8 Best Trees To Grow In Ohio

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In this guide, I explore the best trees you can plant in Ohio and how to care for them.

So let’s get started!

Ohio Climate

Before listing down the trees, let us take a quick tour of the conditions of Ohio.

According to the recent USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, published in 2012, Ohio State is in Zone 5b-6, i.e., the minimum temperature in Ohio ranges from 0˚ to -15˚F.

Whereas the maximum temperature rises to 90˚F at the peak of July. In 2020, Ohio was ranked 7th warmest state in the Midwest USA, the first time in its history.

Precipitation: Average annual rainfall varies with the region, from averaging 32 inches each year in the northwestern part of the state to averaging 42 inches each year in the southern portion.

Soil Type: The below map shows the distribution of soils in the state of Ohio.

Once you have located the region where the tree is needed to be planted on the map, we will see what type of soil is found with the help of a table.

Best Trees To Plant In Ohio

1. Red Maple Tree 

Scientific Name- Acer rabrum

Family- Sapindaceae

The red maple tree, also known as the Scarlet maple tree, is a fast-growing deciduous tree native to eastern North America. It proliferates quickly, i.e., expands itself around 12-18 inches tall in a year. However, it takes 20-30 years to reach full size.

Climatic fit: Red maples prefer to grow in wet, slightly acidic, or neutral soil with a sandy to clayey texture. 

Benefits: They are excellent shade trees found all over the Ohio state.

Maintenance: These trees are fast-growing and do not require fertilizer every year. 

What to take care of while growing it?

Diseases: Verticillium wilt, anthracnose, cankers, leaf spot, and tar spots. 

Insects and pests: Aphids and borers.

2. Dogwood tree

Scientific Name – Cornus florida

Family –Cornaceae

The Dogwood tree is a flowering tree native to the eastern and central United States. The tree grows to a height of 15-20 feet at a slow to moderate rate. It grows 1-2 feet high each year.

Climatic fit: It is grown in the zone range of 5 to 9. It prefers moist, well-drained, organically rich, acidic soils in part shade. 

Benefits: It is known for its delicate beauty that adds color to your yard.

Maintenance: It is relatively easy to maintain and requires a fewer amount of fertilizers.

What to take care of while growing it?

Diseases: Anthracnose, powdery mildew, leaf spot, canker, root rot, leaf blight, and twig blight. 

Insects and pests: There are chances of getting attacked by borers in the case of stressed trees.

Now, let us see how to plant them in your backyard.

3. Oaktree

Scientific name – Quercus spp.

Family – Fagaceae

The Oaktree is an ornamental and timber tree spread throughout the North Temperate Zone and at high altitudes in the tropics. The tree takes around 20-30 years to attain its complete growth.

Climate fit: The Oak trees prefer humus-rich, well-drained soils with full sun.

Benefits: Once mature, these trees can tolerate drought and other harsh conditions. Also, they provide good shade.

Maintenance: The Oak trees are sensitive to their environmental conditions and hence, require proper care such as adequate drainage, light fertilization, etc.

What to take care of while growing it?

Diseases: They are prone to diseases like Crown rot, Oak root fungus (also known as Armillaria root rot), and mistletoe. 

Insects and pests: Oak moths, pit scales, and other leaf-eaters.

Now, let us look at the video below to learn how to plant in your backyard.

4. Ohio Buckeye

Scientific Name – Aesculus glabra

Family – Hippocastenaceae

The Ohio buckeye is a small deciduous tree that grows around 20-40 feet tall with a broad oval crown. It takes about eight years to start fruit production. 

Climate fit: It grows in the zone range 3 to 7. It grows well in moist, well-drained, fertile soils in full sun to partial sun. 

Benefits: It is a shade tree. It is the state tree of Ohio and is considered a good luck charm.

What to take care of while growing it?

Diseases: The most significant problem is leaf blotch. However, others include powdery mildew, leaf scorch, and anthracnose.

Insects and pests: Bagworms, Japanese beetles, and borers.

Now, let us watch the below video to see how to plant them in our backyards.

5. Apple Tree

Scientific name – Malus pumila (Malus domestica)

Family – Rosaceae

The apple trees are deciduous trees that usually grow to 15 to 25 feet. It takes around 5 to 8 years for them to attain standard size.

Climatic fit: They prefer to grow in the zone range 5 to 8. It grows in deep, loamy, moderately fertile, slightly acidic, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. 

Benefits: It provides you with fresh, organic apples.

What to take care of while growing it?

Diseases: Apple scab, powdery mildew, black rot, frogeye leaf spot, rusts, collar rot, sooty blotch, and fire blight.

Insect and pests: Aphids, maggots, codling moth, and plum curculio.

Before we get our hands on the fields to plant one let us watch a video tutorial to know the right way to do it.

6. Sweet bay Magnolia

Scientific Name – Magnolia virginiana

Family – Magnoliaceae

Sweet bay Magnolia is an evergreen to semi-evergreen tree native to the southeastern United States. They grow rapidly, i.e., 12-24 inches a year.

Climatic fit:  It grows in the zone range of 5 to 10. It prefers rich, moist, acidic, organic soils with full to partial sun.

Benefits: It is a fast-growing tree.

Maintenance: It does not require much care and is relatively not easily prone to pests.

What to take care of while growing it?

Diseases: Leaf spots and fungal and bacterial infections are common.

Insects and pests: Scales and tulip Poplar weevil

Now, let us check out a video tutorial to plant tree in your backyard.

7. Allegheny Serviceberry

Scientific Name – Amelanchier laevis

Family – Rosaceae

Allegheny serviceberry is a small, deciduous tree native to North America. It typically grows 15 to 40 feet tall. The tree starts producing in the 2-3 years but attains maturity in around eight years.

Climatic Fit: It prefers growing in moist, well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade.

Benefits:  The tree acts as a filler plant or to attract birds. The main ornamental feature is the white flowers borne in drooping clusters in mid-spring.

What to take care of while growing it?

Insects and pests: Cambium miners, leaf miners, borers, spider mites, and aphids

Diseases: Witches broom (also known as black mildew), leaf blight, fire blight, powdery mildews, and fruit rot.

Now, it is time to know the techniques to plant them in our backyards with the help of the below video.

8. Eastern Redbud

Scientific Name – Cercis canadensis

Family – Fabaceae

Eastern redbud is a small, short-lived, deciduous tree, 20-30 feet tall, found throughout the eastern United States. It is also known as Judas tree.

It grows rapidly and often lives for around 20 years before it starts aging.

Climatic fit:  It grows in zones ranging from 4 to 8. It prefers moderately fertile, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade.

Benefits: These are flowering trees.

What to take care of while growing it?

Diseases: Leaf anthracnose, botryosphaeria canker, and verticillium wilt.

Insects and pests: Japanese beetles, treehoppers, leafhoppers, caterpillars, borers, webworms, and scale.

Now, let us take a look at the video below on how to plant the eastern redbuds.


What is the best time to plant trees in Ohio?

The spring months, i.e., between April and mid-June and during the fall months from late October to mid-December are the best times to plant trees in Ohio.

What growing zone is Ohio?

Ohio State has two different plant hardiness zones; 5b and 6(a and b), i.e., the average minimum temperatures range from 0 to -15˚F.

Which trees grow fast in Ohio?

The following trees are some of the fast-growing trees in the state:-
Red maple
Sweet bay Magnolia
River Birch
Green Giant Arborvitae
Silver linden

Which trees are invasive in Ohio?

Some of the most invasive plants/trees are:
Ailanthus altissima, tree-of-heaven;
Alliaria petiolata, garlic mustard.
Berberis vulgaris, common barberry;
Butomus umbellatus, flowering rush;
Celastrus orbiculatus, oriental bittersweet;
Centaurea stoebe ssp.

What is the most common tree in Ohio?

Oak, Hickory, and Maple trees are the most commonly found in the state.

I hope this article has been helpful to you in choosing the best trees to plant in Ohio.

If you have any more helpful advice or experience that you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends!

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