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South Dakota Guide to Growing Trees

Growing trees in South Dakota is not always an easy task. There are a few things you need to know before planting your tree and if you don’t, it may not survive. This guide was created to help people plant their new trees successfully so they can enjoy them for years to come!

Trees in South Dakota

The Best Flowering Trees to Grow in South Dakota

Little Lime Hydrangea Tree

The Little Lime Hydrangea Tree, which has been specially bred to be a dwarf version of the beautiful Limelight Hydrangea, is ideal for smaller gardens or tight locations. Tucked among ivy vines, this hydrangea’s brilliant green blooms fade to pink in the fall. The plant is hearty enough to withstand 20-degree temperatures and can be grown in a variety of light conditions. Choose!

Planting & Care

Find the perfect spot for your Little Lime Hydrangea Tree by looking for sunny locations with well-drained soil. After selecting a location, create a hole that is just as deep and twice the size of your plant’s root ball. Place the tree in the hole and tamp down the soil so it fills any gaps. Water to settle roots before applying mulch to conserve moisture on site.

If your Hydrangea’s soil is dry, water the plant. You should water it about once or twice weekly until the planting has established itself. It is recommended to fertilize your plants with a general-purpose fertilizer during the growing season and follow label instructions for optimal growth. When you prune your hydrangea, always do it in the winter because this promotes new growth and blooms.

Sargent Crabapple Tree

The Sargent Crabapple is compact, easy to maintain, and has colorful blooms in the spring and bright red fruit in the fall. Snow of white flowers in the spring with greenery during summer. They offer nearly year-round color for your landscape. This cultivar is an alternate bearing with heavy blooms every other year. In the spring, red and pink buds turn into fragrant white blossoms, while dense green foliage turns yellow in the fall. Clusters of small, bright-red fruit survive into summer and beyond to provide winter interest.

The Sargent Crabapple has a compact size that makes it ideal for smaller yards. Use the tree to create a privacy hedge, along fence lines and patios or sidewalks, or as an ornamental tree in mixed borders when planted at maturity. These trees are ideal for those who love watching wildlife, as it attracts birds and butterflies with its fragrant flowers and bright red fruit. The Sargent’s dense foliage, branching pattern, and easy propagation qualities make it a great choice for Bonsai gardens. This variety of crabapples can be used to pollinate apple trees, resulting in more apples!

Planting & Care

The Sargent Crabapple grows in alkaline to acidic soil, prefers moist well-draining soils, and needs full sun. When planting your tree, dig a hole large enough to accommodate the ball of roots and place it into it. Backfill with soil then water the surrounding area around the root ball to settle roots.

One thing to keep in mind is that Sargent Crabapple trees require moist soil for the best growth. In areas with moderate rainfall, watering once or twice a week will suffice—in drier areas, check your soil and water when 3 inches of it have dried out below the surface. A 5-5-5 fertilizer should be applied at the beginning of each spring. The Sargent Crabapple requires minimal pruning; just lightly trim off any damaged branches in winter.

The Best Shade Trees in South Dakota

Autumn Purple Ash Tree

The Autumn Purple Ash is a popular tree due to its vibrant colors and quick growth. It is easier and more carefree than most other varieties because it thrives in a variety of soil types and can survive in dry conditions. The Purple Ash boasts a color that ranges from dark green in the summer to a brilliant purple for fall. The show doesn’t end there; it holds its fall colors longer than any other tree variety, so you can enjoy it all season long!

A favorite for many homeowners, the Autumn Purple Ash is a tree that has plenty of great qualities. With wide leaves, this tree blocks sunlight and cuts your cooling bills in the summertime. When you get one of these trees, you get an attractive ornamental tree that also stands up to its environment and can increase property value. The Autumn Purple Ash thrives in Maine and beyond. This tree is resistant to most pests and lasts generation after generation.

Planting & Care

Purple Ash Trees are moderately drought tolerant and easy to grow in a wide variety of soil conditions. Purple Ash Tree’s foliage is similar to fruit trees as it is a nitrogen-fixing tree(when the leaves fall, they leave organic matter).

Dig your hole in a spot that receives at least 4 continuous hours of sun per day, but prefers areas that pick up about 5 hours of sunlight each day. The root ball should be about twice the size of the base’s diameter and just as deep as its height. Place the tree inside and press down on the soil to fill it halfway back in. Don’t forget to water before filling!

It’s best to water the roots of Autumn Purple Ash trees weekly to help them establish and develop. To do this, place a hose with slow trickling water at its base for about 10 to 15 minutes each time you visit it. This tree prefers a balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10. Apply it according to the instructions on the packaging in late summer. To encourage your Autumn Purple Ash to develop a fuller shape, you will need to prune it occasionally. Spring is the best time for this as it encourages new shoots which may cross over or grow straight up.

Silver Maple Tree

One of the most popular trees in Montana that is easy to maintain and transplants easily are the silver maple tree. The Silver Maple Tree is a great shade tree for Montana because it has enchanting silver colors and steady growth. It’s also well-suited to wet spots or street borders, so it can survive in pretty much any environment! Plant our Silver Maple Trees and enjoy the benefits for years to come! After planting a Silver Maple Tree it will grow about 3 feet each year resulting in a shade that is reliable, evergreen, and looks great in your backyard.

Planting & Care

The Silver Maple tree can be planted in any soil condition, though it does prefer wet bottomlands. It prefers 4-8 hours of sunlight daily and should not be placed near power lines, sewer lines, or sidewalks.

This tree can do well in both wet and dry conditions. Be sure to water it weekly when it’s young so that there is enough growth, but if you live in a place where drought occurs on occasion, you may need to keep watering weekly throughout its life. Pruning your tree in the early spring can prevent them from breaking during poor weather conditions. Prune at least one of the weaker branches, including ones that are dead or diseased.

The Best Fruit Trees in South Dakota

Horseradish Plant

Horseradish, a root vegetable commonly used as a condiment, is also an attractive plant. The Horseradish Plant’s leaves are green and leafy before harvest. It produces berries that give rise to the plant’s namesake- horseradish sauce! 

If you’d like to try your hand at making some Horseradish sauce, mash the root and mix it with vinegar. Then store it in the refrigerator to keep its flavor intact. If you prefer Horseradish for its taste and incredible health benefits, then this will be the perfect plant for you. Horseradish plants are high in Vitamin C, calcium, iron, potassium, and more while being incredibly easy to grow. 

The Horseradish Plant displays beautiful, green leaves with an airy structure that sometimes includes little white flowers. These are harmless to the plant and should be plucked as they appear during summertime to conserve energy. A Horseradish Plant is a perennial that grows 2 feet tall in temperate climates. They are commonly planted outside or in containers. They require practically no maintenance.

Planting & Care

Horseradish plants thrive in full to partial sun. Plant them in the spring, when the soil is loose and has lots of organic matter mixed into it. If planting in a container, select one large enough to support the horseradish plant’s long, edible roots. If planting in a garden, be careful not to let the horseradish take over and pull it up when you harvest – it can spread quickly.

Keep an eye on your Horseradish plant to see if it needs water. If you’re not sure when the last time it was watered, check the soil down to about 2 inches – dry here indicates that there isn’t enough moisture around the roots or container. Feed with a balanced fertilizer monthly according to package instructions and you’ll be good. Harvest horseradish after one year, either in spring or late fall using a trowel to carefully remove the roots.

Lowbush Blueberry

The Lowbush Blueberry, a lesser-known subspecies of the Highbush Blueberry bush blueberries, has at least two points of interest for gardeners. Blueberry bushes are an easy way to diversify your fruit garden with a tasty berry that is well-liked by both adults and children.

Planting & Care

Blueberries require full sun and well-draining soil to thrive. Blueberry plants must be planted in acidic, pH 5.5, or lower soils for the plant to absorb nutrients adequately and resist disease more effectively.

To plant a Lowbush Blueberry, dig a hole about twice the size of the root ball. Amend the soil with peat moss or sawdust and place your blueberry bush in it. Cover the roots with soil-peat moss mix and make sure there are no air pockets left before sealing off any gaps between dirt and the bottom of your pot or container so that water can’t seep out around the roots.

Your blueberry shrubs will need to be watered regularly, but take care not to over-water. Keep an eye out for drooping leaves as a sign of overwatering or under-watering your plants, and only water them when the soil is dry. Fertilize the blueberry bush with an acid-lover fertilizer twice a year, once in the spring and once after harvesting. Lowbush Blueberry plants need to be pruned every other year, and any less productive or damaged branches should also be removed.

When is The Best Time to Plant Trees in South Dakota

The best season to plant trees in South Dakota is spring. This is because the tree roots need to be underground before winter.

Can You Plant All Season Long?

Planting all season long in South Dakota is a bit of a myth. In the Midwest, most trees will not grow in all four seasons if left to nature’s timetable. However, there are some species that will survive uninhibited for much longer periods than others and can thrive even when planted during winter months or early spring (such as Black Walnut). Note that it is important not to overplant when planting a tree during any season and therefore recommend only adding one new type of tree each year.

 

What are The Best Trees to Plant Each Season in South Dakota

Springtime

The best trees to plant in the Spring in South Dakota are Black Hills Spruce and Blue Atlas Cedars. Black Hills Spruce is a medium-sized evergreen that grows quickly and is good for screens. Blue Atlas Cedars require little maintenance, have textured bark, drought-tolerant, work well as an understory tree in larger plantings. 

Summertime

The best tree to plant in the Summer is Crepe Myrtle, broadleaf evergreen with beautiful flowers every year; it’s also great for bird feeders! It needs protection from sun exposure during hot days and likes moist soil so mulch will be beneficial if planted near the dry ground.

Fall time

The best trees to plant in the Fall are these types of trees found growing natively throughout South Dakota plains grasslands (most notably): Cottonwood, Eastern Redbud, and Sugar Maple.

Wintertime

The best trees to plant in the Winter are Golden Rain Trees which grow quickly and produce beautiful yellow flowers for an easy-care tree.

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots in South Dakota

The least invasive trees in South Dakota are the deciduous trees such as Red Oak, Sugar Maple and White Ash.