The Green Mountain State is named for the mountain range that makes up the state’s border with its eastern twin, New Hampshire. In Vermont, forests abound; it is here the Sugar Maple reigns, offering tourists the state’s famous Vermont Maple Syrup and fall foliage. The Sugar Maple is native to the northeastern forests of North America, prolific in both New England and eastern Canada. This deciduous tree usually reaches heights between 80 and 120 feet tall, though the occasional Sugar Maple can be almost 150 feet tall. The distinct maple leaf is lobed with five lobes and rounded notches. The seeds of the Sugar Maple are also distinct; the “pinwheel” pairs have a small wing which when dropped in the falls, spins to the ground. Although the Sugar Maple can be an enticing and profitable tree choice, the Vermont planter has many other varieties from which to consider when planting a new tree.
Due to its small size, geographical features, and varied temperatures, the smart Vermont grower will need to consider the following:
- Soil Type
- Average Precipitation
- Growing Zones
- Weather Damage
Best Trees for Vermont
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:
- Weeping Willow
Ideal for providing shade, sweeping beauty, and growth without minimal effort.
- American Red Maple
Ideal for providing classic American aesthetic, stunning fall colors, and shade.
- Cold Hardy Avocado
Ideal for bearing fruit for delicious, edible profits, color, and adaptable qualities.
- Muskogee Crape
Ideal for mildew resistance, fragrant lavender blooms, and fast-growing height.
Fast Growing Privacy Trees in Vermont
As property in Vermont 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 Vermont, 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 Vermont, 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.
Vermont lies in the northeast region of the United States, and most of the state experiences a humid continental climate. Precipitation-laden springs, hot summers, and cold, snowy winters typify this region. In summer, daily temperature highs linger in the upper70s and low80s. The record temperature, set in 1911, is 105°F. Winters are cold, especially so in the northwest corner of the state, which is on average ten degrees cooler than the rest of the state. Winter daily high temperatures vary between the high 20s and low30s. The record low was set in 1933 at -50°F, tied with Maine for the coldest recorded temperature in New England.
Most trees require well-drained soil rich with minerals to grow. The Tunbridge soils typify Vermont land. This course loam is well-draining, making it valuable for agriculture, grass seed, and grazing. Regardless of the property’s location in The Green Mountain State, a soon-to-be tree planter can perform a simple test to determine his/her soil type.
The Squeeze test is aptly named because it requires only a small handful of dirt from just beneath the ground’s surface, and your hands. The soil should be moist, but not drenched. The tester simply squeezes the soil and observes one of the three following events.
1. The soil will hold its shape. If you touch the soil, it will maintain its original shape. You have CLAY.
2. The soil will hold its shape. If you touch the soil, it will collapse. You have LOAM.
3. The soil will fall apart as you open your hands. You have SAND.
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.
Vermont averages approximately 37 inches of rain annually, a plentiful amount. Distance from large bodies of water often means drier and colder airs affect the region, and Vermont’s winters are testimony to this. It is often too cold to snow in Vermont for much of the year, although the state does average between 60 and 100 inches of snowfall based on elevation. Most of the precipitation in the state falls in the summer, when thunderstorms bring in moisture-laden air.
Irrigation is essential in Vermont, where changing elevations affect the dispersal of moderate rainfall amounts. Newly planted trees require continual and consistent access to water, something nature does not always provide. Investing in a drip or sprinkler irrigation system can be beneficial, as the stress a new tree undergoes from transplantation can be diminished significantly by proper watering and care.
Despite its small size, Vermont is home to five unique growing zones. 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. The zones generally move from south to north, with warmer low temperature ranges in the south. Central Vermont is typically cooler, surrounded by warmer zones along the borders with both New York and New Hampshire. In the far south, temperatures do not often drop below -20°F. Moving north, temperatures drop significantly. In the north, triangulated between St. Albans, St. Johnsbury, and Newport, temperatures are lowest, and plants must be able to endure temperatures ranging between -35°F and -30°F for extended lengths of time.
Blizzards are the most severe form of weather Vermont experiences, where the state’s distance from the Atlantic Ocean and mountainous terrain typically staves off hurricanes and tornadoes. Though much of the winter offers temperatures too cold for moisture to linger in the air, El Nino weather systems, which bring in warmer currents, can cause white-outs in the region. A white-out is a blizzard so heavy the terrain becomes entirely white. These conditions are dangerous to pedestrians and motorists. Freezing temperatures throughout the winter also pose concerns for road maintenance.