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Arkansas Guide to Growing Trees

Arkansas is well known for its beautiful scenery, which makes it an excellent place for growing trees! One thing that most people don’t realize about tree care is how easy it can be! If you are new to tree care in Arkansas then this guide has everything you need!

Arkansas Trees

The Best Flowering Trees to Grow in Arkansas

Red Rose of Sharon Althea Tree

The Dwarf Red Rose of Sharon Tree is perfect for gardens with little space. The tree’s blooms last for months and range from deep maroon-purple to pale pink. It can be used as a decorative plant, both indoors or outdoors, at places like entryways and flower pots. 

Planting & Care

Select a shovelful of soil with good drainage and full to partial sunshine. First, dig a hole that is twice as wide as the roots. Gently place your plant in the hole, fill it up with dirt again then water it. Lastly, mulch around the plant by adding more soil on top for conservation.

When watering alders, be sure to water around the entire tree and check underneath the tree. They may need water if there is no moisture below them. Alders are very susceptible to drying out so keep an eye on them throughout the week, especially when the weather is hot and dry. After pruning in winter, The Rose of Sharon should be fertilized using a well-balanced fertilizer like 10-10-20 for new growth to begin next spring.

Chinese Pistache Tree

The Chinese Pistache is an outstanding hardwood tree that grows to a medium-to-large size. It has lots of fall color, and shades of reds, oranges, and yellows top it off nicely. Some beautiful trees in our state are unlike any others and will catch the eye of your neighbors. They grow to be taller than standard maple trees with light green or yellow leaves instead of dark green leaves. In the spring and summer, these trees produce vibrant colors in their foliage which provide plenty of shade during scorching seasons – perfect for home or work. The Chinese Pistache is a tree that has been proven to be well suited for dense urban environments with the ability to handle heat waves and drought conditions. 

Planting & Care

The best location for your Pistache tree is one that receives full sun and well-draining soil. Dig a hole 4 to 5 times as wide as the root ball and fill it with alternating tamps from up down until you reach ground level. Avoid creating pockets of air by tightly filling in the hole with dirt that’s mixed with leaves or straw. Pistache trees do best when given two large waterings each week. Daily watering is not recommended, but your tree will fare worse if you neglect it entirely with sparse waterings every few days.

Young trees should be fertilized with nitrogen-based fertilizer if they grow less than 2 to 3 feet per year and are under five years old. The instructions on the package will tell you how much of this type of fertilizer needs to be applied so follow these steps when applying. When your Pistache reaches six feet, prune the top of the tree by taking a trunk and trimming it into branches. You can select which trunks to keep and cut off all other trunks at three feet below this level. Keep repeating this process until you have branches on each side of Theatwaveswell-drained The Pistache that are symmetrical in height. 

‘Pink Pom Poms’ Redbud Tree

Pom poms are an attractive tree for Arkansas. The double lavender flowers and heart-shaped leaves distinguish all redbud trees, but this variety has the bonus of huge mega-redbud bloom. The Pink Pom Poms is much more than a showy plant. Though it looks great in the front yard, as guests walk by they will often stop and ask where you got your green thumb because this colorful plant is so enticing. 

Planting & Care

There is no one specific tree that will thrive, but some have been proven to grow better than others. A pom-pom tree needs well drained soil and either full or partial sun with some afternoon shade. For best results, double the size of your hole by adding a layer of dirt for drainage and keep it deep as possible. Firmly place your new tree in the ground with the roots facing upwards until you cover them up with mulch.

The first year that you plant your tree, water it about once or twice a week. Then, after the first year of planting and during its second year here in Arkansas, keep an eye out for dry dirt. If necessary, provide more moisture to your tree as needed. Apply compost or complete fertilizer like 5-10-5 around the root zone of your tree in early spring. Prune unwanted branches from large ones and remove trees in early summer while avoiding cutting too close to the trunk.

The Best Shade Trees in Arkansas

Amberglow Redwood Tree

The Amberglow tree is a variety of the Dawn Redwood, which has colorful foliage in spring, summer, and fall. The Amberglow Redwood is an extraordinary tree that offers both the timeless beauty and historic significance of redwoods in an environmentally friendly size. Fall brings attractive orange and red colors to Arkansas. This disease-free, easygoing tree can adapt well from almost any condition in your yard, provides a beautiful pyramidal shade —and they’re so popular right now because Midwest landscapers are planting them at such high rates—so you don’t have to worry about going elsewhere if you’re looking for one! 

Planting & Care

To help your amber glow redwood thrive, make sure you plant it in well-draining soil and place it in a spot that gets full sun. No need to amend the soil with organic materials; just mulch around the base for additional moisture retention. When planting an Amberglow Redwood, be sure to water it for one inch each week. The tree is pretty drought-tolerant, but if you live in a more severe and dry climate, the tree will need more than just rainwater.

Wireless Zelkova Tree

The Wireless Zelkova Tree has a smaller size and deep green leaves that turn red. Unlike most other varieties of Zelkovas, the Wireless has a compact size that fits into smaller yards or gardens. The Zelkova is noteworthy for its dark brown bark and feather-shaped leaves which turn vibrant red in fall. Wireless Zelkova trees are perfect for wide areas like patios or under power lines along the street. They provide both shade and visual interest, as well as a strong and tough tree that will grow down to 20 degrees below zero. 

Planting & Care

The wireless zelkova easily survives in most soil conditions. It needs 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day, and its tolerance of different soil types allows you to place it anywhere you like so long as the location receives full sun. Don’t worry about adding anything to your existing yard before planting – simply rototill a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball; no amendments or additions are necessary for initial planting.

This tree can tolerate both wet and dry conditions. It’s best to water the tree weekly as it grows in its early years, but after a couple of years, you’ll only need to water it during times of drought. If you find yourself unclear about when to water your plant, simply check the soil at 3 inches or so below the surface. Dealing with dead bark and branch removal is even easier–simply do this in the fall before winter sets in!

The Best Fruit Trees in Arkansas

Stella Cherry Tree

Love cherries? Wait no more. Stella Cherry Trees take years to grow and prune so that they produce fruit in the first year. Plus, it’s small so it’s perfect for your limited space! Unlike other cherry trees, you only need one tree to get plenty of fruit. They’re great for snacking on or canning/freezing make you have a lot of options when cooking with these delicious pie-filling ingredients! 

Planting & Care

Choose an area with a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight and well-drained soil. Dig the hole as deep as the root ball and three times wider than it is wide. Place the tree in the center of the hole and backfill until it’s level with ground grade before watering to settle roots. Then layer mulch around surface dirt before planting to preserve moisture.

Tree watering may be necessary but is dependent on the growing season, rainfall, and other environmental factors. It’s best to use a slow trickling garden hose for the water to seep into the ground to avoid a surface runoff. Appropriately water the ground around the tree roots to make sure it’s moistened and can support healthy growth. When deciding whether or not your tree needs more water, dig down 2 inches – if the soil there is dry, chances are good that your tree needs a drink.

A year following the planting of a tree, prune in winter. Shape the tree and provide space for horizontal branch growth between branches one time per year. Prune branches as needed to remove dead or drooping sections. We recommend fertilizing in the spring and mid-summer using nitrogen fertilizer twice each year, following the directions on the package. Be sure to apply 6 to 8 inches away from the trunk – and avoid fertilizing after mid-summer or you’ll have thin growth that may not harden before fall frosts.

Brightwell Blueberry

The Brightwell Blueberry, which grows in a more open and spreading variety than other blueberries, can produce 15 pounds of fruit each year. A hybrid variety of the rabbiteye blueberry, the Brightwell plants are noted for their ruggedness and dependability. They have a natural resistance to disease as well as insects. This makes for great preserves!

Brightwell berries are medium and large-sized, with a sweet flavor. They can be eaten fresh or processed. The Brightwell’s blueberry bushes reach maturity in just two months which means the fruit will be ready and ripe for harvesting. You’ll have such a generous crop that you’ll be able to share with friends and family, as well as co-workers.

Planting & Care

If you want to grow a Brightwell blueberry in your garden, prepare the ground with adequate sunlight (6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily) and drainage. Plant the shrub hole at least 3 times as deep as the root ball when preparing for planting. The Brightwell blackberry does not self-pollinate, so plant three for best pollination and ample berries. The Rabbiteye blueberry is a good pollinator.

The Brightwell will need to be watered once per day for the first two weeks. Put just enough water on the soil that it is moist, but not wet and never allow standing water. The plant should be fertilized when its leaves start to grow. Use a fertilizer made for azaleas such as 10-5-4, 10-8-8, or 11-7-7 in a 12-inch circle around its base each time you feed, which should be done every spring when new foliage has grown in. Prune branches off of the shrub during winter months; remove dead limbs as well as any other crowded or damaged ones.

When is The Best Time to Plant Trees in Arkansas

Arkansas doesn’t have a specific planting season, but trees planted during the winter months are recommended. The weather is more favorable for tree planting and growth, and there will be less competition from other plants in your yard that could potentially compete with your new tree’s sunlight. However, you should know that different types of trees survive better in different regions. For example, some trees don’t survive as well as other trees on hills or if they get shady for part of the day.

Can You Plant All Season Long?

As a general rule, you cannot plant trees seasonally in Arkansas because of the region’s seasonal changes. However, if you prepare your garden and/or outdoor space well with proper plants and time allotted for growth, it is feasible to plant not only trees but other flowers or vegetables as well.

What are The Best Trees to Plant in Each Season in Arkansas

Springtime

Springtime brings about an abundance of sunlight which makes this season perfect for starting your garden from scratch. Better to plant Flowering Dogwood, Redbud Asparagus, and Lettuce. 

Summertime

It is best to plant Cupressus macrocarpa (Monterey Cypress), Juniperus Scopulorum (Rocky Mountain Juniper) beans, cucumbers, and cantaloupe in the summer.

Fall time

Fall is a great time to plant trees like dogwood, persimmon, Quercus virginiana (Live Oak), Pinus echinata (Shortleaf Pine), and cabbage family members such as broccoli raab or cauliflower.

Wintertime

Winter is more difficult because there will be fewer daylight hours for you to work with. a suitable plant to grow this season is Taxodium distichum var. nutans (Bald cypress).

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots in Arkansas

Unfortunately, not all trees have non-invasive roots. One way to avoid this problem is by planting certain varieties of trees with less invasive roots. For example, The Oak has a few invasive roots, but it can be trimmed to be less invasive. Some other plants which are less invasive roots are Chinese Elm, Ginkgo Biloba, and Larch Tree.