How to Choose A Tree For Your Michigan Yard

Spring is quickly approaching. Now’s the time to make your gardening goals for the year. If you’d like to add trees to your yard, PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care can help you decide. From fast-growing species to the best shader providers, here are a few of the ideal Michigan trees to add to your landscape.

Things To Consider When Choosing A Tree For Michigan Yards

Best Trees For Shade

You’ve got several options if your main goal is shade. The bottom line when deciding on a shade tree is the shape. It would be best if you had something with a wide canopy. As the tree grows, it will act like Mother Nature’s umbrella.

Willowswillow tree

There are hundreds of species in the willow family. Two of the most common willows you’ll find in Michigan backyards are the Weeping Willow and White Willow. Both are fast-growing, so you won’t have to wait long for results, and both create a large dome shape as they grow, which is ideal for blocking out the intense summer sun.


As a Michigan native tree, oaks fit the bill for several tree categories. They are not only good at providing shade; they are also a good long-term investment tree. There’s a reason oaks are a symbol of steadfastness and strength. They grow tall and strong, and will undoubtedly provide your yard with shade. There is one downside: oaks are not fast growers, so if you’ll need to be patient to reap the benefits.

There are six native oak varieties in Michigan.

  • Black Oak
  • Bur Oak
  • Northern Red Oak
  • Pin Oak
  • Swamp White Oak
  • White Oak


Also native to Michigan, maples perform well and provide plenty of shade during the summer. As a bonus, you’ll get a lovely display of color when fall arrives. Red maples and sugar maples are best for Michigan yards. They are both native, stronger than silver maples or box elders, and don’t produce problems that non-native Norway maples or Japanese maples may experience.

Fastest Growing Trees


These trees live a moderately long time and also grow rather quickly. The fruit hackberries produce a favorite of birds, so planting this particular tree could create an excellent birdwatching opportunity.

Eastern White Pine

If you didn’t already know, the eastern white pine has the distinction of being Michigan’s state tree. This species grows moderately quickly.

Cottonwoodcottonwood tree

If you want a new tree fast, you should definitely opt for the cottonwood. This species can grow as much as six feet in height per year. It’s also ideal for a shade tree since it can reach heights of 100 feet. You will need to contend with the fluffy, cotton-like seeds, however. These can be a nuisance, and some people may have allergies. These trees are also best grown away from structures, so this may not be the tree for you if you have a smaller yard.

Best Evergreens

As we discussed above, eastern white pines are a good fast-growing evergreen. They are one of the most beautiful ornamentals you can have in your yard, but they do need well-drained soil. So make sure to ask your arborist about the best location in your yard. Soil that is too moist can stunt growth and cause root rot.

Eastern red cedar

This tree is hardy. Eastern red cedars are both wind and drought-resistant and are small to medium size. The foliage turns a shade of bronze in winter.

Black Spruce

One of Michigan’s best evergreen trees. This species does well in acidic, moist soil. Like eastern red cedars, this tree reaches, at most, a medium height, so you won’t have to worry about a giant tree next to your home. It grows very slowly, so if you want to witness its full potential, this would be the ideal tree to plant if you don’t intend to move residences.

Best Flowering Trees

Michigan flowering trees come in all shapes and sizes.


The leaves of this tree are known for their heart-like shape. Slow growing and shade tolerant, the yellow-white flowers of this species are great for attracting pollinators. This tree is larger, reaching heights of up to 50 feet.


The fruit of this tree looks like hops. It’s small to medium in size and may take some finesse to establish in your yard.

Kentucky Coffeetree

Coffeetrees need full sun, nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. Like Hophornbeams, it will take some time to become accustomed to your landscape, but once it puts down roots, you’ll find it’s very hardy. This tree provides excellent shade and is on the taller, larger end of the height spectrum. In late spring, you’ll enjoy green-white flowers. Female Coffeetrees produce a scent that resembles roses.

Trust Your Michigan Trees to PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care

Whatever kind of tree you choose to plant this year, you can trust the experts at PPM Tree Service & Arbor Care to keep it happy, healthy, and shapely. Our team of licensed professional arborists will assess soil type, sunlight exposure, moisture levels, and proximity to your home or other trees to help you pick the most beautiful tree for your yard. Call us at (877) 454-8733 or request a quote online here. For more ideas and tips, be sure to check out our blog. And for the latest deals and offers, make sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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