Here are the most common tree species in Minnesota, USA.

It’s no news that trees are native to specific regions or locations.

This remains true even for some species of trees found or planted in certain regions. This article focuses on the state of Minnesota. Like many states, Minnesota has many trees native to the area.

Common Trees In Minnesota

If you’re into dendrology, then this topic will likely be of interest to you.

There are about 53 native trees in the state of Minnesota. Each has its unique feature, and we’ll be touching on that and other aspects of tree growth and development.

Native Coniferous and Deciduous Trees in Minnesota

Minnesota’s 53 native trees are categorized into coniferous and deciduous trees. Coniferous trees are softwoods of multiple species, as you’ll soon find out.

Deciduous trees, on the other hand, are hardwoods that also include a long list of tree species to be discussed shortly.

i. Minnesota Coniferous Trees

This is where mention will be made about the different coniferous trees native to Minnesota.

They include Cedar, Balsam Fir, Hemlock, Pine, Spruce, and Tamarack. Under the cedar tree, species are sub-species, such as the red and white cedar.

Another native tree category with sub-species is Pine with variations like Jack Pine, White Pine, and Red Pine. Spruce also has sub-species such as the White and Black Spruce.

ii. Minnesota Deciduous Trees

There’s a broader variety of native hardwoods in Minnesota compared to softwoods.

These trees include American Mountain Ash, Ash, American Basswood, Birch, Black Walnut, Box Elder, Butternut, Blue Beech, Cherry, Elm, Hackberry, and Hickory.

Others include Honeylocust, Ironwood, and Kentucky Coffeetree.

Others include Maple, Red Mulberry, Showy Mountain-Ash, Oak, Poplar, and Willow. Of these species are those with subspecies like Ash, Birch, Cherry, and Elm. There’s also Hickory, Maple, Oak, Poplar, and Willow.

  • Ash Tree Subspecies

As mentioned earlier, several subspecies are beyond the broad category of ash trees.

These include black ash, green ash, and white ash trees. All of these are native to the state of Minnesota. To tell one apart from the other, you’ll have to examine the fruit, leaf, bark, and its form.

  • Birch Tree Subspecies

Birch tree subspecies include the Paper Birch, the River Birch, and the Yellow Birch Tree.

As always, further differentiation is possible by using key features such as the leaf shape, the tree form, and the fruit, among other things. We might make mention of the key distinguishing factors as you read on.

  • Cherry Tree Subspecies

The Cherry tree has two subspecies: the Pin and Black Cherries. So, how can one species be distinguished from the other? You might find such distinctions as you read on.

  • Elm Tree Subspecies

The Elm Tree has three subspecies: the American Elm, the Rock Elm, and the Slippery Elm. The Slippery Elm is also called the Red Elm.

One thing common to the entire tree species discussed so far is that they’re native to Minnesota.

  • Hickory Tree Subspecies

Two Hickory tree subspecies are common. They include the Bitternut Hickory, as well as the Shagbark Hickory.

  • Maple Tree Subspecies

Another native tree to Minnesota with multiple subspecies is the Maple tree. Subspecies include Black Maple, Mountain Maple, Red Maple, Silver Maple, and Sugar Maple.

  • Oak Tree Subspecies

For the Oak Tree, subspecies include Black Oak, Bur Oak, Chinkapin Oak, and the Northern Pin Oak. The Northern Pin Oak is also known as Jack Oak or Hill Oak.

Other subspecies include Red Oak, Swamp White Oak, and White Oak.

  • Poplar Tree Subspecies

Subspecies under the Poplar Tree include Balsam Poplar, Bigtooth Aspen, and Cottonwood. The Bigtooth Aspen is also known as Poplar or Popple.

Other Poplar tree subspecies include Quaking Aspen or Trembling Aspen.

  • Willow Tree Subspecies

The Peachleaf Willow and Black Willow are subspecies found under this category.

Minnesota Trees: Key Distinctions

Although we’ve named the different trees native to Minnesota, the information provided above says nothing about how they can be identified.

Here, a careful distinction of each species is necessary. Also, the subspecies need to be differentiated as well.

However, I won’t be getting into specifics about tree distinction. Instead, we’ll be providing you with tips to follow. What more? It would help if you did some minor research to understand where to place one tree species from the other.

  • Differentiating Coniferous Trees Native to Minnesota

To distinguish the different native coniferous trees in Minnesota, you’ll need to look at the leaf structure.

Coniferous trees with needlelike leaves are like Pines, Eastern Larches, Balsam Firs, or Spruces. White and red cedar trees have a leaf structure that’s scale-like and overlapping.

To know what you’re observing, you’ll need to look closely. You have a pine tree if bundled needles (about 2 to 5).

If the needles are clustered in groups of 12 or more, you have an eastern larch. Single needlelike leaves with flat needles belong to balsam fir, while single leaves with 4-sided hands are spruces.

  • Differentiating Deciduous Trees Native to Minnesota

Earlier mention has been made about deciduous trees’ different species and subspecies.

You’ll need to look at the branch formation to identify one from the other. There are alternate and opposite systems of branching.

Oaks can be distinguished by their alternate branching and simple lobbed leaves. Walnut Hickories also have alternate branching with singly compound leaves.

Honeylocusts have alternate branching systems with singly and doubly compound leaves.

Maples have an opposite branching system with simple leaves. For Ash and Boxelder trees, they consist of opposite branching as well as a compound leave system.

There are further classifications of each tree species and subspecies that we won’t be getting into.

You’ll need to further research to know more about them. The focus so far has been to identify the different tree species native to Minnesota.

Although any of these 53 subspecies of trees can be found growing elsewhere, they’re native to Minnesota.

Now you know. The discussion has helped identify the different trees native to this region. You can further research any species you wish to learn more about.

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