7 Best Trees to Plant in Your Kansas City Landscape

Table of Contents

    Everyone loves trees. You love them, and we love them.

    In fact, there’s so much trees do for us, it’s hard not to love them. They cool you in summer with their shade … and even reduce your air conditioning bills if planted in the right place. They offer wonderful and sometimes fragrant spring blooms when we need some color, then are lush and green, and finally finish their show with an encore of vivid fall color. They add oxygen to the environment and sequester carbon. They are all around pretty great assets on your property.But then when it’s time to plant a tree, there are so many options out there that it can be frustrating. What if you make the wrong choice? What if you don’t like the tree you choose?Don’t panic. We’re here for you. We are experts in tree selection and care in Kansas City, and we’ve got your back.

    Let’s look at our top picks for the best trees to plant in Kansas City. We hope you get as excited as we are about these beauties that you can’t wait to get them in the ground. And don’t stress about that either; we can plant it for you!

    What Trees Grow Well in Kansas City?

    You must consider Kansas City’s weather extremes to truly choose the best species for your space.

    Kansas City summers are hot, muggy, and wet, while its winters are pretty cold, windy, and full of snow. Year-round, we have partly cloudy skies. Over the course of the year, temperatures will vary from 24 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Whether you want to enjoy a picnic in the shade, smell the sweet scent of spring blooms while reading outdoors, or just want to stare in awe at the glory of your trees when they erupt into vibrant visions in autumn, getting a tree you love is such a great experience. Each year, you get to grow with it and enjoy its many phases through the seasons.

    These 7 trees in Kansas City are some of our favorites. They won’t disappoint. We promise.

    1. Japanese Tree Lilac ‘Ivory Silk’

    Winters can be long and brutal. That’s why there’s nothing better than a tree that warms you and welcomes you with creamy-white, fragrant blooms in late May and early June. It tells you summer is on its way and winter is but a vast memory.

    That’s the glory of another best tree to plant in Kansas City: the ‘Ivory Silk’ Japanese Tree Lilac.

    If you have a sunny location and are looking for a tree that stands like an attractive statue in your landscape, this is a great choice. It will grow to about 20- to 25-feet tall with a 15- to 20-foot spread with a round crown and lovely reddish-brown bark.

    This accent tree also offers a few bonuses: It draws hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden, giving you another visual element to awaken your senses. And if you love the scent and sight of the showy blooms, you can cut a few and let them adorn your patio or dining table.

    2. Beech ‘Red Obelisk’

    If you’re looking for a tree in Kansas City that will turn heads, look no further than the beech ‘Red Obelisk.’

    This tall ornamental tree stands like it name suggests like a 10- to 13-foot tall and 3-foot wide mini tower in your home landscape.

    A strikingly handsome, columnar tree, this reddish gem has crinkly foliage throughout the growing season that offers some striking vertical interest. In the fall, this beech greets you with a rich, deep purple. Silver-ish bark even adds a nice winter perk.

    We like to plant this tree as a focal point in areas where it has some protection from winds that can dry it out during summer’s heat.

    3. Maple Paperbark

    Sometimes when looking at what trees grow well in Kansas City, you must look beyond just the leaves to a tree’s other attractive qualities.

    The Maple Paperbark does have a wonderful open, oval crown with upright branches full of soft, green leaves, but what makes it distinctive is its papery sheets of bark that reveal a cinnamon brown interior. The multiple trunks and unique bark continue to age well as the tree grows into a nice specimen tree in your home landscape, providing continued texture and interest. You can expect this tree to reach 25 feet in height with a 15- to 20-foot spread.

    Plant in full or filtered sun, and this tree’s small stature will continue to reward you all the way through fall when it turns a vivid ruby red.

    4. Maple ‘Autumn Splendor’ (Caddo)

    Originally created in Caddo County, Oklahoma from an isolated strain of the sugar maple, the ‘Autumn Splendor’ maple boasts thicker leaves that can handle a windy spot.

    It’s also highly disease resistant, and Kansas City’s heat and drought won’t bother it much either. In fact, some folks call this one of the toughest maples you can get, which is why it makes our list of best trees to plant in Kansas City.

    While it can provide some great shade in your yard because it reaches 45 feet in height with a broadly oval or round-ish crown full of glossy green foliage, it’s main attraction shows up in the fall, This is when its leaves move to yellow, and then orange and then red, giving you the best mix of the warmest autumn shades. After all, they don’t call it ‘Autumn Splendor’ for nothing.

    5. Parrotia ‘Vanessa’

    Referred to as one of the more exotic trees for your winter landscape, Parrotia ‘Vanessa’ is a great tree in Kansas City that loves full sun and grows easily in moist, well-drained soil.

    Plant this in your cottage garden and enjoy it during every season. It starts in late winter/early spring when small, slightly spidery, red flowers emerge on bare stems and bark that is flaky and grey. Then this columnar, upright tree will showcase oval, bronze, lustrous leaves that mature to a deeper, darker green in summer. In autumn, you’re rewarded with crimsons, oranges, and golds.

    Parrotia “Vanessa’ can grow up to 15 to 40 feet in height with a 10- to 20-foot spread.

    6. ‘Rising Sun’ Redbud

    If you’re looking for a spectacular tree in Kansas City to plant near to your home or walking path, the 8- to 12-foot ‘Rising Sun’ redbud delivers in full or partial sun locations.

    New apricot foliage bursts forth in spring after debuting early spring flowers in perky pink to take off any winter chill you’re still feeling. Then those apricot leaves will transition from hues of orange to chartreuse before maturing to a medium green through summer.

    Your smaller locations shouldn’t be left out, which is why this tree can add some great interest is areas that can’t handle larger specimens.

    7. ‘Perfecta’ Juniper

    Looking for a little privacy? ‘Perfecta’ juniper might just be the perfect tree in Kansas City for you.

    Not only does this evergreen tolerate Kansas City’s extreme weather with little fuss, but its bright green needles also maintain their color throughout the year. Just make sure to plant it in full sun for dense growth and a bright hue.

    This hardy variety can stand alone or look attractive planted in a group to create a great screen for some seclusion from the neighbors. Its 15- to 18-foot height and 6- to 8-foot spread can adorn tight spaces, too.

    Just don’t plant it in wet areas, since this adaptable tree’s only con is its dislike of wet feet.

    Let Us Help You Find the Right Trees in Kansas City For Your Garden

    It’s no understatement to say we love trees. We could talk about them all day long.

    And when it comes to finding the right tree for your landscape, we can get pretty excited. Our experienced team knows this area and the plants that thrive here. We also have a passion for providing something that’s a little different and unique.

    We want to see you smile through the seasons as your tree surprises you in maybe even some ways you didn’t expect.

    As you look at this handy list of best trees to plant in Kansas City, you might still be scratching your head wondering which tree is right for you and your site. That’s OK. A tree is a long-term addition, and you want to love it today and in 5 or 10 years from now. We understand.

    If you don’t know what tree is just right are having a hard time finding one for you, let High Prairie’s professionals help. Not only can we help you find the perfect tree, but we can plant it right from the start to ensure a long, thriving life, adding value, interest, texture, and color to your property. And all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the view.

    Ready to see how High Prairie can transform your Kansas City home landscape with some amazing trees? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can suggest some trees that you will love and your neighbors will envy.

    Image Source: Japanese Lilac Tree, Maple Paper Bark, Maple Autumn Splendor, Parrotia, Redbud, Juniper

    Share this Post

    A Better Outdoor Space is a Click Away

    About The Author

    Robyn is a 2009 Graduate of the Kansas State University Department of Horticulture. She grew up in South East Kansas where she graduated from Humboldt High School. She was a Kansas State University Leadership Scholar and President of the Horticulture Club. She married Bret in 2009 and they have a daughter Ellie, born in 2021. Their family is completed by three adopted dogs.

    Related Posts

    estate outdoor living space

    What Questions Should You Ask When Designing Your Estate Outdoor Living Space?

    By Robyn Schmitz | Sep 25, 2023

    Designing your estate outdoor living space can be both an exciting and a stressful time […]

    hygge inspired experience

    What is the High Prairie Hygge Inspired Experience Driven Process?

    By Robyn Schmitz | Sep 18, 2023

    The Hygge inspired experience is the foundational philosophy of High Prairie Outdoors’ approach to exterior […]

    hardscape cleaning and servicing

    What is Hardscape Cleaning and Servicing?

    By Robyn Schmitz | Sep 11, 2023

    Hardscape cleaning is an integral part of maintaining the beauty and integrity of your outdoor […]