6 Michigan Trees You Can Plant on Earth Day

More than half of Michigan is covered in forests, which is one of the reasons why the state is so beautiful. Want to make it even more gorgeous? Plant some new trees! That simple act helps naturally clean carbon from the air while improving the Great Lakes State’s landscape. And there’s no better time than Earth Day, which is April 22, to do it.

If you’re at a loss for which variety is best, check out this list of some of our favorite Michigan trees that are also super easy to plant and grow:

  1. Red Maple: These Michigan natives are easily adaptable, grow quickly and can now be found almost everywhere in the country. They do best with full sun exposure and turn a vibrant red color in the fall.
  2. Black Cherry: Black cherry trees are the largest of the wild cherry trees. Though the wood is prized to carpenters and woodworkers, the fruit is delicious as well. Just be careful: When the small cherries drop, they can stain concrete and driveways.
  3. Tulip Tree: Tulip trees are the ones with bright gold leaves you see every fall. They attract lots of birds including hummingbirds, cardinals and finches, and are highly resistant to pests such as insects and diseases. Tulip trees can grow up to 70 feet tall and are best suited for spots that get lots of sun.
  4. White Pine: These trees are long-needled, hearty pine trees with that can live up to 200 years (you probably already have some in your backyard). They are also the official state tree of Michigan.
  5. Apple Tree: A staple of the UP and northern Michigan, apple trees produce one of the most important—and delicious!—crops in the state. They are hearty enough to stand up to Michigan winters and can adapt to many different soil types.
  6. Arborvitae: Want a tree that will give your yard some privacy? This is the one. Arborvitaes can grow up to 10 feet tall and have a dense, green structure to them, making them perfect for giving you a barrier between you and your neighbor.

Will you be planting a tree on Earth Day? Tell us in the comments! If you’re a Michigan tree-hugger, you may also enjoy these blogs:

Photo credit: hjjanisch


Editor’s note: A previous version of this blog post incorrectly identified these trees as “native” to Michigan in the headline.

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Read 24 Comments

    1. Red Maple? If it’s a “real” Red vs those grafted pieces of junk ‘October Glory’ or ‘Red Sunset’. Terrible roots systems, way too picky about soil pH. Live about 15 years and die from girdled roots or graft failure.

    1. My grandparents grew redbuds in West Michigan. We have seedlings pop up from time to time here. Our cultivars are not invasive. I’m not a professional, but i’d say yes.

    2. Check your county conservation district. Many of them run tree sales this time of year and red buds are pretty standard fare with them.

  1. I am not saying that we should not plant apple trees, we should, along with many other food producing trees. BUT an apple tree is NOT a native tree. With the emphasis on planting natives for the health of the entire ecosystem this article is misleading.

  2. Neither apple trees (malus domesticus) nor Arborvitae, Roman White Cedar, are native. At all. This is a terrible article when at least 33% of info is false

  3. I would love to have a couple red maple trees but I cannot afford to buy a decent size tree that will actually live any thoughts where to get cheap or free maple trees

  4. The comments about all these trees being listed as Michigan native trees is not really accurate the only thing that they said was native to Michigan was the red Maple at the Apple or anything else just the red Maple the other trees they just mentioned we’re good to grow in Michigan climate just Sayin.

  5. No where in this article did the author state that these are “native” Michigan trees. Comments are so irritating. Get out and plant a tree. It may just help that know it all complex.

    1. Kacey, read the editor’s note at the end of the article: the article has been edited to remove the incorrect information. So all 4 people who saw the information that you didn’t see, didn’t emagine it.

  6. I have a very wet area
    . The trees tha are there are all dying “weed trees”. What trees would you recommend that can stand wetter feet?

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