Thread: Good, interesting trees for northern michigan?

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Good, interesting trees for northern michigan?

    I'm hoping to plant a small grove of trees in a somewhat hilly, sandy-soil area of northern michigan (zone 5), and was wondering if anyone has any good advice on what I could plant.

    I've got some land up there and a small cabin on it, next to an older forest of maples and such. The area I'd like to plant on could use a bit of excitement, I guess. Nothing too dramatic though, I'm picky.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: Good, interesting trees for northern michigan?

    I thought northern michigan was a tough place to plant but I guess there's different little micro climates. What do you envision for the area? Evergreen? Deciduous? Flowering? Tall? Short? Fast growing? Slow growing? Attract wildlife? Provides something edible for humans? Culumnar shape? Rounded shape? Sings and dances? I thought you said you were picky.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    RE: Good, interesting trees for northern michigan?

    Well, unfortunately, I'm picky AND I'm not really sure what I'm looking for. I searched through the arborday website's trees, looking through just about anything that can grow in zone 5 and sandy soil and saw some things that I liked but nothing that really grabbed me.

    I think I would prefer deciduous and non-flowering. Wild-life attraction doesn't really matter one way or another, nor does any yield of edible stuffs (but I'd prefer no if the edible parts make much of a mess when they fall). Finally, the faster growing and the shorter (down to about 20 feet), the better, but if I like the trees besides the growing speed and height I can compromise

    I'd really like something shorter than 40 feet though, I was hoping for a nice cozy little planting of trees next to the forest we've got all ready, rather than another clump of trees reaching for the sky.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    RE: Good, interesting trees for northern michigan?

    well, what's wrong with what's growing in the forest then? You won't have any surprises and you already know it will grow in your area and how it will look. You mentioned maples, do you know which kind they are? Maples are some of my personal favorites and easy to find, I'm sure.

    Or you maybe some oaks. Arbor day had a survey recently online, and oaks and maples ranked as the "favorites". If it were me, I'd identify what's growing there in the wild and if I liked it, I would try to replicate a natural area in the space that I have with not only the trees but understory plants too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Lincoln, Nebraska - Lancaster County (Zone 5)

    RE: Good, interesting trees for northern michigan?

    Take a moment and look through the trees listed on this website. I think you will find some good ones to consider for your land.

    Identifying Trees of Michigan

    Another good resource is a book entitled, Michigan Trees: A Handbook of the Native and Most Important Introduced Trees, by Charles Herbert Otis. I found a used copy of the book for my personal library for about $4.00. Check and see if you can find a copy on www. or

    After you identify the trees you already have, then begin to decide which species of new trees you would like to add to your property.
    Sincerely, Robert
    Lincoln, NE (Zone 5)

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
    - Martin Luther (1483-1546)

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Ferris tx

    RE: Good, interesting trees for northern michigan?

    What part of yooper are u at ? I was raised in chassell in Houghton county near lake supirior. Apple trees are every where. make a lil mess but it keeps your biceps lookin good. Hazzel nuts are small enough and are very tasty too . then there is always the beutifull lilacs. really set a forest hedge in dynamics u know?

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