The Badger State, or America’s Dairyland,lies east of Minnesota and Iowa, at the base of Lake Superior and to the west of Lake Michigan. Wisconsin identified the Sugar Maple as its state tree. Native to the hardwood northeastern forests of North America, the range extends west through Wisconsin to Minnesota. The Sugar Maple offers both ample attractive fall foliage and its valuable syrup. Sugar Maples reach between 80 and 115 feet tall, though exceptional specimens have reached 148 feet in height. The leaves of the Sugar Maple are large. The seeds are also unique, and they are connected to a thin wing. Once autumn comes, the trees drop these “pinwheel” seeds to the ground, and as the seeds fall, they spiral. Although the Sugar Maple is a timeless and popular tree to plant, Wisconsin residents have many trees to choose from when planting.
Due to its proximity to the Great Lakes, upper mid-west geography, and varied temperatures, the smart Wisconsin grower will need to consider the following:
- Soil Type
- Average Precipitation
- Growing Zones
- Weather Damage
Best Trees for Wisconsin
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:
- Muskogee Crape
Ideal for mildew resistance, fragrant lavender blooms, and fast-growing height.
- October Glory Maple
Ideal for continuous color, adaptable growing conditions, and landscaping designs.
- Cold Hardy Avocado
Ideal for bearing fruit for delicious, edible profits, color, and adaptable qualities.
- Tulip Poplar
Ideal for providing fast-growing shade, year-round beauty, and drought resistance.
Fast Growing Privacy Trees in Wisconsin
The state of Wisconsin is renowned throughout the United States as a comfortable, healthy, and safe state in which to abide. It is no wonder that Wisconsin residents may notice new homes being built nearby, new developments and shopping centers popping up, and highways carrying loud cars laid in bulk near their home. Planting trees along yard perimeters will add both privacy and beauty to the Wisconsin yard.
Although there are many options from which to choose, in Wisconsin, a planter cannot be mistook by the American Holly. Growing throughout the United States, American Holly is adaptable, fast-growing, and colorful. Reaching at least 15 feet in height, the American Holly forms dense evergreen walls reminiscent of hedge mazes. In addition, Wisconsin residents can also choose from the Leyland Cypress or Nellie Stevens Holly to form the perfect private paradise.
It is best to divide Wisconsin into thirds. The southern one-third of the state is classified as a hot summer humid continental climate, while the northern two-thirds are considered a warm summer humid continental climate. This is primarily due to the northern portion of the state’s proximity to Lake Superior. Summers are hot and winters are cold in Wisconsin. Summer daily high temperatures linger in the high70s and low80s, and the record temperature was recorded in 1936 at 114°F. Winters are cold with heavy snow; although, it can become too cold for the air to carry moisture as well. Typical daily high temperatures in January range between 19°F and 26°, while daily low temperature fall between -18°F and 0°F. The record cold temperature was recorded in 1996 at -55°F.
Most trees require well-drained soil rich with minerals to grow. Antigo soils cover over 300,000 of Wisconsin’s acres. Rich, productive, and moderately well-draining, Antigo soils are used for corn, small grain, and potatoes. Regardless of the property’s location in The Badger State, a soon-to-be tree planter can perform a simple test to determine his/her soil type.
The test requires a handful of fresh soil from the layer just below the top. It should be damp but not wet. The tester should hold the soil in the palm of his/her hand and, not surprisingly, squeeze. The squeeze will produce one of three events.
1. The soil will hold its shape, likely forming a snake. If you touch the snake, the soil will maintain its original shape. You have CLAY.
2. The soil will hold its shape, likely forming a snake. If you touch the snake, the soil 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.
Rainfall is plentiful but unevenly distributed in Wisconsin. The most rain falls in the southern regions of the state, which see upwards of 34 inches of precipitation annually on average. Some small regions of the state may see as much as 39 inches. Rainfall totals lessen moving north, with driest areas along the Michigan border. Residents in these regions may see less than 30 inches of rain annually. Snowfall does not follow the same pattern, with the heaviest snow falling along the northern mountains, totaling 167.5 inches. Southern regions of the state may see as little as 32 inches of snowfall.
Uneven precipitation occurs throughout the state, and as such, irrigation can be an important tool for appropriate water dispersal. Newly planted trees need frequent and sufficient water access, preferably distributed in regular intervals during drier periods. Drip or sprinkler irrigation systems are effective at providing this function, without compromising water costs. Consider an irrigation system, as new plants will benefit from the sufficient dispersal of water.
Wisconsin is home to six 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 the far southeast corner of Wisconsin, north. Temperature low ranges are highest in the south, along Wisconsin’s border with Lake Michigan, where temperatures rarely drop below -15°F. Moving in bands across the state northwards, low temperature ranges drop significantly. In regions of and west of the Chequarnegon National Forest, temperatures may linger as low as -40°F for extended lengths of time.
Tornadoes and thunderstorms are the most prevalent severe weather systems to affect Wisconsin, though winter storms and related effects can be damaging as well. In 2013, Wisconsin experienced 16 tornadoes, which caused 2 deaths. The number of tornadoes varies widely. In 2005, 62 tornadoes hit the state. Tornadoes have caused many more deaths back in Wisconsin’s history; the worst tornado hit the state in June 1899, and it caused the deaths of 117 people. Thunderstorms are common and often quite severe, causing flooding. Consider trees as preventative measures against erosion caused by flooding.