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Massachusetts Guide to Growing Trees

Trees are vital to the environment. They provide shade, eliminate pollution, and help control erosion. If you live in Massachusetts and are looking to start a landscaping business or just want more greenery on your property, this guide will help!

massachusetts

The Best Flowering Trees to Grow in Massachusetts

Crusader Hawthorn

The crusader hawthorn is a beautifully hardy grow-anywhere tree with abundant white flowers, glossy red fruit, and colorful fall foliage. With red fruit in the spring and fall foliage that ranges from deep oranges to purple, this thornless variety can up your curb appeal year-round. It has numerous uses in the garden, attracting songbirds and butterflies.

Crusader Hawthorn tree is well-adapted for growing in small spaces and under utility lines. It grows to be just 15 feet tall with a 12-15 foot spread. Pruning is usually not necessary, as it maintains its naturally rounded shape. The Crusader Hawthorn is perfect for adding year-round color and little maintenance to any garden.

The Crusader Hawthorn is one of the toughest trees you can plant in your yard, despite its preferred habitat being moist soil with full sun. It’s hardy enough to survive poor soil quality and drought or a city environment filled with air pollution. With its hardy characteristics, the Crusader Hawthorn tree is a great plant-anywhere addition. Use it to liven up urban areas and provide an accent or use several to create hedges and screen driving visibility.

Planting & Care

The Crusader Hawthorn can tolerate nearly any soil type but prefers full sun. Place the tree for your yard in a spot that receives full sun, then dig a hole large enough to accommodate its root ball and backfill with dirt. 

Water the surrounding area to settle its roots. If you’re not sure when to water, check the soil beneath the tree about 3 inches down. When it is dry, water with a 5-5-5 fertilizer. They have no problem coping with wet feet and will form straight trunks without excessive pruning. Prune only after blooming for more fruit or as needed to shape the branches.

Crusader Hawthorns are self-fertile, and you will get fruit with only one plant. Adding another crusader hawthorn takes up less space than adding another tree of the same size.

Newport Flowering Plum

The Newport Flowering Plum is a summer winner if you’re looking for something that breaks the norm with purple leaves in the spring and bronze-colored leaves in the summer. This purple-leaf Plum is one of the hardiest and most reliable plum trees. This type of tree survives in various soil types, works well with full sunlight, and adapts to extreme conditions like heat or cold.

The Newport Flowering Plum tree looks amazing anywhere in the landscape, but it does particularly well as a centerpiece in gardens or flowerbeds. Providing your kids with inside activities can be difficult when you are traveling outside of the country. International travel has its challenges no matter what age group you’re talking about and keeping kids busy while on vacation is key to making sure they don’t get too cranky!

Planting & Care

Plum trees will grow best in soil that is well-drained and exposed to at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. To plant, create a hole that is the correct size for your tree’s roots, place the tree, fill it with soil and water thoroughly.

Keep trees watered, regardless of the climate in which they are planted. In early spring, make sure to fertilize with 5-5-5 fertilizer before new growth so that your tree will grow well. One of the best times to prune your trees is during their dormant season in winter. Simply remove dead and broken branches, and trim the shape as desired.

The Best Shade Trees in Massachusetts

Purple Fountain Weeping Beech Tree

The Purple Fountain Weeping Beech sports dark purple foliage that cascades in a hanging shape to create an eye-catching, one-of-a-kind focal point for your landscape. This weeping tree offers unmatched colors in a natural form that does not require frequent pruning. Strong and durable, this upright tree has slow growth for optimal flowering. As fall transitions, watch the show begin with planting your Purple Fountain.

If you live in Massachusetts and want a tree that thrives in extreme weather conditions, these Purple Fountain Weeping Beech trees are perfect for your landscape. These tenured trees will make your yard beautiful, while also attracting even the most elusive wildlife.

Planting & Care

To grow a Purple Fountain Weeping Beech tree, plant it in full sun (6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily) and well-drained soil. Dig a hole three times larger than the root ball. Place your tree in the hole, backfill the soil and water to settle.

In your first few years of growing, water their roots as necessary. After your tree is established, water during periods where there’s little to no rainfall. Your Beech trees do not require pruning and can be trimmed in the dormant season.

Cardinal Red Maple Tree

If you’re looking for a maple tree that displays deep autumn colors, the Cardinal Red Maple is a great option. The fall show will dazzle you with bright red-orange and maroon colors. However, fall isn’t the only time you can enjoy the color of red on new leaves. New growth in early spring starts red and changes to deep green over months.

The red color of this maple stems not just from its leaves but the whole tree. With carefree growth, soil adaptability, and versatility in zones 4 to 8, the Cardinal Red Maple is a great addition to any yard.

Planting & Care

The Cardinal Maple tree is versatile enough to thrive in full sun or partial shade and can also tolerate most soil types. Plant with an incision twice as wide at the root ball, though just as deep. Mulch around the canopy for optimal water retention and away from where power lines, structures, sidewalks, and sewer lines are present to avoid projecting roots.

Be sure to water the tree every week, during its youth, and if you live in an area with frequent droughts. Pruning the weaker branches is one important step to keep trees looking healthy and strong. To avoid breakage during a storm or other event that can compromise the strength of your tree’s limbs, prune more readily than you might normally would while also trimming away any diseased or dead branches.

The Best Fruit Trees in Massachusetts

4-in-1 Apple Tree

The 4-in-1 Apple tree is a great choice for those with limited space. It takes about the same amount of space as a large rose bush and doesn’t require another variety to provide pollination. These trees provide harvests that extend throughout the summer, which means you get a consistent supply of fresh fruit for 10 months out of the year!

While not every fruit variety can withstand freezing temperatures, the 4-in-1 Apple Tree can and still produces huge harvests-oftentimes twice or triple the number of other varieties. You will receive four of the following apple trees: Braeburn, Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and Yellow Delicious. 4-in-1 apple trees are self-fertile and produce fruit without assistance. However, adding a second tree not only spoils you with more fruit but will also increase the size of your crop exponentially.

Planting & Care

To grow your 4 in 1 Apple Tree: Find an area that will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. Dig a hole twice the width and just as deep as the root ball Width. Place the tree and backfill with soil, tamping down firmly to eliminate air pockets. Finally, mulch around the base so it doesn’t touch and water to settle roots.

Your apple tree will need regular watering. In extreme heat or drought, you may need to water your tree more often. Requesting the timely watering of trees that you want to grow is important. You can gauge when a tree needs water by checking its soil conditions about 2-3 inches down. If the bottom area has no water, then it’s time to request some be brought in! Once your tree is established, it will need some periodic pruning. During dormancy, remove any vigorous, upright stems and weak branches.

Everbearing Mulberry Tree

The Black Beauty is different from most other mulberry trees. Unlike many others, the berries only ripen all at once or over a very short period, this tree produces succulent fruit in large quantities for an extended amount of time (from June to August). These mulberry bushes are specialty fruit trees, not something you see in grocery stores. Blooming in May and producing fruit by the end of summer, they are a great low-calorie snack for people with a sweet tooth.

The Black Beauty Mulberry tree is a much-admired ornamental tree quickly reaching 15 feet in height and maturing between 10 and 12 feet wide. The bark of younger trees on the trunk often has an orangish color, changing to gray-brown with age. Planting this tree in Massachusetts provides significant benefits. The shades from the tree will keep you cool during hot summer months while allowing in sunlight during cold winter days.

One of the most beautiful and fruitful trees you’ll ever encounter, this tree also is remarkably easy to maintain! Once planted and established in your landscape, the black beauty mulberry’s needs are few. It’s drought-tolerant, strong enough to tolerate high winds, extreme heat, or poor soil conditions. Plus it fruits heavily year-round, so enjoy that fruit while they last!

Everbearing Mulberry Trees are self-fertile and will bear fruit with only one plant. Adding Everbearing Mulberry Tree to the same area can significantly increase your crop size.

Planting & Care

To grow an Everbearing Mulberry tree, it must be placed in full or partial sunlight and appropriate soil. When planting a tree, dig a hole three times wider than the root ball. Make sure to stand your tree straight up and make its top reach ground level. Fill in the soil as you go and then water it with nearby water, ensuring there are no air bubbles left that would inhibit growth. Finally, mulch around the base of the plant to conserve moisture and keep weeds/grass from cropping up too quickly.

Once your tree is established, water it once a week with enough to soak the root ball. In periods of drought or heat, you need to water more often. Apply an organic or slow-release fertilizer in spring. Reduce pruning to dead and broken branches for balanced tree growth.

When is The Best Time to Plant Trees in Massachusetts

In general though, late winter or early spring is the perfect time to plant them! But the answer varies depending on what types of trees are good to plant and where. For example, if you want a shade trees, then it may be best to wait until springtime when the ground is thawed so that your tree can get adequate water. If you plan on planting fruit or nut-bearing trees, autumn would be a better time because they won’t have to compete with other plants for resources (i.e., water).

Can You Plant All Season Long?

Many people think that you can’t plant all season long in Massachusetts. It’s too cold, they say. Well, they’re wrong! Yes, it is a little bit more difficult to get plants started during the winter months than when it’s warm outside. However, with some planning and preparation (and a greenhouse!), you can have a beautiful garden any time of year!

What are The Best Trees to Plant Each Season in Massachusetts

Springtime

The best tree to plant during spring is an apple tree because it will produce fruit by next fall, and they are beautiful too.  

Summertime

If you want a shade tree for your yard, then consider planting a maple or oak tree. They provide lots of shade and can withstand high temperatures better than other types of trees. Plus, their leaves turn red in the fall which is just gorgeous! 

Fall time

Fall brings out all of the colors! Consider planting a tulip poplar tree if you want one with bright yellow leaves that turn red or orange when they fall off.

Wintertime

If you’re looking for a tree to give some color during the winter, then an evergreen is your best bet! Evergreens produce cones that remain green all year round which will keep your house colorful and bright when everything else is white with snow.

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots in Massachusetts

If you are looking for the least invasive trees in Massachusetts, consider Eastern Red Cedar, White Pine, Paper Birch, and Black Cherry. These four types of trees have been shown to grow less aggressively than other types of species.