As any gardener knows, plants have needs. You can’t just stick a tree in the ground, water it, and expect it to grow into something big and beautiful. You need to think about its relationship to the sun, its watering and food requirements, and (perhaps most importantly) the climate and landscape of the place it will call home. So all my Missouri friends and neighbors, think about the best trees for Missouri before you start planning a pool surrounded by pineapple plants and palm trees. If you’ve lived in the Midwest long, you know that our weather is extreme and susceptible to wild flights of fancy. Because of that, it’s important that you choose strong, hardy trees that will stand strong through our temperamental seasons. If you want your trees to grow big and strong, check out this list of some of the best trees for Missouri lawns.
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Best Trees For Missouri Lawns
Many maple trees will work well in Missouri, but some of the best include the Pacific Sunset, Paperbark, Shantung, Trident, and Autumn Blaze.
The Pacific Sunset Maple is one of the all-around best trees for Missouri. A round, shady, medium-sized tree, its glossy leaves are beautiful in the fall—varying from yellow-orange to a deep burgundy. This tree holds up well in the extreme heat of Missouri summers.
But if you’re looking for a smaller tree, try the Paperbark Maple. Named for its bark, which peels off in paper-like strips to reveal a brighter copper bark beneath, this tree can tolerate a wide range of soils and exposures.
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Autumn Blaze Maples are great for their bright fall color and tolerance for droughts, while Shantung and Trident Maples are attractive trees to plant along a street and won’t grow tall enough to tamper with power lines.
Another hardy tree family, oaks are a great choice for Missouri. The White Oak, large but not especially tall, has been known to live up to 600 years. If you’re looking for mighty, long-lasting tree that can provide lots of shade, give it a try.
The Scarlet Oak is another medium-large tree fit for Midwestern landscapes, and its bright red leaves make a striking sight in the autumn.
Of course, the Dogwood, our state tree, is one of the best trees for Missouri. Although its lovely white blooms and moderate size are appealing, take care to plant it in rich soil.
Perhaps even more impressive is the Magnolia. Many of its varieties (such as Star Magnolias, Saucer Magnolias, and Sweetbay Magnolias) make for great landscaping trees. These trees bloom in lovely pink and white flowers and live long lives.
If you’re looking for a tree that will stay green year-round, consider the Norway Spruce. This pyramidal shaped tree has dark green needles, reddish-brown cones, and drooping branchlets (which give it a unique, but attractive look).
Another evergreen that deserves a spot on the best trees for Missouri lawns is the Eastern Red Cedar. A native tree to Missouri and exceptionally hardy, this tree grows well when it has plenty of room to itself—partially for growth and partially because its root system exudes a chemical that will hurt the development of very near neighboring plants.
AND A FEW OTHERS . . .
Our list of great trees for Missouri would not be complete without a few others. The American Linden (sometimes called the American Basswood), another tree native to Missouri, grows fast, lives long, and turns yellow in autumn.
The Kentucky Coffee Tree provides wonderful shade and can tolerate both poor soil and drought, making it a perfect choice for rougher Missouri landscapes.
And finally, the narrow and shady Pond Cypress can also tolerate a range of soil and weather conditions, though it prefers the moist and acidic.
Are You Choosing a New Tree for Your Yard?
When choosing a new tree for your yard, we hope you’ll consider our choices for the best trees for Missouri (assuming you’re in the state, that is—or in the Midwest at the very least). And if you need help assessing your lawn, choosing a tree, or planting a tree, call Nixa Lawn Service at 417-724-0318 or request a quote online. We would love to hear from you.