Regional Guide to Native Trees

Plant one in your organic garden today.

By Guy Sternberg

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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

 

NORTHEAST        
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
SOUTHEAST        
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
MIDWEST        
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
SOUTHWEST        
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
FAR WEST        
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

*Evergreen

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