Trees in Kansas need to be hardy in USDA Plant Hardiness zones 5 through 6. These two zones complete the full range of the state for gardeners. Trees should be suited to these zones so that they are able to thrive in the temperatures and frozen soil of the area. Many gardening favorites grow in these zones and so can be perfect for Kansas planting.
The silver maple or white maple, Acer saccharinum, is from the maple family and is an easy to grow fast growing tree. It gets 60 to 80 feet high with deciduous pale green leaves that age to red or yellow in the fall. The silver bark will break into plates as the tree ages. Plant a silver maple in full sun or partial shade in well-drained moist soil. Propagate via cuttings or seed in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8.
The yellow buckeye or sweet buckeye, Aesculus flava, is from the horse chestnut family and is a wetland tree. It gets 60 to 90 feet tall with large leaves made up of 4- to 6-inch leaflets. Flowers are in 6-inch clusters, white and bell-like. Plant a yellow buckeye in partial sun or partial shade in moist well-drained soil. Propagate via seeds in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8.
The shagbark hickory or shellbark hickory, Carya ovata, is from the walnut family. It gets about 80 feet high and a 50 feet spread but has the potential of getting 150 feet high. Leaves are compound. Thin-shelled nuts are sweet and fragrant. Plant a shagbark hickory in sun, but they will tolerate shade. Propagate via seed or grafting in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8.
The sugarberry or sugar hackberry, Celtis laevigata, is from the elm family. It gets 60 to 80 feet high. Leaves are light green and deciduous with orange or yellow drupes that mature to a black-purple color. Plant a sugarberry in shade with a rich moist soil. Propagate via seed in USDA hardiness zones of 5 through 9.
The ginkgo or maidenhair tree, Ginkgo biloba, is from the ginkgo family. It gets 100 feet high and 20 to 50 feet wide. Fruits are yellow-pink and 1-inch wide. Leaves are 2 to 3 inches long and fan-like. Plant a ginkgo in well-drained soils in bright sun. Propagate via seed or cuttings in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9.