photo of a single apple tree in a field

More than half of Michigan is covered in forests, which is one of the reasons why the state is so beautiful. Want to make it even more gorgeous? Plant some new trees! That simple act helps naturally clean carbon from the air while improving the Great Lakes State’s landscape. And there’s no better time than Earth Day, which is April 22, to do it.

If you’re at a loss for which variety is best, check out this list of some of our favorite native Michigan trees that are also super easy to plant and grow:

  1. Red Maple: These Michigan natives are easily adaptable, grow quickly and can now be found almost everywhere in the country. They do best with full sun exposure and turn a vibrant red color in the fall.
  2. Black Cherry: Black cherry trees are the largest of the wild cherry trees. Though the wood is prized to carpenters and woodworkers, the fruit is delicious as well. Just be careful: When the small cherries drop, they can stain concrete and driveways.
  3. Tulip Tree: Tulip trees are the ones with bright gold leaves you see every fall. They attract lots of birds including hummingbirds, cardinals and finches, and are highly resistant to pests such as insects and diseases. Tulip trees can grow up to 70 feet tall and are best suited for spots that get lots of sun.
  4. White Pine: These trees are long-needled, hearty pine trees with that can live up to 200 years (you probably already have some in your backyard). They are also the official state tree of Michigan.
  5. Apple Tree: A staple of the UP and northern Michigan, apple trees produce one of the most important—and delicious!—crops in the state. They are hearty enough to stand up to Michigan winters and can adapt to many different soil types.
  6. Arborvitae: Want a tree that will give your yard some privacy? This is the one. Arborvitaes can grow up to 10 feet tall and have a dense, green structure to them, making them perfect for giving you a barrier between you and your neighbor.

Will you be planting a tree on Earth Day? Tell us in the comments! If you’re a Michigan tree-hugger, you may also enjoy these blogs:

Photo credit: hjjanisch


This article was originally published on, a website sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  Blue Cross and MADA are your trusted partners in building a healthier business and workforce.