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Utah Guide to Growing Trees

Have you ever wanted to grow a tree from scratch? Do you have the patience of a saint, or are you just curious about what it takes to grow trees in Utah? If so then this guide is for you! By following these simple steps, anyone can be a proud owner of their very own tree!

Trees in Utah

The Best Flowering Trees to Grow in Utah

Eastern Redbud

The Eastern Redbud, which is prized for its vibrant pink flowers and blooms early each year, marks the transition from winter to spring. This tree’s leaves change color throughout the seasons but require no upkeep or guesswork like many flowering trees.

Despite its delicate appearance, the Eastern Redbud is one of the hardiest trees. It’s strong enough to withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees Fahrenheit and resists ice damage with ease! Plus, it grows well in all sorts of soil types. You get a rounded canopy that provides privacy and blocks the sun without all the work a flowering tree requires.

One of the best reasons to grow Eastern Redbuds is that they can fit into any size garden. Their vibrant spring flowers, powdery green leaves, and wide-reaching branches will turn your garden’s appearance from bleak to brilliant in no time at all.

Planting & Care

Select planting areas with well-drained soil and at least four to six hours of sunshine. Dig a hole that is twice the size of your tree’s root ball and as deep. Place the tree in the hole and backfill with soil, checking to make sure it is stable before adding any more. Be sure to water thoroughly and mulch around the base of your tree with 3-4 inches of organic material (smells nice).

When watering a newly planted tree make sure to water the soil next to it, not just from the bottom of the root ball. This way you will have a better idea if your tree needs water sooner than you might think. Years vary, but it is safe to say that after one year your Redbud can thrive on rainfall alone. We recommend checking the soil level and watering if needed.

In early spring, apply compost or a complete fertilizer every 6 months to the root zone of the plant, following label instructions. Unnecessary or crossing branches should be removed in early summer after the tree has finished blooming. When you need to trim branches, do not leave any stubs and space your cuts gradually over a few months. In late winter, remove dead or damaged wood and shoot from the bottom of the trunk.

‘KV’ Flowering Plum Tree

The Krauter Vesuvius Plum is one of the fastest-growing trees in Nevada, and it can beautify your landscaping all year. In addition to blossoming beautifully in the springtime, KV Plums bear fruit that produces lots of juicy cherries. In the spring, purple leaves will emerge on Krauter Vesuvius trees and they will remain dark throughout the season. In the fall, brightly-colored fruit comes out on this tree as well.

The Krauter Vesuvius Plum has small, round canopies and grows up to about 20 feet. You can strategically place these plum trees in your yard near the driveway or by a home to provide shade and keep certain areas cool. 

Krauter Vesuvius Plums grow well in both the harsh, cold, and snow climates up north as well as hot and dry climates down south. This variety of plums is cold-hardy and drought-resistant, but what makes them unique is that they are smog resistant. They filter toxins out of the air while providing a beautiful color and delicious fruit.

Planting & Care

To grow a flowering plum tree most successfully, plant it in the sun but with some shade. This tree will not tolerate too much shade or wet soil. It is known that the KV is an air filtration tree, cleaning toxins from the air, which can be planted close to streets without fear of pollution causing them harm. To plant a KV near a street, create a hole for it twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball size. Gently comb out any loose roots protruding from the root ball so they can establish completely in their new home. Backfill the hole with the added water. Spread 3 inches of organic mulch each spring and renew it every year to prevent air pockets from forming.

Tree watering should be more frequent during hot months as the tree is more susceptible to dying of root rot. The flowering plum is very adaptable and water needs vary depending on if you have well or city tap water, but generally, it requires weekly watering.

KV Plums are a tree that does not require constant pruning, but an annual trim of the branch tips will help encourage denser growth and branching. Prune during winter dormant months at 45 degrees with sterilized cutters. You can use rubbing alcohol to clean your cutting tool before fertilizing.

KV Plums are stunning trees, but they can develop fungus problems. To avoid this, make sure to keep up with raking any fallen leaves and debris below the tree. Also, be sure to water right at the base of the tree so that all available roots will drink from your new irrigation system.

These three pests cause brown leaf foliage and a loss of new growth: borers, aphids, and leafhoppers. Horticultural oil can be applied to borers and neem oil or insecticidal soap can protect against aphids or other soft-bodied pests.

The Best Shade Trees in Utah

Ginkgo Tree

The Ginkgo is an interesting ornamental tree for anyone who appreciates Colorful, unusual foliage and drought resistance. The Ginkgo stands out among Arizona’s diverse tree population with its large, round form and delicate green leaves. The male Ginkgo produces no fruit, making this tree even easier to maintain. A lack of scent is another advantage of the Ginkgo.

The Ginkgo tree is one of the first to change colors in the autumn months, and it isn’t impacted by pollution because it thrives in urban areas. If you’re looking for a tree that will change colors quickly and won’t be disturbed by smog or other pollutants, then the Ginkgo tree might be your best option.

Planting & Care

You should choose a location that takes account of the mature height and width of your Ginkgo Tree. Give it an area surrounded by well-draining soil, as well as ample sunlight. Prepare by soaking the Ginkgo in a bucketful of water before digging up its roots to plant it. Once you do this, place the tree back into its hole again and cover it with equal amounts of sand and soil before watering thoroughly.

To care for a Ginkgo Tree, water it regularly but more often as necessary in dry conditions. Fertilizing trees is not necessary since they are fertilized by the soil. Early pruning techniques during the winter months can inhibit a tree’s growth.

Red Sunset Maple Tree

The Red Sunset Maple is one of the best varieties on the market for delivering deeply colorful foliage weeks before other varieties. With deep, dazzling red hues that develop up to one month in advance, this tree provides a rich array of fall colors as soon as October or November.

The Red Sunset Maple tree is an instant sensation, displaying rich, vivid color where other maples can’t. Whether you’re in a climate with temperatures down to -20 degrees or if it’s hot, the Red Sunset variety of trees tends to take on intense colors. It is more drought-resistant than other varieties too, so it maintains it is great-looking despite little water consumption. Plus, its strong branching stands up to high winds and sustained storms well also.

Easily grown in a variety of locations, the Red Sunset Maple tree displays brilliant colors. Plant one near your front walkway and marvel at its vibrant hues that gracefully change with different times of the day.

Planting & Care

First, choose a full to partial sun location. Any area with a maximum of 6 hours of direct sunlight and well-drained soil is best for this Red Sunset tree. Dig a hole in the dirt. Fill with enough soil and water to get your tree settled. Remember, a minimum of four feet should be between the tree and anything that could damage it.

When planting a Red Sunset Maple, you should initially water it during dry spells for the first few years. Generally, It should survive well enough with rainfall alone. When preparing to cut your tree down, do it after the buds break in late winter. Cutaway dead or damaged branches to the nearest healthy bud at any time of year.

The Best Fruit Trees in Utah

Everbearing Mulberry Tree

Growing your mulberry tree is an exceptional way to provide your family with delicious, healthy fruit. Unlike other fruits which ripen all at once, this Mulberry Black Beauty produces enough fruit to keep you happy throughout the summer. The fruit is delicious when consumed fresh but can also be preserved for later use. Jams are one way that mulberry’s flavors have been preserved over the years and still taste great today.

The black Beauty Mulberry is beautiful throughout the tree’s life. Homeowners should consider adding this stately ornamental tree to their landscape, as it grows quickly, can be enjoyed for many years to come, and it’s easy to maintain at home! It only takes a single season for this tree to flower and produce fruit. Black Beauty Trees are drought-resistant, sturdy, and can grow in many poor conditions.

Planting & Care

Choose a location that receives full or partial sunlight with good drainage. In the hole, make sure it is three times as wide as the root ball and equal depth. Remove the tree from the container and place it in the hole ensuring it is standing upright with the top of the root ball level to the ground. Give extra care when filling the remaining space; tamp down lightly as you fill around the roots so it sinks evenly. Water area immediately to avoid air pockets forming in the drained soil after planting your tree. Place mulch around the base of the tree to prevent weeds/grass from growing.

Water your tree weekly to start, but once it becomes established, you will only need to water it when there is a drought. Apply organic fertilizer or slow-release fertilizer in spring. Very little pruning is needed to maintain the tree, but some branches should be trimmed in spring.

American Hazelnut Filbert

The American Hazelnut is a prolific and easy to tame shrub that thrives in eastern U.S. woodlands and prairies, well suited for garden living. Planted and left to take root for just 1-3 years will yield up to 25 pounds of sweet, nutty nuts. Hazelnuts are mainly known for their rich flavor and versatility, but they also have medicinal benefits to offer. Compared to grain or nut, the kernel is easily extracted and provides many protein-rich nutrients. The goodness of these kernels comes in the raw or lightly toasted form.

This native tree can grow vertically over eighteen feet and has large, sparse leaves. Once mature, the foliage of a River Birch is fluffy with hairs and varies in shades from red-brown to golden-yellow.

Hazelnut trees produce nuts that forest inhabitants enjoy. Squirrels, rabbits, deer, and a variety of birds love their tasty but nutrient-rich nuts. Male flowers provide food for whiskered animals in winter, while the tree’s leaves are also nutritious to other woodland creatures. This is a hardy plant that takes little to no work. The hazelnut bush has roots in America and can withstand many different climates, Even though it is fairly small, the American Hazelnut fits into most environments. It can be pruned for size and shape needs, while its broad leaves make it perfect for privacy or windbreaks.

Planting & Care

The American Hazelnut Filbert grows well in slightly acidic to near-neutral soil, but it will not grow in soils with a pH above 7. For acidity, sulfur can be added as an amendment. Add granular fertilizers only if you are after flowers and nuts; an excessive dose will inhibit flowering. Depending on their environment, they would rather be found in loamy soil with slightly acidic properties.

Plant in late winter or early spring once the frost is out of the ground. Make a hole wide enough to fit your container and fill it with water, then let it drain into the surrounding soil to loosen up the dirt. If the root mass has natural material like burlap around it, remove the wires or rope and pull the burlap away from the base of the bush. If the covering is synthetic, remove it completely. If root bound, cut any stray roots near the top with sharp hand pruners.

The shrub should be level with the ground in your garden. Extend out the level of this hole to accommodate how deep it is in its pot. Fill this hole, and then water thoroughly. Leave a moat around the root ball made out of the soil that you weren’t able to fill back into the hole. Mulching should be about 1-2” away from the base of the shrub, and any root suckers that might appear on a new plant need to be cut off just below ground level.

The first year after planting is an important period in a shrub’s growth. Water often, as you would with plants for the rest of your life. After the second year, it will start to take care of itself and conserve water more efficiently. Filberts should avoid fertile soils with too much fertilizer, as the plants will often put all of their energy into growing foliage and few if any flowers.

Mulch will cover up weeds. If your planting site is covered with sod, remove the sod and replace it with child-friendly soil. The most common disease is ‘eastern filbert blight’. Consult your local Cooperative Extension or Nursery for tips on identifying the disease and controlling its spread. Leaf roller moths are a common problem when they hatch. In the larval stage, these insects can roll leaves and create webs under branches as they feed on them. Though insecticides provide little to no relief-cut off affected branches and dispose of them far away from the site or by burning.

When pruning, do so in the winter. Aim for an open orientation of the branches and shoots for improved air circulation. Cleanliness and sharp tools are important to prevent fungus from infecting your tree’s bark. When removing old growth, cut clear to the ground. One-third of the oldest branches should be removed at a time and overcrowded areas should be thinned out while crossing branches are cut off as they inhibit open growth. Fallen branches should also be removed from the root area.

When is The Best Time to Plant Trees in Utah

The best time to plant your tree order for Utah is either late fall or early winter before Christmas! Trees in general are better off planted during the dormant season when temperatures are cooler than planting them in midsummer heat waves and high winds. If you wait until spring it may be too hot out to get around outside easily while carrying heavy loads of dirt with many roots dangling from the ground as well as just generally being more difficult due to higher moisture content on top of all that rain we’ll be getting this year (with some luck). Fall weather will give us much lower humidity levels which make digging holes easier because there’s less water in the ground to deal with.

Can You Plant All Season Long?

Yes, you can. Utah’s climate is moderate enough that many trees will grow year-round with minimal hassle.

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

Springtime

In springtime, you should plant deciduous trees because they are easy to maintain. Planting is an excellent way to add a little color and liveliness during the cold, snowy months of winter.

Summertime

Once the dog days of summer arrive, it’s time to think about trees that have some shade. These include Black Walnuts, Acacia, and Cottonwoods. 

Fall time

Fall is just around the corner which means soon we’ll be experiencing those crisp evenings as well as seeing beautiful colors in our leaves! The best fall-type trees for Utah soil would be Pecans or Ginkgos.

Wintertime

Now we’re in the winter months, so you should plant evergreen trees. These include Pines and Cedars.

What Trees Have The Least Invasive Roots in Utah

The least invasive trees in Utah are the Bald cypress, Cedar of Lebanon, Ponderosa pine, or limber pine.

The least invasive trees in Utah also include cottonwood and aspen trees. These two types of trees have a very low root structure that will not spread quickly into neighboring yards or fields like some other species do. This makes them ideal for planting next to homes with pools because they will not pose any risk to one’s foundation during high water levels–and their roots won’t interfere with septic systems either! The only downside is these less-invasive plants can be more difficult to find at local nurseries than others (though many native plant enthusiasts go on hunts for specific varieties).