If you’re reading this, you love trees and have no doubt been asked for your tree species recommendations. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Urban Forestry Program is no different. Because species recommendations are an evergreen request, we developed four lists, accounting for a small number of large and small trees in street and park environments.
These lists are not exhaustive (only ten species in each) and any general list of recommendations is somewhat fraught with uncertainty due to the nuanced conditions of specific planting sites. We highly suggest consulting with your local nurseries and other experts who can not only discuss what is available but also provide other recommendations and planting advice. With just a few exceptions, these lists do not include cultivars and varieties, but your local experts can provide that amount of detail.
Remember that whenever and wherever you plant trees, always consider your species composition and try to diversify. As the Replanting with Diversity document states, “Just like our financial investments, diversity is the key to avoiding the ‘too many eggs in one basket’ scenario. The key to a healthy and resilient urban forest is to plant diversity.”
Please visit the DNR’s Urban Tree Planting Resources webpage for more information on species selection and other tree planting resources.