Missouri State Tree

The next time you consider planting a (sometimes invasive) Callery ‘Bradford’ pear that just ends up breaking apart in high winds or ice or gets topped when it reaches utility lines,  consider planting something native.  Native plants offer natural endurance, seasonal interest, and, best of all, actual contributions to area biodiversity.  Small native trees (e.g., understory trees) can be perfect for your yard.

Consider the Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida).  White/pink flowers in springtime, interesting trunk texture, varying fall color, red berries fall/winter.

Cornus florida

Some other small/medium-sized trees and shrubs to consider: Redbud (Cercis canadensis), Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), Pawpaw (Asimina triloba), Serviceberry (Amelanchier), Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) (aka Fruit Loop tree in my book…just smell a twig!), Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)…

For advice on native Midwestern choices look here, otherwise see the extensive information at Missouri’s Grow Native.


2 thoughts on “Missouri State Tree

    • Right. Our natives get to endure crazy spring weather (90s one day, freeze warning tomorrow morning). Extensive root systems also help make native plants tolerant of this variable temperate climate. Turf grass, for example, has root systems less than a foot deep–no wonder they need watering. Native perennials and grasses (like buffalo grass) can dig down several feet for water. Amazing. Thanks for commenting!

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