Missouri’s Diverse Weather: Choosing the Perfect Trees for Your Landscape

Compared with areas to the north and to the south, Missouri sees an amazingly wide range of weather extremes. The average high temperatures in the St. Louis area for July, for example, is 88 degrees, while the average low temperature in January stands at 23 degrees. The record highs and lows are amazing; 115 degrees on July 14, 1954 and at the opposite end of the spectrum, the record low temperature for St. Louis is -18 on January, 20, 1985.Perfect Trees for Your Landscape

These extremes exist across the entire state. Springfield, Missouri’s record high temperature is 112 degrees on July 14, 1954, and its record low is -24 degrees on February 13, 1905.

The variety of weather in Missouri doesn’t end with extremes in temperatures. Wind, hail, and ice storms occur regularly. Flooding? Of course. Tornadoes? Sadly, Missouri is struck by tornadoes most years. Completing the variety of weather experienced in Missouri is occasional storm activity marking the edges of hurricanes making landfall on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, 800 miles south of St. Louis.

Understand The Effects Of Weather

The extremes of weather in the St. Louis and Springfield areas add up to a region that isn’t perfect for all trees and plants.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has divided the U.S. into 26 plant hardiness zones. These zones are distinguished by a number of factors including high and low temperatures, annual rainfall, humidity levels and amount of sunshine to name several.

Based on these factors, the USDA zones enable homeowners, farmers and others interested in planting crops, trees, grass or other plants to determine which species are best suited for each area. For example, the USDA plant hardiness zone southwestern Arizona is 9b, a zone not considered favorable to evergreen trees, but well suited for various species of cactus.

Get In The Zone

Much of Missouri is classified as zones 6a and 6b. In zone 6a sugar maples, red maples, dogwoods, birch and oak trees stand out among deciduous trees well-suited for growing conditions in the St. Louis area. Among conifers, evergreens such as the Austrian pine do well in the St. Louis area, as do Fraser firs. If you’re considering bushes, forsythias, various hollies, Rhododendrons, Desert Globemallows, White Texas Star Hibiscus, Firethorns, Dwarf Dandina, Red-Tipped Photinia, and Leatherleaf Viburnums are just a few of the many species that thrive in our area.

Making Smart Choices Involves Many Factors

Certainly, the USDA plant hardiness map is an excellent tool for choosing trees, shrubs and other plants for your home or business. However, other factors can have a great impact on which species will thrive in your exact environment, which can vary considerably from location to location, even on the same street.

These factors include:

  • Soil composition
  • Amount and type of sunlight (direct, filtered, etc.)
  • Exposure to wind
  • Erosion
  • Water availability and flow
  • Nearby existing trees and plant life

Expertise Matters

With so many factors in the “tree equation,” determining precisely which tree, or shrub will thrive in your environment – while also providing you with the aesthetics you prefer – involves more than knowing your plant hardiness zone, though it’s an excellent start.

If you’re considering changing or adding to your landscaping, planning to add shade or an element of privacy to your property or simply want to add trees, bushes and other plant life to your environment, it’s important to get expert advice.

The certified arborists of Hansen’s Tree Service have exceptional knowledge and experience in assessing a particular environment and selecting the trees, bushes and plants that will thrive in it. We understand adding trees and other plant life to your home or business’s landscape is an investment, and we take every step to ensure that investment grows over time.

We’ll start by listening to you and understanding your objectives. Then we’ll assess the environment and make thoughtful, expert recommendations that we know will best meet your needs and objectives.


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