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Wisconsin Guide to Growing Trees

Wisconsin has a lot of trees, but we also have a lot of different types of soil. Many factors can affect the type and quality of a tree's growth, including the soil in which it is planted. With this guide to growing trees in Wisconsin, you will know what to do if your tree isn't doing so well! 

Trees in Wisconsin

The Best Flowering Trees to Grow in Wisconsin

Spring Snow Flowering Crabapple Tree

This visually gorgeous tree sports a white flower that gives it an elegant look in spring. In summer, the leaves turn green and as they fall off of the branches in autumn, their showy colors are revealed - making for an entertaining experience. This tree rests beneath its snow-covered body during winter months while still looking interesting thanks to its textured, bare branches. One of the greatest perks of Spring Flowering Crabapples is that they don't produce any fruit-causing messy drops at the end of fall. This variety will have fewer pests and diseases to worry about, making it a great option for anyone without much experience with trees. Extremely tolerant and adaptable, the Spring Snow tree can be grown in any condition. You might find this type of tree on the street or along highways because it does well in areas with little space. It also looks great when planted individually in small yards or groups together on larger landscapes.

Planting & Care

The Spring Snow Flowering Crabapple thrives in almost every condition, as long as it is planted with full sunlight. To plant, dig a hole twice as wide but just as deep as the root ball. Once transplanting is complete, cover around the tree with mulch. Soak it in water as soon as you plant it. In hot or dry climates, give Spring Snow a good drink twice per week; in cooler climates, moisture application is only needed once per week if the air remains cool enough to keep the root system well hydrated. Cut off any dead or diseased branches during late winter before new green growth appears on trees. Watch for pests on your tree and use a strong stream of water to remove them. Keeping a tree well maintained will help keep borers away. If you see any signs of disease, such as leaves that fall too early or have spots, blisters, browned edges, treat your crabapple promptly before it infects the entire tree. Sterile pruning and fungicide treatments are best at stopping a spreading infection from taking over the whole tree.

Prairifire Crabapple Tree

The Prairifire Crabapple is a show-stopping tree that provides color during all four seasons and can add an element of grandeur to your driveway. With colors like hot pink, purple and red, the early spring months are a beautiful sight to behold. The late fall brings with it brilliant purples and reds while the summer scorches your lawn, leaving nothing but brown in its wake. Your Prairifire Crabapple tree will be bringing life back to your yard as you watch your neighbors' yards wither away with the changing of the seasons. As winter approaches, the first things to die are the leaves on trees. The bark of a Prairifire tree is a mix of gray and orange, but with fruit that persists in chilly months. As the first frost hits your region, it still manages to stand out and add warmth. The Prairifire Crabapple tree is easy to grow and a great choice for the environmentally conscious. The birds love this tree so much that you'll never have to worry about rotting fruit if it falls on your lawn. You won't have to worry about keeping weeds, bugs, or diseases at bay - our trees are hearty enough not to succumb after several years of growth.

Planting & Care

Place your Prairifire apple tree in a spot that is sunny and drains well. Dig a hole big enough for the root ball, place the tree and backfill the soil with water. You need to water your Prairifire twice a week in hot or dry climates. Crabapples should be able to survive on rainfall alone, but if you're not sure when to water them just take a look at the topsoil - if it's dry water immediately. Apply 5-5-5 fertilizer every spring as well as prune away any dead or damaged branches, crossing branches and crowded sections that prevent airflow. The best time for pruning is early spring before the summer buds come out.

The Best Shade Trees in Wisconsin

Crimson Sentry Norway Maple Tree

The Crimson Sentry Maple Tree is one of the best choices for your landscape. With deep red to purple leaves all summer long, its brilliant color can be used in any corner of your garden. These trees adapt well to frost and heat, which means they’ll grow just about anywhere in Idaho. Amongst an area of urban pollution and in swampy areas, this tree is not only stunning, but it's also a relief for those hard-to-grow spaces. The Crimson Sentry is a smaller tree with heavy branching and an upright canopy, which means it fits into any space. It's compact, so you don't need a lot of room to grow the tree in your yard. You can see maroon leaves in the summer and reddish-bronze tones in fall on its wide-spreading branches.

Planting & Care

Crimson Maples are tolerant of soggy soils but prefer well-drained areas. You can plant it in a shady spot (less than 4 hours of sunlight per day) with less watering if this does not bother you or the tree’s location in your yard. Place the tree in its hole, keeping the root ball at ground level. Fill with a few inches of soil and water thoroughly. A crimson guard maple provides a shady retreat for hot summer days. Be sure to provide enough water during its formative years, or it will show light-green leaves and droopy foliage. To start your tree off on the right foot, give it a slow-release fertilizer tablet at least twice a month when they are coming out of dormancy and once during summer. Prune away branches that have died or are dying before you start pruning live ones to avoid ruining what is left of the foliage by accident.

Royal Frost Birch Tree

The Royal Frost is vibrant purple foliage with eye-catching exfoliating bark. It has an upright, pyramidal habit and it's a one-of-a-kind shade tree. This tree provides interesting vegetation from season to season, getting even better. The sleek whitebark during the cold months means a nearly year-round visual interest despite its deciduous nature. Burgundy leaves come out in spring, transitioning to dark purple and back again to dramatic deep red in winter. This showcases a tree that gives a year-round show making drab winter worthy of front-page features.

Planting & Care

Select a location for your Royal Frost Birch Tree that is in full sun to partial shade. The soil should be moist but well-drained. Once ready, dig a hole at least two to three times the size of the root ball. Place your Birch Tree and backfill with dirt tamped down for air suppression before watering it. To keep this tree healthy, make sure it has moist soil by watering it weekly or using a soaker hose. The tree's root zone should be cool and moist, but the Royal Frost Birch Tree also tolerates some dryness. If you need to prune your landscape at any time of year, do so in late winter while the tree is dormant.

The Best Fruit Trees in Wisconsin

Honeycrisp Apple Tree

Honeycrisp apples are a favorite of international consumers and for good reason. These apples have increased in popularity over recent years as people continue to find them delectable and delicious. Not only are they tasty, but a Honeycrisp Apple Tree grown in your backyard has the bonus of producing fruit without all that 'hassle' you can get from store-bought produce.

Planting & Care

To get your Honeycrisp tree growing, plant it in direct sunlight with well-drained soil. Dig a hole twice the width and depth of the root ball, place your tree inside, pelt it down, and water to settle. Then mulch this area to prevent weeds from coming up. To keep the Honeycrisp Apple hydrated, provide a sufficient amount of water once per week. If you can't tell when to irrigate your tree, check for new growth and water as soon as it appears. Once your tree has established itself and is starting to produce fruit, it will need periodic pruning. This should be done during periods of dormancy; remove vigorous upright stems or weak branches. Low-hanging droopy branches should also be removed where appropriate. Pruning can help production, so it's great for the health of your tree!

Horseradish Plant

The Horseradish Plant is a root vegetable that is most commonly enjoyed in its well-known condiment, "Horseradish." Surprisingly, it's also an attractive plant that grows to be vibrant - even without harvest! Horseradish plants are typically green and vibrant with large, wide leaves which sometimes have small white flowers during the summer. (Pull these flowers as they appear to maximize your plant's vigor!) Horseradish is easy to grow since it can be grown in the ground or a container as long as your pot is big enough because the edible roots can extend quite far. To make your horseradish sauce, you will need to mash the root and mix it well with vinegar. If you're interested in trying out this recipe at home, be sure to store the sauce in a cool place until served. The best part? Horseradish plants are rich in Vitamin C, calcium, iron, and potassium. And they’re incredibly easy to grow as long as you have space. These trees require virtually no care and provide very little upkeep.

Planting & Care

Horseradish plants thrive in full to partial sun. They need loose soil with organic matter, which should be planted in the springtime. If planting a horseradish plant in a container, make sure there is plenty of room for long edible roots. To plant it in a backyard, dig the hole large enough to fit the rootball. Remove everything but the roots from around the tree. If you are not sure when to water it, especially in dry times, check the soil about two inches deep. If the soil is dry there, water your Horseradish Plant well with a balanced fertilizer following package instructions. One year after planting in spring, or late fall as temperatures cool off, harvest by carefully picking up the plant roots with a trowel.

When is The Best Time to Plant Trees in Wisconsin

The best time to plant trees in Wisconsin depends on the type of tree. In general, planting should be done as soon as possible after purchasing a tree from your local garden center or nursery. The sooner you get started with watering and tending your new tree, the more likely it is that it will thrive during its first season in your yard.

Can You Plant All Season Long?

Yes, you can plant all season long in Wisconsin. In fact, planting trees and shrubs is a year-round activity for many of our customers across the state. Even during the winter months, we are still offering tree seedlings!

What are The Best Trees to Plant Each Season in Wisconsin


Plant trees that are known for their blooming and blossoms such as Azalea and Cherry trees.


Plant trees that are more tolerant of heat with a deep root system like oak or beech.

Fall time

Shade-providing trees like sycamore make the perfect addition to your yard in late fall! These types of trees provide nutrients back into the soil as they decay during winter months so you can plant other plants nearby that might otherwise not survive well due to lack of sunlight.


Winter is a great time to get rid of dead leaves and mulch around your existing landscape. Plant trees like coniferous trees that are known for their dense root system to prevent erosion.

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots in Wisconsin

The least invasive trees in Wisconsin are the hawthorn tree and mountain ash. The roots of these trees are shallow, so planting one will not disturb other plants or underground water sources very much.