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Michigan Guide to Growing Trees

With the many benefits of planting trees, it might seem like a no-brainer to plant some around your property. However, you will want to make sure that you are putting them in the right spot and taking care of them properly. This guide will help give you all the information that you need to do this! 

Trees in Michigan

The Best Flowering Trees to Grow in Michigan

Tulip Poplar

One of the best ways to grow trees is with a Tulip Poplar. With this tree, you'll enjoy bright blooms and impressive growth rates and make it easy for you to usher in spring each year. The best part about growing your tree is that you'll have a bright and beautiful tree in the neighborhood. And though it may take some time before those blooms develop, the Tulip Poplar trees are unmatched. This mighty tree of Tulip Poplar combines the best of all seasons. In the summer, your tree's brilliant green shade will grow fast and tall. Come fall, your leaves turn to bright yellow so you're treated with both colors!

Planting & Care

Choose a spot with well-drained soil and lots of suns. When planting your tree, make sure to dig a hole large enough for the roots. The hole should be twice as wide and deep as your root system to give roots plenty of room to grow out into healthy strong foliage. Plant your new tree so that the root system and part of the trunk are underground. After adding mulch around the base, water deeply and infrequently to preserve moisture. It is important to water your young tulip poplars when it is dry out. The best is to water sparingly and only if the soil looks low or if the branches look droopy. Train your tree to grow using a slow-release, 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizer tablet in the first season. Fertilize twice a month when the tree is coming out of dormancy and once monthly during summer. Fertilize early in the fall to prevent trees from sprouting again. To cut off a branch, cut as close to the root collar as possible. Cutting at the socket is preferred for removing competing branches.

Stella D'Oro Daylily Plant

Taking on the Greek name for a flower that only blooms for one day, Stellas are a much larger and longer-lasting bloom. It's one of the first daylilies to bloom during the spring, and one of the last. That makes it a highly prolific, long-lasting plant you can buy. It's not only easy to grow, but also tolerant too. Daylilies or Stella plants are great no matter where you put them. Planting these colorful trees in your yard can transform it into the most beautiful yard on your block.

Planting & Care

If planting in the ground, dig a hole deep enough that you can fit your Stella's root ball. Add soil back to where it was once removed and water so the roots settle into their surroundings. For container plants, select a pot that is about double the size of your plant's shipped container. Fill it with organic soil and place your plant in it, so that the leaves are no more than an inch from the top edge of the pot or container. Make sure there are drainage holes on all sides. It's important to remember that Daylilies only need one good watering every week, which is best done about once a week. If you're unsure when to water your plant, check the surrounding soil for dryness about 2-3 inches deep.

The Best Shade Trees in Michigan

Autumn Gold Ginkgo Tree

The Autumn Gold Ginkgo, also known as the MaidenHair Tree, is resilient, lasting for thousands of years in the face of pollution and disease as one of the obvious benefits to planting this tree is its ability to grow in a range of soils. They also need fewer water requirements meaning this species is easy to grow for all who get out their shovels. Ginkgo trees offer not only dense, full leaves that are a vibrant green color but also gold-colored foliage in the fall. Autumn Gold trees give you these same benefits and bonus of beautiful yellow leaves in autumn. This bigger variety has excellent color retention, which means it has weeks of unmatched color in your landscape. Not only do you get a more symmetrical, stunning branching pattern not seen with typical varieties, but the Autumn Gold doesn't emit an unpleasant smell like other Ginkgos. The not-so-pleasant smell is typically found in regular Ginkgo trees and can be a nuisance to people who enjoy nice smells when they garden.

Planting & Care

Be sure the spot where you place your Ginkgo tree has six to eight hours of sunlight each day and is well-drained. Dig a hole that is two to three times wider than its root ball. Place the roots in the proper position, backfill with soil, tamp down any air pockets and water to help establish its underground roots. It is important to water your tree at least once a week for the first few seasons of growth (until it’s fully established). If you're not sure when to water, see how much soil has dried out from beneath the surface. Remove dead or damaged branches by simply trimming back any limbs that are not producing any leaves or green growth. If you want to make changes for shaping, this should be done in winter.

Red Sunset Maple Tree

One of the best maples, the Red Sunset's red color starts deepening weeks before other varieties. Inaugurating a mature, deep-red branch of holly such as “Dazzler” can give you an early start to your fall color season that will last one month longer than other maples. The Red Sunset is perfect for people looking for rich color in cold and hot climates alike. It's very drought-resistant which means it always looks great despite little water. Best of all, its strong branching withstands intense storms with ease. Plant the Red Sunset Maple, a native tree of Michigan and great for beds or lines. The shade gives off is notable, brightening up any space you put it in.

Planting & Care

Best locations for Red Sunset include areas that receive full or partial hours of sun, get afternoon shade, and are well-drained. Carefully dig a hole large enough to cover the tree's root ball. Backfill the hole with dirt from where you dug up the tree. Watering the new site will help it get used to its new surroundings before planting. Prune trees away from power lines or structures; if necessary, carefully relocate them so they are about 7' apart for good air circulation. Tuning your Red Sunset Maple in the first few years is what it needs to thrive. When you're ready for a prune, do so before the buds break and cut high-quality branches at any time of year.

The Best Fruit Trees in Michigan

Aurora Blueberry Bush

The newer variety of blueberry, Aurora, has sustained popularity due to its booming production of large sweet berries and beautiful foliage during the fall. Homegrown blueberries are normally smaller than commercial varieties. But that's not the case with Aurora Blueberries, which grow to be an inch in diameter. Your friends will be amazed when you show off this impressive homegrown crop at your next get-together! Aurora Blueberries have taken the culinary world by storm, and are often selected for their sweet berry flavor. Among the world's five major berry crops, wild blueberries grown in Michigan are typically characterized by their overwhelming sweetness. Most of these berries are eaten fresh because people can't wait to try their juicy flavor immediately. Not only do these blueberries have a sweet, unmatched flavor, they're also good for your heart and skin. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and nutrients which make them great for the immune system. Early in the summer, you'll pick berries for months. And come fall, this shrub will showcase a magnificent color-changing foliage that turns scarlet and orange. These blueberry plants are appropriate for all climates, including freezing temperatures. They can withstand 20-degree temperatures in the winter, so they’re a good choice for both northern and southern climates. Aurora Blueberry shrubs can grow up to six feet tall and five feet wide, making them perfect for a low-maintenance hedge. Imagine the new lush green wall that provides you with large, delicious blueberries and beautiful fall colors in the cooler months.

Planting & Care

Blueberry bushes need a sunny location and well-drained soil. Blueberries are best when planted in acidic, moist soils with a pH of 5.5 or less. When planting bushes, make deep enough holes the same size as the root ball of the bush to place it in. When planting more than one blueberry bush, dig holes five feet apart and at least 10 feet apart. Fill the hole with soil and mix it thoroughly with peat moss. Place the blueberry bush in the hole (taking care not to damage its roots). Cover the roots with soil and peat moss mix until they are hidden. You'll need to water your blueberry plants regularly for the roots to take hold, and the soil around them should be moist but not saturated. Drooping leaves are a sign of both over and under watering, while pale green leaves can indicate that you're overwatering. Fertilize your blueberry bush twice a year in the spring and again after harvesting. When it comes to pruning, there are a few rules to remember when doing blueberry maintenance. Lower limbs with fruit should be trimmed that do not touch the ground and branches that cover the center of the bush should also be cut during the winter months. Aurora blueberry bushes are self-fertile. One plant is sufficient to produce fruit, but an additional bush will increase the size of your yield.

McIntosh Apple Tree

Mcintosh Apple Trees are a good choice for your orchard because they produce fruit quickly and the fruits have a light, tangy flavor. If you’re looking for a fresh apple, but want to keep it healthy and organic, consider an apple tree. Plant your tree and pick up the apples right off the branches! In addition, the McIntosh apple tree doesn’t have many pests or diseases and is a hardy species. It produces growth that is healthy and strong, even if you don’t have any gardening skills at all. Since your Mcintosh apples are not self-fertile, you will need to plant more than one variety of apple trees to harvest them. A great selection is Arkansas Black Apple Tree, Gala Apple Tree, Fuji Apple Tree, Honeycrisp Apple Tree, Golden Delicious Apple Tree, Granny Smith Apple Tree, Winesap Apple Tree, Red Delicious Apple Tree, and Pink Lady Apple Tree.

Planting & Care

To plant a McIntosh Apple, choose an area that has full-sun exposure and well-drained soil; place the tree in the ground as per the nursery’s instructions; water to settle, and mulch to preserve moisture. When you're planting your McIntosh, water the area up to 10 inches around the base of the tree. The soil should be moist but not saturated. If it's hard to tell when to water, simply feel if there is moisture about 2 or 3 inches down. If it feels dry at that level, then keep watering until it doesn't feel dry anymore. Once your tree has established and started to bear fruit, periodic pruning will be called for. You should trim once during dormancy (typically the winter) and remove any vigorous upright branches or damaged or dead ones.

When is The Best Time to Plant Trees in Michigan

The most popular time to plant trees in Michigan is spring, but many people are starting to plan their tree planting for autumn. Spring planting new growth emerging earlier than it would in fall, which provides more protection for the young plant and better chance to establish roots before the first frost of winter; some insects are still active during early spring so there may be fewer pest problems with this approach. Fall tree planting has also become increasingly popular with the advent of specialized products that make it easier for homeowners to keep their newly planted trees watered during dry spells until they are established. There are also several advantages to fall tree planting as opposed to spring tree planting: less competition from other plants; increased ability to plant larger numbers; no need for weed control before fall roots go into dormancy; reduced risk of insect infestation due mainly because insects do not live through winter conditions such as snow cover which can protect new trees from these pests; a longer growing season that can help the tree get established before winter sets in.

Can You Plant All Season Long?

You can plant trees throughout the year in Michigan if you know the best trees for your region and have a good plan, but Michigan climate varies so it is best to plant in between early spring and fall for the easiest care and the most natural-looking trees. If you're planting deciduous trees like maple or oak, there's no limit; however, evergreens need to be planted in early spring.

What are The Best Trees to Plant Each Season in Michigan


Plant trees like bald cypress which are native to the area while also being tolerant of flooding conditions. If you want a tree that will provide shade for your home but without needing any maintenance then consider planting linden or black locust as those two types grow upwards rather than spreading laterally.


In summertime plant trees like Honey locust and Chinese elm. These tree varieties are drought tolerant so they can survive Michigan summers without too much extra care needed from the gardener.

Fall time

In autumn, plant trees like silver birch and paperbark mulberry which are more delicate than other deciduous (losing leaves). It is also best to plant species like black walnut trees, white spruce, eastern cottonwood, and oaks during fall.


In the wintertime, plant trees like American beech, black locust, and tulip trees. These tree varieties are hardy enough to endure the coldest winters while providing a beautiful shade canopy for your property year-round.

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots in Michigan

The Black Walnut tree is one of the least invasive trees when it comes to roots. It also has beautiful fall colors that will turn your property into a showpiece for all seasons. You also might want to choose other trees such as the American Elm, White Oak, Sugar Maple, and Dogwood Trees.