What Tree is That? Five Common Native Minnesota Species

Fall is the perfect time to get outside and appreciate the beautiful biodiversity that our great state of Minnesota has to offer. From the changing colors to witnessing the animals prepare for winter, there’s so much to admire right outside your front door this season. While you’re out there, you might catch yourself wondering, “what kind of tree is that?” We bet you didn’t know that Minnesota is home to over 50 different tree species. Ivan’s Tree Service has the perfect tree identification guide for you – keep reading for an overview of the most common trees native to our magnificent motherland.

1. Maple
Recognized by their familiar fall colors, leaf shape, and helicopter seeds maple trees are one of the most common tree species native to Minnesota. Across the state, you can find a variety of maple trees, such as black maple, mountain maple, red maple, silver maple, and sugar maple trees. More than just producing delicious maple syrup, maples can grow up to 100 feet tall, providing a great deal of shade throughout central Minnesota.

2. Oak
Often mistaken for maple trees since they are similar in stature and foliage, oak trees are distinguished by their thick trunk, gnarled bark, as well as elongated leaves. In contrast to the maple’s helicopter seeds, oaks produce acorns, most collected by squirrels nesting in the trees. From black oaks, white oaks, to bur oaks, Minnesota has a wide variety of these slow growing trees.

3. Spruce
Spruce trees are known for their A-shape, tall straight trunks, and short needles. These coniferous trees produce slender cones, which drop during the colder winter months. Spruce trees have been a significant resource when it comes to paper, furniture, airplanes, and of course, Christmas Trees.

4. Elm
If you come across a tree with gray bark, deep furrows, and pointed oval leaves, you’re safe to assume it’s an elm tree. Elm trees are known to be great shade trees, growing up to 100 feet tall and providing an umbrella-shaped canopy. Their oval-shaped leaves are recognized by their toothed edges, pointed ends, and visible veins.

5. Aspen
Aspen trees are the most abundant tree species in Minnesota. They can be identified by their smooth, white bark marked by several black scars. Shining bright against the blue Autumn skies, their yellow leaves are simple, with typically large teeth and visible veins. Aspens are an important Minnesota timber species, commonly used for pulp, paper, and plywood.

Next time you’re out for a hike, camping, or simply raking your lawn this fall, take some time to observe the leaves, branches, and bark that make each marvelous Minnesota tree unique. Maybe you’re deciding which tree would be best for your lawn, we have a guide for that too. It’s no secret that Ivan’s Tree Service is a trusted group of tree experts. Contact us for all your tree questions and needs this season.