onto your tree. The best defense against any pest or disease issue is a healthy tree. Good soil, proper feeding & healthy watering habits are vital to the prosperity of your tree. If deer become an issue for your dogwood trees, consider caging them. Although there is a whole host of deer deterrents available, nothing will guarantee protection like caging will. Late fall will kick your dogwood tree into its dormant state. This means there’s still time to grow trees this winter.

The Best Shade Trees in Indiana

Kentucky Coffeetree

Planning on planting a shade trees in your yard this season? The Kentucky Coffeetree is a perfect choice. With its unique upward branching pattern, it creates a visually interesting tree year-round. The Kentucky Coffee tree is hardy, tolerant, and adaptable and makes the perfect addition to your yard. The following is a list of things you'll love about this variety: it's mess-free; all seeds are collected before planting or after they fall from the tree; spectacular winter silhouette because branches reach upward in a crossed pattern unlike any other tree; airy shade because you get shade without killing everything underneath it. Kentucky Coffee trees are 60-70 ft. tall, but produce much smaller seed pods that are much easier to clean up in the fall. Planted more often in open places such as golf courses and large parks, they provide a perfect mixture of form and function. For those who love the look of Kentucky Coffee Trees without worrying about cleaning up afterward, this variety is just what you're looking for!

Planting & Care

The Kentucky Coffeetree should be planted in a location where it gets full sun and is surrounded by soil. After careful measuring, dig the hole twice as wide and deep as the root ball. Apply mulch to both sides of the canopy, but not around the trunk of your tree. Mulching will help retain moisture for your tree! This tree is capable of tolerating wrinkles and bears the deer's nipping teeth with ease. It doesn't need to be watered often; just once a week in its youth will suffice.

Patmore Green Ash Tree

The Patmore Ash Tree is the strongest, most disease-resistant variety of Ash Trees. Its ability to grow in wet and dry conditions makes this tree an even greater asset for those wanting a fast-growing shade solution without any of the upkeep problems. Planting a Patmore Green Ash will give you plenty of time to enjoy the graceful shade it provides without any maintenance, so once planted there's nothing left to worry about! Patmore trees are iconic to the American landscape, frequently planted throughout city streets and sidewalks. Well-known for their vibrant green leaves and rounded crowns, they bring elegant shade no matter where they grow. Bright yellow foliage in fall lends a spot of distinction year-round. The Patmore Green Ash doesn't drop seeds, which means you don't have to worry about a huge mess in your yard. No-fuss or mess equals more time for you.

Planting & Care

Grow your trees in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Choose an area that is long and wide enough to accommodate the root ball. When you set up the stake, make sure it will provide support when planted because it needs deep roots to survive. Ash trees require frequent watering in their first few years. If you receive one inch of rain or less than that per week, water when the top two to three inches of soil are dry. You can shape your tree by pruning it in the spring, but this is not recommended as it will lead to unattractive growth. Patmore Green Ash Trees maintain a beautiful pyramid form without pruning; however, you may remove dead limbs and branches during other seasons for healthy tree maintenance.

The Best Fruit Trees in Indiana

Lapins Cherry Tree

Your cherry addiction will become an annual summer tradition when you plant the Lapins Cherry Tree. When harvest time comes, this beauty produces 15 to 20 gallons of juicy cherries. And in only one year, you’ll harvest a sweet-tasting harvest of vibrant blooms. The trees can thrive in any type of soil and will produce fruit on their own without assistance from another tree. Plus, it is low maintenance, not requiring much attention or care to keep the tree happy and healthy throughout the growing season.

Planting & Care

Native to hilly, high-altitude regions of southern Europe and northwestern Africa, Lapins need a significant amount of sunlight. For best results plant in any type of well-drained soil with at least 6 hours a day exposure to direct sunlight. If your cherry tree gets 1-inch of rain every 10 days, then no additional watering is needed. If it's hot or dry outside, you may need to water the tree- just use a trickle from a garden hose left at the base of the trunk. Prune annually after trees are first planted to encourage horizontal branch growth. Prune once a year as necessary for weak or drooping branches. To properly fertilize your tree, begin by applying nutrients in the spring and midsummer. Apply fertilizer 6-8 inches away from the trunk of the tree twice each year: once in mid-April or late March; and again 2 weeks after planting if you’ve just put in a new tree, or 4 weeks later if the first application is well established. When applying fertilizer to cold climates, be sure not to fertilize after mid-summer so that new growth will harden before autumn frosts come.

Red Delicious Apple Tree

One of America’s favorite apples is the Red Delicious. It has an easy growth pattern and can be planted in a variety of soil types, making it perfect for those who are looking to start their orchard. As no surprise, America's favorite snacking apple is also a low-maintenance grower. Each year the Red Delicious apple tree at our nursery produces apples.

Planting & Care

Opt for a location with well-drained soil that gets 6 hours of sunlight per day. Dig a hole twice the width and depth of the root ball, fill it with soil, tap down to settle, then water. Maintain moisture by adding mulch 3-5 inches from the trunk, don't sandwich the tree in between mulch and two more inches of soil. Red Delicious Apple trees need pollination from other trees to produce fruit. You should plant your red delicious apple tree with Arkansas Black, Gala apples, Fuji apples, Honeycrisp apples, Golden Delicious Apples; Granny Smith Apples, and McIntosh Apples. Your apple tree will need some regular watering, but there may be times of drought. Check to see if the soil is dry about two feet down before watering. Make sure not to water in non-dormant periods or growth will have a negative effect and create weak branches. Older trees require pruning more frequently than younger ones.

When is The Best Time to Plant Trees in Indiana

The best time to plant trees in Indiana is during the winter months. While many factors go into determining when you should plant a tree, such as soil type and climate, planting trees during the winter allows for maximum growth potential. But make sure you plan and research when your state has its optimal planting season!

Can You Plant All Season Long?

No, you can't plant all seasons in Indiana. There are only two major seasons in Indiana: winter and summer. However, if you're looking for a great way to keep your plants alive year round then it may be possible.

What are The Best Trees to Plant Each Season in Indiana


In springtime Indiana, some of the best trees to plant are those that bring color early on after winter like redbuds or dogwoods for instance. They protect from harsh sun during summer months as well! Other great choices include flowering crabapple trees which produce delicious fruit and can grow up to 30 feet tall with an equal spread.


The best tree for summer in Indiana is the Royal Empress Tree, which offers shade and flowers that attract pollinators like butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. It can grow up to 20 feet tall and tolerates dry conditions well. Other great options include flowering dogwood trees, sycamore maples, or Kentucky coffee trees which provide beautiful fall colors!

Fall time

For a fall season in Indiana, the best tree is likely to provide beautiful colors like Scarlet Oak trees. They also provide food for birds and small mammals as well! Like other deciduous trees, they lose their leaves during winter so they don't offer much shade or protection from cold winds. Other great options are flowering crabapple trees which produce delicious fruit and can grow up to 30 feet tall with an equal spread.


The best tree for winter in Indiana may vary depending on your preference of where you live, but some popular choices include sugar maple trees (often used for sap production), Virginia pine species (used by squirrels), eastern white cedar species which has been shown to pull more than its weight in tainting air pollutants, and spruce species which is a favorite among many.

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots in Indiana

The least invasive roots in Indiana are maple, red oak, and sycamore. Maple trees have a shallow root system that is great for yards with heavy clay soils. Red Oak trees are very wind resistant but can be difficult to transplant so they might not be the best choice if you’re moving into your new home. Sycamores are a good shade tree that doesn't require much water or fertilizer but doesn’t offer as much privacy as other choices.