5 Best Trees to Plant in Missouri

Getting a great looking tree in your backyard is just about planting it, watering it a few times, and letting it be, right? Unfortunately, that isn’t the way to get a tree that will stand the test of time. For so many of us, the trees in our yards just came with our homes and we never really thought about it. If you recently had a tree removed or a tree that fell over, you might have questions about which trees work best in a Missouri climate.

Luckily, there are plenty of great and unique options that will make your yard stand out from the rest of the homes in your neighborhood. Instead of planting something that everyone else has, plant something that will truly show how beautiful a tree can be. While all trees are amazing, some just perform better in our climate. Missouri has a unique type of soil that means we are suitable for some great trees.

5. Eastern Wahoo

The beautiful berries of the Eastern Wahoo.

Credit: Mason Brock

  • Requires watering, especially in warmer climates
  • Plant in full or partial shade – at least 6 hours of sun needed.
  • Requires pruning in the late spring to keep shape

While it has a funny name, there is nothing funny looking about the gorgeous Eastern Wahoo. In the fall, this is a showstopper with brilliant red foliage and scarlet fruits. Many crafters will collect the fruits and use them in winter centerpieces and designs – just don’t eat them. If you allow them to hang, they add some color to your backyard because the harsh temperature doesn’t impact them. Plant them wherever you need a bold splash of color or just as an accent shrub.

According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Eastern Wahoo will attract many birds to your property because of the colors, even if they don’t always eat them.

4. Possum Haw

Close up of the winter berries on a Possum Haw.

Credit: Jeff McMillian

  • Typically doesn’t require watering
  • Can grow in shade, but fruits better in the sun
  • Works with all types of soil

Another unique and somewhat funny name, the Possum Haw is a large shrub that you will frequently find in Texas. However, it also grows extremely well in Missouri and you don’t have to worry about it overheating at all – it can survive in deserts. While you won’t see anything too special about this small tree in the summertime, the autumn months are a different story. Once the weather starts to change, you will see this tree become a blaze of colors.

According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the tree can grow up to 20 feet tall, but expect yours to top out at about 15′.

Some people consider the Possum Haw a holly bush, and it does look like one. Once it loses its leaves, it looks like a winter plant with bright berries and an interesting branch structure.

3. Bladdernut

A fully grown American Bladdernut tree.

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

  • Requires watering
  • Does not require much sunlight
  • Great for crafters

Not all trees that grow in Missouri have to scream out and attract attention away from other parts of your yard. The Bladdernut tree is a simple tree that doesn’t require a lot of praise or work to grow, but it does stand hardy against the elements. This native shrub can form thickets if undisturbed and planted in groups, providing security toward the back of larger lots. There are white flowers that appear in the early spring, and though beautiful, they tend not to last too long.

A smaller tree standing at no more than 15′ tall, the Bladdernut is a perfect tree for small yards or areas that don’t get a lot of sunlight. If you recently lost a small tree, it will be easy to replace them with this as the tree grows quite quickly compared to other small trees that are similar. Unlike some other small trees, it doesn’t create a huge mess to clean up, but it does lose its leaves. It will attract wildlife to your yard, however.

According to the Morton Arboretum, you do really need to be careful about keeping the soil around the tree moist, as it is drought sensitive.

For people who like to dry flowers, the seeds that grow in pods on the tree are frequently used to add texture to floral arrangements.

2. Ohio Buckeye

Fully grown Buckeye tree.

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

  • Require some watering in drier times
  • Full sunlight to partial sunlight preferred
  • Considered lucky in many parts of the country

Buckeyes are the most distinctive trees in a large part of the country. They are well known for their early flowers and for the seeds that have given their name to football teams, college mascots, and candies. The nut-like seeds are shiny and dark brown but have a light-colored spot that makes them look like a deer’s eye.

In many parts of the country, these seeds are considered lucky and people make them into jewelry and keychains, stick them around their homes, and sneak them into luggage. According to the Ohio Division of Forestry, you can eat the seeds, but you have to boil and leach them to remove the highly poisonous toxins, so it might not be worth it.

Buckeyes are smaller trees with a spread that is the same as their height, though some can get to 50 feet tall.

1. Hackberry

The bark of a hackberry tree.

Credit: Marija Gajić

  • Doesn’t require watering
  • Grows in all types of shade and sun
  • Considered one of the toughest trees

For a tree that you really don’t have to “mess” with a whole lot, the Hackberry comes in as the best. They are known around the industry as incredibly tough because they are hard, rarely fall over, and seem to survive many infestations and problems that lesser trees would have succumb to easily.

Families love this tree because the leaves turn a beautiful yellow color in the autumn and are great “crunchy” leaves to play around in and step on.

According to the Missouri Botanical Garden, these trees are also some of the best to bring new wildlife into your yard, as they love to make homes in the trees and eat the seeds.

At the end of the day, you don’t have to work extremely hard and put a lot of time and effort into growing a beautiful tree, especially in Missouri. Instead, you have to work smarter to pick trees that will grow well without your help. After all, trees stand for years in the forest where they naturally appear.

If you have questions about your trees or you need any services performed, including trimming, cabling, pest control, or tree planting, give Go Green Tree & Landscape a call at (816) 520-4864.

Header photo courtesy of Randy Nonenmacher on Flickr!
By | 2018-12-03T16:07:39+00:00 April 19th, 2017|Tree Care|0 Comments

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