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Kansas Guide to Growing Trees

Have you ever considered planting a tree in your yard? Trees are not just aesthetically pleasing, they are also environmentally friendly because they provide shade and help clean the air. Not to mention that trees have other benefits such as lowering stress levels and boosting mental health! If you're looking for a Kansas guide to growing trees, look no further! This article will give you all the information that you need about growing trees in Kansas. 

Trees in Kansas

The Best Flowering Trees to Grow in Kansas

Japanese Snowbell Tree

The snowbell tree is the perfect showstopper for your garden with its delicate white bell-shaped flowers. The delicate, white bell-shaped flowers bloom profusely and provide endless appeal for your landscape with great fragrance. The Japanese Snowbell has a light, sweet fragrance that will fill the air and make your yard smell cleaner. The easy-to-grow tree provides color all year long with its green leaves and white petals. Bees and other pollinators love these attractive plants. In the spring, you can see bright green grass contrasting with delicate, drooping flowers that grow from late May until early June. When autumn comes, the Japanese Snowbell’s yellow blooms add a touch of color to herald summer's arrival. The fruit on these trees is brown and green only while still growing in winter before changing colors as it ripens. Snowbell trees will add color and interest to your yard without any work on your end. The brilliant orange inner layer is revealed when cold temperatures shrink the outer bark against the tree's trunk, creating a unique look that can be stunning in the winter months. A Japanese snowbell is a wonderful choice for any garden thanks to its low height and dense foliage, but it does have special needs. While the plant is only 18-30 feet tall by itself and can withstand mild climates, it does not do well during hot summers or in harsher climates. The circumstances under which the plant thrives are perfect for people looking for an evergreen with attractive leaves that can be trimmed to fit smaller spaces such as apartment gardens.

Planting & Care

Find an area close to a source of water, in the sun or partial shade, with protection from winds. A new tree needs to be planted in a low-lying area that has proper drainage. Check the location for adequate drainage by filling an inch deep hole with water and monitoring its depth as it drains over one hour. If the water empties within 60 minutes, then it is a good place to plant your new tree. To grow a snowbell tree, make sure the hole is three times as wide as the root ball and just as deep. Gently comb out the roots with your hands and fill back in with soft soil that’s high in acidity but not alkaline. It is important not to pack it down tightly or else it will have a more difficult time establishing itself. Be sure the root ball of a tree is at ground level and that the trunk is about even with the soil surface when planting a new tree. This will ensure that it can develop its full root system, which can help support itself later on. After a few months, shake the middle section of your treetop to test stability; if there is no movement from all around, you are ready to cut off any stakes holding it up! The first year of growing a snowbell tree requires regular watering to establish healthy roots. It is important not to overwater this species, for if you do it can cause harm to the plant. Keep your soil moist but not soaked and use your index finger in the surrounding ground; if there’s moisture then don’t water it yet, if there isn’t any then give it plenty of water with a hose or four full watering cans. Mulching prevents competing weeds from growing while also retaining moisture near the tree's roots. There are two ways to fertilize your snowbell tree. First, make sure you’ve cut back on the possibility of root burning by sprinkling 1 tablespoon of fertilizer per square foot around 12 inches away from the trunk and underneath the canopy at least one foot. Next, rake it in a band, mulch, and water well. Snowbells trees should be pruned in late winter to early spring. Dead or diseased-looking branches should be removed about 1/2 inch above the branch’s base (bark collar). Your Japanese snowbell will produce small drupes of green fruit in late summer. These fruits can be messy to clean up as they often fall from the tree. The fruit is edible and has been known to contain oil-bearing seeds; some people harvest these for their cooking needs while others dry them for jewelry making.

Vitex Chaste Tree

The Vitex Chaste Tree is a versatile favorite for any landscape. The Vitex blooms across several seasons, from late summer to spring. Plus, the Vitex provides effortless color and fragrance with no hassle from you. It’s drought-tolerant, cold hardy, and perfect for delivering year-round color, all without putting in an ounce of work. The Vitex cluster of fragrant lilac blooms in early summer and lasts well into the fall. The enticing smell of the flowers will fill up your yard, attracting an array of wildlife. From butterflies to bumblebees to songbirds, this tree has what it takes to create an inviting backyard habitat for all creatures great and small.

Planting & Care

The best climate for the Vitex is sunny, warm, and well-drained soil. Plant your tree at least twice as wide as its root ball in a hole that has been dug to a minimum depth of 1.2 meters long, 300 mm deep, and 500mm wide. Backfill the surrounding area with native soil or equivalent so it’s about 600mm above grade level all round before planting it carefully and watering the surrounding area heavily and mulching to conserve water afterward. The growing process can be as easy as one, two, three: water once or twice a week to allow oxygen into the root zone of the soil; fertilize in the spring with an all-purpose product; and prune annually. Remove any dead leaves or broken branches throughout the year.

The Best Shade Trees in Kansas

Sawtooth Oak Tree

One species of the Oak tree, the Sawtooth Oak, will grow faster and larger than traditional Oaks. The trees are often 2 to 3 feet in height a year and can reach up to 30 feet in 15 years. The spreading habit of the shagbark hickory creates a wide canopy of cooling shade. The fast-growing tree starts out with a pyramidal shape but matures into a broad, rounded canopy that gives plenty of effortless shade throughout the day. New leaves emerge bright yellow-green and then darken to lustrous mid-green in summer before turning gold or russet brown in fall. They have distinctive toothed edges, an inspiring name for this tree which is highly unique among hickories.

Planting & Care

When planting a tree, the site should be made of soil with a lot of suns. Using a shovel, dig down 2 times as deep as the root system will reach and twice the width or height of the roots. Place your tree into the hole and level it out by pressing an extra layer of soil on top (with no air pockets). The tree stem should be above ground so mulch is not necessary. The first year of care for your Sawtooth Oak Tree is critical. Be sure to water the tree during extended dry spells, particularly in the summer months. You can check the surrounding soil at a depth of 3 inches - if it's dry here, water your Sawtooth. Fertilize conservatively with an organic fertilizer high in nitrogen and follow the guidelines on the package.

Red Japanese Maple Tree

A show-stopping display of reds in the yard is synonymous with the Red Japanese Maple. The leaves turn beautiful bright red in spring, then burgundy in summer before changing back to scarlet in fall (or anytime during the year). The winter bark on a Red Japanese Maple adds contrast to the otherwise predominantly green landscapes. Plus, this tree can be easily pruned to any height desired, making it a good choice for tight spaces. The root system is run deep with minimal damage so it can be planted near borders and streets without damaging them. The Red Japanese Maple is tolerant and hardy, which means it requires little maintenance. It does well in moist soil with plenty of space to flourish. A beautiful landscape design treasure, it's a great way to make an impact outdoors without any work from you at all.

Planting & Care

Place your tree in an area that gets at least 6-8 hours of daily sunlight and is protected from the hot midday sun. Dig a hole 2-3 times the width and height of the root ball, making sure it is wide enough for air circulation as well. To quickly establish their roots, trees should be planted at ground level. Mix the site’s soil with an organic compost recommended by a tree nursery or your local garden center. If your new tree comes from seedlings (rather than saplings), plant them near where they were grown in their pot and then cut back on any air pockets that form as you tuck more soil around the root collar to fill the planting hole. When possible, water and mulch right away for the best results. Although the amount of water an average lawn and garden needs may be enough for your new Japanese maple tree, you can help protect the leaves by watering them in the morning or evening during hot months. The Japanese Maple does not require a lot of nutrients, so if your other plants are thriving, then it will most likely grow. For optimal growth, fertilize during the early spring using a balanced complete fertilizer once per year. This should be applied before leaves appear and the tree has become established in your lawn or garden. After this time you can trim your tree as desired, although there is no need to do so.

The Best Fruit Trees in Kansas

Sweetheart Blueberry Bush

Sweetheart Blueberry Bush produces two crops of fruit each year under most conditions. In May or June, expect travelers to shell out juicy clusters the size of golf balls for a yearly harvest that might total between 15 and 25 pounds per bush! The Sweetheart bush produces medium to large sweet blueberries. The flavor is bursting with sweetness, which is excellent for baking muffins and making pancakes. In addition, these plants produce a large number of berries each year, making them an economical choice for many backyard gardeners seeking a productive variety that will do well in either hot or cold climates.

Planting & Care

Blueberry bushes need at least 6-8 hours of sun a day, well-drained soil, and moist but not soggy soil. Plant the bush in a hole that matches the container it came in for depth and size. When planting two or more bushes, dig holes five feet apart in rows 10 feet apart. Place Blueberry Bush in the hole—covering its roots with a soil-peat moss mixture. Blueberries are self-fertile but you can grow them to their optimum by planting three or more of the same variety. Blueberry bushes should have their roots well established by regular watering, ideally not exceeding two times a week. The Blueberry bush does not need to be fertilized as of planting. Fertilize the Blueberry Bush twice a year: once in spring and once after harvest. Prune low, fruit-bearing branches to keep them from touching the soil for better yields, then thin excessively vigorous upright shoots several feet away from the ground or put them out of reach during bearing season. Spindly, weak, or dead branches should also be pruned annually during dormancy.

Black Tartarian Cherry Tree

When you grow a Black Tartarian Tree at home, you can have delicious cherries in only one year. This fruit tree is low maintenance and highly productive, making it easy to adapt to various soil types and deal with drought conditions.

Planting & Care

A Tartarian Tree will thrive in a sunny location that has at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day, as long as the soil is well-drained. Dig a hole three to four times the size of your root ball 3-4 feet deep and just as wide. Place the tree in the hole, backfill with soil tamped down so that it settles around the roots, mulch surrounding area to protect from weeds, and add water. If your tree receives at least an inch of rain every 10 days then no additional irrigation is necessary. If the season is hot and dry, then you may need to provide some additional water. The best way to water is by using a slow trickling garden hose left at the base of the tree. If you're not sure when to water, however, simply check the soil about 2 or 3 inches down. If the soil here is dry (if it's been over ten days), it's time to water. After one year, prune your black cherry tree during winter to shape and encourage growth. Prune once per year as necessary for weak branches. When fertilizing your trees, be sure to use a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Twice a year, apply two weeks after planting and again four weeks after the first application. Fertilize 6 inches away from the trunk of the tree and avoid fertilizing after mid-summer in cold climates where new growth will not harden before fall frosts. The Black Tartarian is not self-fertile and will need to be cross-pollinated. The trees that can cross-pollinate include Bing Cherry Tree, Lapins Cherry Tree, Montmorency Cherry, Rainier Cherry Tree, Stella Cherry Tree, and Royal Ann cherry tree.

When is The Best Time to Plant Trees in Kansas

Many factors determine when the best time to plant trees in Kansas is. The best time to plant trees in Kansas is in the spring when it's warmer and there are plenty of daylight hours. However, you can also plant trees during the winter months if you live in a region with mild winters. The most important thing about planting trees is making sure that they have enough water for at least the first few years while they're establishing roots. After that, their roots will be established and they'll be able to survive long periods without water.

Can You Plant All Season Long?

Kansas has a very short planting season. In many areas, it only lasts for one month out of the year. For those who live in Kansas, this can be quite frustrating! You may be wondering if you can plant all seasons in Kansas. You're going to be surprised to find out that the answer is yes, but you need to consider which types of plants will live well in the heat as well as what type they should live during colder months.

What are The Best Trees to Plant in Each Season in Kansas


Spring has beautiful flowers blooming everywhere! It's also a great time to plant deciduous trees that provide lots of shade during the hot summer months. You may want to go with an evergreen instead if your yard does not get much sunlight or is shaded by other houses or large trees.


In the summertime, think about planting a fruit trees like Apple Trees that will produce delicious fresh apples to eat. You may also consider an Oak Tree for shade because they are especially good at tolerating the hot sun and heat from the ground when other trees might not be able to.

Fall time

In the Fall, there are a variety of trees that will provide ample leaves for some Autumn color. If you have space to let your tree grow tall and wide, it would be nice to choose an Oak or Maple Tree which can live with little care in most climates. For those who need winding paths through their yard, consider planting a Shrub such as Dogwood Trees because they typically won't get very big.


The winter season is perfect for evergreen trees like Pine Trees if you want year-round protection from cold winds and lots of snow cover during the colder months. There are also deciduous species that might not offer much shade but do change colors beautifully right before they lose their leaves in late fall.

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots in Kansas

There are many trees that you can plant in your yard with environmental benefits, such as Eastern Cottonwood, Red Maple, Ash Tree, Sugar Maple Tree, London Planetree (often called Sycamore), Northern Catalpa tree (commonly known as Catawba), White Oak American Beech and Pin Oak. These trees will not harm the environment of your property and can be grown on many different types of soil conditions and provide shade for your property.