Regional Guide to Native Trees

Plant one in your organic garden today.

November 26, 2010

Planting a tree can be a deeply satisfying act, a commitment to the future of the place where it will grow. Choose a tree that's native to the region and your rewards multiply. Natives are likely to thrive in your conditions with minimal attention after the first two or three years. They provide the food and shelter local wildlife depends on. Native trees have survived thousands of years of climate extremes, they have reached equilibrium with their environment, and most of them learned to cope with native pests or they would not still be here. This is truly organic!

Here's a list of native tree species that grow well in different regions of the United States:

Common Name Botanical Name Relative
Mature Size


Birch, yellow Betula alleghaniensis Large
Birch, sweet  B. lenta Medium
Hawthorn, dotted Crataegus punctata Small
Hawthorn, Washington C. phaenopyrum Small
Maple, mountain Acer spicatum Small
Maple, red A. rubrum Large
Maple, striped A. pensylvanicum Small
Maple, sugar A. saccharum Large
Oak, black Quercus velutina Large
Oak, northern red Q. rubra Large
Oak, white Q. alba Large
Pine, eastern white* Pinus strobus Large
Pine, pitch* P. rigida Medium
Pine, red* P. resinosa Large
Sumac, smooth Rhus glabra Very small
Sumac, staghorn  R. typhina Small
Birch, river Betula nigra Large
Birch, roundleaf B. uber Medium
Hawthorn, green Crataegus viridis Small
Hawthorn, mayhaw C. aestivalis Small
Hawthorn, parsley C. marshallii Small
Maple, chalk Acer leucoderme Small
Maple, Florida A. barbatum Large
Oak, live (subevergreen) Quercus virginiana Large
Oak, scarlet Q. coccinea Large
Oak, swamp chestnut Q. michauxii Large
Oak, willow Q. phellos Large
Pine, longleaf* Pinus palustri Large
Pine, table mountain* P. pungens Medium
Pine, Virginia* P. virginiana Medium
Sumac, winged Rhus copallina Small
Sumac, smooth Rhus glabra Very small
Birch, gray Betula populifolia Medium
Birch, river B. nigra Large
Hawthorn, cockspur Crataegus crus-galli Small
Hawthorn, frosted C. pruinosa Small
Maple, black Acer nigrum Large
Maple, red A. rubrum Large
Oak, bur Quercus macrocarpa Large
Oak, chinkapin Q. muehlenbergii Large
Oak, northern pin Q. ellipsoidalis Large
Oak, swamp white Q. bicolor Large
Pine, red* Pinus resinosa Large
Pine, shortleaf* P. echinata Large
Pine, white* P. strobus Large
Sumac, smooth Rhus glabra Very small
Sumac, staghorn R. typhina Small
Sumac, winged R. copallina Small
Birch, water Betula fontinalis (syn. B. occidentalis)  Small
Hawthorn, Cerro Crataegus erythropoda Small
Hawthorn, river C. rivularis Small
Oak, Buckley's Quercus buckleyi Small
Oak, Emory Q. emoryi Large
Oak, Rocky Mountain Q. gambelii Medium
Oak, silverleaf Q. hypoleucoides Medium
Pine, Apache* Pinus engelmannii Large
Pine, limber* P. flexilis Large
Pine, piñon* P. edulis Small
Pine, ponderosa* P. ponderosa var. scopulorum  Large
Maple, ash-leaved (box elder) Acer negundo Medium
Maple, canyon A. grandidentatum Medium
Maple, Rocky Mountain A. glabrum Small
Sumac, evergreen Rhus virens Very small
Sumac, prairie R. lanceolata Very small
Birch, western paper Betula papyrifera var. commutata Medium
Hawthorn, black Crataegus douglasii Small
Maple, bigleaf Acer macrophyllum Large
Maple, sierra A. glabrum var. douglasii Small
Maple, vine A. circinatum Small
Oak, blue Quercus douglasii Large
Oak, California black Quercus kelloggii Large
Oak, canyon* Quercus chrysolepis Large
Oak, coast live* Quercus agrifolia Large
Oak, garry Quercus garryana Large
Oak, valley Quercus lobata Large
Pine, gray* Pinus sabiniana Medium
Pine, Jeffrey* P. jeffreyi Large
Pine, shore* P. contorta Small
Pine, western white* P. monticola  Large
Sumac, smooth Rhus glabra Very small


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