5 Trees That Thrive in the Mid-South

Doug Bedford January 3, 2020

The right tree can turn a backyard into a serene retreat, but how do you know which trees will thrive where you plant them? Here in the Mid-South, the weather can go through every season in a week, and the rain can seem like it may never stop raining. The experts at Red’s Tree Service in Memphis can help you determine which trees will fit your space perfectly. But in the meantime, here are some trees that thrive in the unique climate of the Mid-South. 

Red Maple Trees 

Maple trees are some of the most common trees native to North America and can be found in many different varieties and sizes, depending on the part of the country. One of the most common types of Maple trees in the Mid-South is the red Maple. When you think of a maple tree there’s a good chance you’re thinking of red maple. They have distinct red leaves and the classic maple leaf shape. You may not think about the south when you think of maple syrup, but red maples of one of three trees commonly used in maple syrup production. Red Maples grow all over the eastern United States, including in Memphis. 

Tulip Poplar Trees 

Another popular tree in Memphis is the tulip poplar. In fact, it’s the state tree of Tennessee! Tulip poplars thrive in Memphis because they love moist, rich soil. This tree is an ideal shade tree, and is used for aesthetic reasons as well as occurring naturally in forests, particularly in the Appalachian Mountains. These trees are a great addition to any landscape, because they grow easily in the Mid-South climate, provide the perfect summertime shade, and they don’t attract many unpleasant bugs. They are, however, a great honey plant, so your yard can be a sweet sanctuary for honey bees. 

Fun fact: it’s the wood of choice for making pipe organs!   

Willow Oak Tree 

The willow oak tree, in particular, can either be an amazing addition to the right space or frustration in the wrong one. That’s why it’s so important to get an expert opinion from the team at Red’s Tree Service regarding the best type of tree for your needs. Willow oaks need a lot of space and a lot of water. If they don’t have the moisture and space that they need, they might steal it from the plants around them. So they may not be best for small yards. However, if you have space, you won’t find a shade tree. Willow oaks are easy to take care of because they can thrive in water-saturated soil as well as drought, which is perfect for Memphis weather patterns. 

American Elm Tree 

The American elm tree is common in most of North America and is one of the most iconic trees in cultivated landscapes. It’s featured in countless paintings by American artists and makes up over half of the trees growing in Central Park. In Memphis, they make great shade trees and street-side trees because they naturally curve away from the trunk to give a wide area of shade, or to meet over a scenic street. They like to grow along rivers and hillsides, making the topography Memphis an ideal place for American Elms to thrive. 

Box Elder 

Box elders are a type of maple tree that grows all throughout North America, including in the Mid-South. They grow quickly, so they may be a good option if you’re looking for a quick shade solution. These trees can grow in almost any mild, cool or cold region in the United States.

Plant your boxelder near a stream or river, if possible. They tolerate most soils, including sand and clay, growing happily in dry or wet soil. However, in some settings, they’re considered a nuisance because they can spread rapidly and spring up quickly. They also attached some unpleasant insects. 

Top 5 Trees to Plant in the Mid-South

Expert tree advice in Memphis 

Red’s Tree Service is a locally owned and operated tree service company serving Memphis and the Mid South. Our family-owned and operated business has been providing quality tree services for over 40 years. We have a trained and certified arborist with the knowledge to ensure our clients make the most informed decisions for their trees.

We can answer any questions you have about which trees will thrive on your property, and which ones may be best to admire from afar. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.