The Constitution State is steeped in history, and it is because of this the Charter Oak, or White Oak, remains the Connecticut state tree. Reaching to between 65 and 85 feet tall, the White Oak does not grow tall but wide, laterally stretching itself over large expanses of ground. With historical roots, the White Oak represents independence to the Connecticutian. Connecticut is home to a temperate climate, with a wide variety of trees blossoming in both its rural and urban areas.
Due to its humid summers, frequent thunderstorms, and high population density, the smart Connecticutian grower will need to consider the following; climate, soil type, average precipitation, irrigation, growing zones and weather damage.
Read about the specifics for your state in the following sections. If you’re looking for some quick ideas on what to plant, consider the following trees as expert-tested and The Tree Center approved:
As property in Connecticut continues to be developed, land owners are searching for trees that will provide privacy from prying neighborly eyes and loud, unwanted noise. There are many fast growing privacy trees in Connecticut, which will quickly grow after initial planting to offer your property and family long sought-after privacy.
The Thuja Green Giant, a staple of privacy trees throughout the United States, is a fast-growing pine that will quickly provide a barrier between you and your neighbors. Growing between 3-5 feet a year, the Thuja Green Giant will offer your yard classic French design with minimal hassle. Alternatively, the Leyland Cypress and American Holly will also add color and privacy to your yard’s perimeter.
Despite its small size, Connecticut provides two distinct climates to residents. In the south, Connecticut’s boundary with the Long Island Sound brings in warmer temperatures and either a humid temperate or subtropical climate depending on slight annual variations. In the north, Connecticut’s geography contains the rolling Litchfield hills and farmland. The humid continental climate characterizes this region, with frequent mid-summer thunderstorms and temperatures ranging between extremes: -32°F to 106°F. Temperatures are on the rise, and the Connecticutian grower should anticipate summers lingering in the high 90s and low 100s.
Most trees require well-drained soil rich with minerals to grow. Connecticut is gifted with rich loam, since rainfall and decomposing organic matter add fresh nutrients to the soil frequently. Called podsoils, Connecticut’s soil is characterized by 3-4 inches of decomposing humus followed by nutrient rich mineral soil. Regardless of the property’s location in the Constitution State, a soon-to-be tree planter can perform a simple test to determine his/her soil type.
In order to determine the type of soil in your yard, try this test to give you a basis for finding the best matched trees. For this test, you will need a healthy handful of soil from the layer beneath the topmost piece of soil. The soil should be a little damp, but not recently watered or wet. Simply squeeze the soil sample and one of the following events will occur.
Once you know what soil type you have, you can find trees best suited to the dirt’s properties. Loam is the best soil to have, as its unique qualities make it ideal for holding and transferring water to trees.
Precipitation, in a variety of forms, is a frequent visitor of the Connecticut landscape. Connecticut is characterized by even precipitation patterns, with rain and snow falling throughout the year. Usually, the state receives an average of 50 inches of precipitation, which then flows into the Connecticut River. In the summer, thunderstorms bring frequent rain and lightning to the region, with storms typically occurring in the mid-afternoon. In the south of the state along its maritime border, rain is slightly less frequent as the shoreline ocean climate impacts rainfall.
With an abundance of water resources, Connecticutian planters should use irrigation as needed to maintain a constant flow of water. Hot summers mean the soil dries quickly, and underground irrigation systems can be beneficial. It is best to water to a three foot depth for trees, which will benefit from a controlled system. Newly planted trees require consistent access to water, so be sure to water frequently. Using irrigation systems that conserve water is essential for future water availability.
Connecticut only displays three unique growing zones, which is still many for a state with such a small area. A growing zone simply refers to the USDA’s determination of areas where certain plants are most likely to thrive, preferring to focus on minimal temperature ranges in which a plant can survive. Trees and shrubs in Connecticut must be able to withstand low temperatures of between -15°F and 0°F throughout the zones. The middle zone, which ranges with minimum temperatures between -10°F and -5°F covers most of the state, with Zone 5b (-15°F to -10°F) covering the far northeast and northwest of the state and Zone 6b (-5°F – 0°F) covering the panhandle that dips towards New York and New Jersey.
Connecticut does not see much extreme weather, with only its frequent summer thunderstorms causing occasional power outages. The state averages one tornado per year, and in recent times, has experienced damage from tropical weather systems like hurricanes. Downed power lines due to trees are frequent, so before planting in Connecticut consider where infrastructure items like power lines and buildings are in relation to any tree sites.