What are the best trees to plant in clay soil?

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Clay soils can be a difficult kind of soil to cultivate plant growth. Because they have a particular structure that is made with fine and packed particles, water and air tend to get stuck from within and will find it hard to pass through its material. Due to the dense property of clay and its tendency to be waterlogged, it can be difficult to test if plants can grow when they are planted on it.

When you have a garden with clay soil, we understand that you may think it would be hopeless to plant anything on it. After all, would it be possible to cultivate life on this soil that is even having trouble with drainage?

Fortunately, there are actually many plants, shrubs, trees, and flowers that can grow when planted in clay soil. If you want to grow your garden despite having dense soil, it is absolutely possible.

Best Tree Varieties to plant in clay soil

Though planting in clay soils can be a challenge, this would not mean that it would be impossible. Here are some of the variety of trees you can plant in your garden.



  1. Magnolia Trees

Magnolia Trees often grow in places that are warm and prefer sheltered locations. There are many types of magnolias that can be planted in clay soil such as the star magnolia and the sweet bay magnolia, but the kind that is the easiest to plant and grow in clay is the saucer magnolia or Magnolia x soulangeana.

Magnolia Tree’s appearance: Magnolia’s flowers come in different colors. They can be creamy white, pink, purple, and yellow. Depending on the variety, magnolia trees can be small or large in stature.

This type of tree can be usually found in: Magnolias can be planted in almost every region in the United States.

This tree is known for: Magnolia trees are popular for their sweet scent. They are very easy to take care of and can be also be used to make medicine.


  1. Hawthorn Trees

Hawthorn trees often grow on moist and textured soil. Because of their preference, they have no problem in getting planted to clay soil and will not need too much maintenance. They can also grow some fruits which is the reason why they are very attractive to wildlife.

Hawthorn Tree’s appearance: Hawthorn trees usually grow up to 50 feet. It has a gray bark that goes a dark shade of brown as it ages. These trees have toothy leaves and can grow white or pink flowers.

This type of tree can be usually found in: Although Hawthorn Trees are plenty in Europe and Asia, they can also be found in some regions in North America.

This tree is known for: Hawthorn trees are often used for ornamental purposes and landscaping due to their humble beauty and fruit. They can also be used as hedges and are one of the favorite trees planted in native gardens.

  1. Silver Maple Trees

Silver Maple Trees, also called Acer saccharinum, is one of the many varieties of maple that can be planted in clay. These trees prefer to be placed in areas with full sunlight but can also survive in slightly shaded locations.

Silver Maple Tree’s appearance: Silver Maple Trees can grow into a very large tree and is recommended to be planted in areas where they will have more legroom. They have leaves that have a lobed appearance.

This type of tree can be usually found in: Silver Maples can be usually found in the eastern and central parts of the US.

This tree is known for: Silver Maple Trees are easy to plant and can grow fast. Though they are not that revered for their appearance, they are very workable and can be used to make a variety of furniture and musical instruments.









  1. River Birch Trees

River birch trees are very popular due to their attractive appearance. They prefer full sun and will very much survive and stay healthy when planted in clay soil. Also called Betula nigra, they are very heat tolerant and are truly low-maintenance.

River Birch Tree’s appearance: River birch trees have very attractive barks that are cream or cinnamon in color. They commonly have green triangular-shaped or wedge-shaped leaves that turn yellow during fall.

This type of tree can be usually found in: They are often planted in parks around North America.

This tree is known for: Birch trees can be useful for medicinal purposes and its sap can also be fermented to make vinegar.

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