- Pines have long needles. They usually prefer full or partial sunlight and well-drained sites to thrive.
- Spruces and firs have short needles. They are important sources of wood fiber in northern Minnesota, and are excellent choices for windbreaks or shelterbelts. Balsam firs are an important source of wood fiber used in paper making. Spruces usually prefer more fertile soils than pines; some, like white spruce, can tolerate lighter, more well-drained soils. Black spruce grows in bogs that cover a large part of northern Minnesota. White spruce is often used in windbreaks and shelter belts.
- Cedars have scaled needles. Smaller than pines and spruces, cedars can provide wildlife cover and food. White cedar thrives in wet organic soils. Red cedar is an aromatic cedar native to southern Minnesota, and will tolerate poor, dry sites.
Deciduous trees (hardwoods) are known for their beautiful leaf color in the fall. They provide excellent cover and food for wildlife, maple syrup, nuts, and lumber for fine furniture. Poplar cultivars are special fast-growing species used for windbreaks, fiber, and biomass.
Shrubs are multi-stemmed woody plants that rarely exceed 15 feet in height. Mix shrubs with tree plantings and add visual diversity and wildlife cover and food.
- Red osier dogwood
- American hazelnut
Seedling stock information
Improved Stock—Improved stock is grown from seed that is collected from seed orchards managed with the Minnesota Tree Improvement Cooperative. Orchard trees are bred and selected for superior growth and ability to resist pests.
Transplants—Transplants are seedlings that were transplanted from a nursery bed to wider growing spaces. They have more fibrous roots and thicker stems than seedlings and grow better than seedlings, especially on marginal sites.