shade tree planting advice

Asked August 28, 2019, 3:00 PM EDT

Hello,
I have a lake place near Detroit Lakes, MN and want to plant a shade tree that will give my RV a bit of shade. in the heat of the day. I have no shade except early am. See attached map with RV location highlighted. I would like advice on where to plant a tree--south, or south west I presume---and how far from the RV it should be planted. The white space south of my RV is now empty.
Also, what kind of tree? I would like a fast growing tree, and one that doesn't have a great deal of mess, such as acorns, cotton, etc. I'm considering cottonless cottonwood, or red maple. What other suggestions do you have for central MN area?

Becker County Minnesota tree selection horticulture

3 Responses

Here is an excellent reference for selecting trees. The list includes many of the characteristics you are concerned about.
https://extension.umn.edu/tree-selection-and-care/recommended-trees-minnesota#recommended-trees-for-northwest-and-central-minnesota-1276061

I would avoid cottonwood, not because of the mess, but because the wood is quite weak, it grows very tall, and you will be planting it near your RV. Red maple would be a good choice. You could also try hackberry or linden or a Dutch elm disease resistant elm. The list I linked to has details.

Thanks. How many feet from the RV and to what direction should I plant the tree for the optimum shade during the heat of the day? Straight south or southwest?

I would recommend a Redmond Linden. They grow fairly fast but provide great shade. The Redmond is quite tall but not too terribly wide. 40' tall x 20-25' wide. Plant it to the SW and 20' away minimum. It will throw a large shade area.