Over the past few years, many trees in yards were lost due to storms, drought, insects, disease, and stem girdling roots.
To combat these losses to New Brighton’s urban & community forest, the City provides a list of recommended shade trees for property owners who are interested in replacing a lost tree or enriching their landscape. While some of the species are hard to find, this list is for residents wanting guidance on what to plant.
A diverse canopy avoids problems like Dutch Elm Disease or periods of summer drought that over time leads to the loss of many mature trees.
Amur Chokecherry (Prunus maackii); showy copper colored bark, requires formative pruning when young
Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera), fast growing native poplar species, good for honeybees
Black Cherry (Prunus serotina), attractive bark at all stages, good for wildlife and native pollinators
Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanths); good thornless cultivars include ‘Shademaster’, ‘Imperial’, Skyline’, and ‘Sunburst’, fast growing species, diffuse shade, subject to nectria canker (avoid pruning in humid weather)
Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana); attractive smooth bark when young, hop-like fruit, very strong wood
Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata); attractive smooth bark, white flowers, native to east Asia
Magnolia (Magnolia spp.); brilliant spring flowers, 4 varieties that are hardy to the southern Minnesota Hardiness Zone 4 include ‘Star’, ‘Leonard Messel’, ‘Merrill’ and ‘Cucumber tree’
Ohio buckeye (Aesculus glabra); orange-reddish fall color, ‘Autumn Splendor’ a good cultivar
River Birch (Betula nigra); attractive exfoliating bark, much more drought tolerant than white birch species
American Elm (Ulmus americana); very hardy and tolerant of a wide variety of sites, common Dutch elm disease resistant cultivars include ‘Accolade’, ‘Cathedral’, ‘Patriot’, ‘Princeton’ or ‘Valley Forge’
Basswood (Tilia americana); also called American linden, excellent species for pollinators, dense shade
Bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis); native to southeast Minnesota, good wildlife value, smooth bark
Black walnut (Juglans nigra); good wildlife value, attractive form, avoid planting near gardens
Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa); corky bark, originally widespread in New Brighton, resistant to oak wilt
Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoids); plant away from pavement or structures, important for honeybees Gingko (Gingko biloba); pyramidal growth form, ‘Autumn Gold’ and ‘Princeton Sentry’ good male cultivars
Ginko (Ginko biloba); pyramidal growth form, ‘Autumn Gold’ and ‘Princeton Sentry’ good male cultivars
Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis); very drought tolerant, corky bark, good replacement tree for diseased elms
Heritage Oak (Quercus ‘heritage’); cross between bur and English oak, relatively fast growing
Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum); makes an excellent specimen or shade tree in Midwestern landscapes. Its foliage offers an array of color throughout the year.
Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus); unique flaky bark, ‘Espresso’ is a good fruitless cultivar
Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa); cigar-like fruit, attractive spring flowers, fast growing
Northern Pin Oak (Quercus ellipsoidalis); originally widespread in New Brighton, susceptible to oak wilt
Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra); susceptible to oak wilt, fast growing, somewhat shade tolerant
Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides); fast growing, attractive white bark, short-lived species
Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata); native to southeast Minnesota, unique “shaggy” bark, good wildlife value
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum); great fall color, use with caution – plant only where roots will be cooler
Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis); rare in Twin Cities but a good species to try, unique patterned bark
Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor); good urban oak tree, tolerant of inundation, resistant to oak wilt
Weeping Willow (Salix alba); attractive weeping foliage, fast growing but tends to have weak branches
White Oak (Quercus alba); resistant to oak wilt, slow growing, originally widespread in New Brighton