August 11, 2021

Parks & Trails Fun Quiz – August

Trees of Minnesota


#1. How many different tree species (e.g., sugar maple, red maple, tamarack) are native to Minnesota?

Minnesota has 53 native tree species. View the full list and additional info about each at the DNR’s website.

#2. The largest tree in Minnesota is this massive cottonwood tree and it's growing in a State Park--which one?

Minnesota’s largest recorded tree is found in Lac qui Parle State Park. It measures nearly 33 feet in circumference and 106 feet tall. You can visit the tree by hiking the Upper Campground trail.

Photo credit: Ana Adventure (

Map of Lac qui Parle State Park

#3. Which of these tree species makes up the largest volume of Minnesota's forests?

Here are the top 10 trees in Minnesota and their estimated volume in million cubic feet:

  1. Quaking Aspen – 3,679
  2. Northern White Cedar – 1,321
  3. Red Pine – 1,304
  4. Bur Oak – 1,177
  5. Paper Birch – 1,092
  6. Black Ash – 1,069
  7. American Basswood – 1,026
  8. Black Spruce – 948
  9. Northern Red Oak – 931
  10. Balsam Fir – 777

Source: U.S. Forest Service (

#4. You've likely seen a tree sporting a bulbous formation like this while wandering the woods. Do you know what it's called?
(type answer, not case sensitive)

This is referred to as a burl or burr. It’s caused when the tree is infected by bacteria, virus, fungi or maybe an insect infestation that disrupts the trees normal growth behavior. It’s a bit like a benign tumor in that the tree grows excessively in one spot.

The good news is that the tree is not negatively impacted by the burl and can still grow to regular size and age. Removing the burl, however, will generally cause the tree to die. Burls are used by some woodcrafters who appreciate the intricate and unique pattern of the wood.