Common trees in Minnesota include the Norway pine (or red pine), which was declared the state tree of Minnesota in 1953, though the state is home to other native coniferous and deciduous trees. In addition to the Norway pine, the jack pine and Eastern white pine also call Minnesota home. Other conifers include the black spruce, the white spruce, the balsam fir, the Eastern hemlock and the Tamarack larch. The Tamarack is the only Minnesota conifer to shed its leaves in autumn. The Eastern red cedar, or Eastern juniper, and white cedar are also native to the state.
There are also plenty of deciduous trees to be found. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources web site lists 42 different trees native to the state. These species include the American mountain ash, the black ash, the green ash, the white ash and the showy mountain ash (also known as the northern mountain ash). You can find the American elm, the rock elm, the red or slippery elm, the butternut and the cottonwood trees. The black cherry, black maple, black oak and black walnut all call Minnesota home. The blue beech, the paper birch, the river birch, the yellow birch and the willow are others. Both the big-toothed aspen (or poplar) and quaking aspen are found in Minnesota. Oak trees found in the state include the bur, the chestnut, the Northern pin, the Northern red and the swamp white and the white oak. Maple trees include the mountain maple, the red maple, the silver maple and the sugar maple and the bitternut and shagbark hickory trees as well. Rounding out the catalog of Minnesota trees are the American basswood, the Balsam poplar, the box elder, the hackberry, the honey locust, the ironwood, the Kentucky coffeetree, the pin cherry and the red mulberry.
Minnesota lies in the northern central United States, bordering Canada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin. The USDA hardiness zones range from Zone 2 in the north to Zone 4 in the southern part of the state. According to the Minnesota Forest Resources Council, the state has around 16.7 million acres of forestland, which is not quite one third of the state’s area.