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Old 03-16-2012, 09:36 AM
kjbrasda is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 286
You'll want locally grown native saplings, grown outside. That way they're already used to local weather patterns. I've had good luck with Flame Maples, they grow fairly fast and seem pretty strong and hardy for WI. They're also pretty ^_^ and rather bushy at first. Sugar Maples are pretty good too, mine haven't been doing that well but they've survived through whatever is wrong with them. Sounds contradictory but what I mean is they appear very determined to grow well despite sunscald and some sort of infestation.
The key to growing strong trees at a decent rate of growth is taking care of them properly. The first few years, water well, watch for sunscald, diseases and pests, and maybe fertilize (just remember that too much fertilizer can be just as harmful as not enough)
The UW Extension has decent information http://learningstore.uwex.edu/Trees-Shrubs-C80.aspx and http://hort.uwex.edu/topics/trees-shrubs
Like others have said, fast growth is nice, but the fastest growing trees also tend to be the shortest lived.