Water Blog - Become Tree Wise with our Native Tree Species List

News, notes and thoughts from Blue Water Baltimore.



Become Tree Wise with our Native Tree Species List

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Here are some trees that Darin Crew, Senior Manager for Nursery and Forestry at Blue Water Baltimore, thinks you may want to consider for your yard this spring. At Blue Water Baltimore, we use these both in our yard, street, and open space planting programs. All are native and all are also sold at Herring Run Nursery. Happy planting and here is to a good growing season and mild summer!

American Holly

20-40’ high, 15-30’ spread, Pyramidal shape

This evergreen has captivated plant lovers since the days of the Pilgrims with its lovely red berries. It is a slow grower with spiky leaves and creamy grey bark. Many cultivars available. Birds love to eat the red berries in winter. This tree is great planted in your yard.

AmHolly

Bald Cypress

40-60’ high, 20-30’ spread, Oval shape

This deciduous evergreen is very adaptable to moist soils, it will grow in standing water but does thrives in normal soils. It is narrow in shape so it can be planted in smaller spaces. This tree is long lived with beautiful bright orange fall color. It has soft needles that drape towards the ground. It is happy as a street tree and in your yard.

baldcypress

Riverbirch

30-50’ high, 20-30’ spread, Oval shape

This birch can have multiple trunks and makes an attractive landscaping tree. Its shreddie, peally bark adds visual interest. It has less problems if purchased as a single trunk. This tree is a fast grower and turns golden in the fall.

RiverBirch

Hackberry

40-60’ high,30-50’ spread  Rounded shape

This tree of the elm family is tough and durable. It grows at a medium rate. It produces small dry berries that taste like a date and are popular with birds, especially turkey and cedar waxwings, and humans alike. Its bark has a corky texture that develops as it ages. Lastly, it has a nice yellow color in the fall. This tree is happy planted in your yard or along the street.

Hackberry

Black Gum

40-60’ high, 20-30’ spread, Rounded shape

A beautiful native tree, especially during fall when leaves explode into reds and purples. This slow grower is narrower than others and is adaptable to moist to normal soils. It leaves come out and point up vertically while its bark is creamy grey while young and gets worn with age. This tree is happy planted in your yard or along the street.

BlackGum1

 Willow Oak

60-80’ high, 30-40’ spread, Rounded shape

A fast growing oak with finger like leaves. This is a majestic tree built for the ages. It grows well in both moist to normal soils. It will provide nice shade and bark that stays smooth during its youth. It is one of our most popular trees for park, street, and yard plantings. Our golf course partners like it for its small leaves that make mowing the leaves easy in the fall.

WillowOak

 American Elm

60-80’ high, 30-50’ spread, Vase shape

A majestic tree grows into an upright vase shape and has leaves turning yellow in the fall. This extremely fast growing tree comes in many disease-resistant cultivars, we like Delaware and Valley Forge. We hope that these trees will begin to replace the non-native Japanese zelkova that have been replanted since Dutch Elm disease decimated this tree. Fall brings a bright yellow color to its leaves. This tree is happy planted in your yard or along the street.

AmericanElm

 White Pine

60-80’ high, 20-40’ spread, Pyramidal shape

This evergreen grows well in moist to normal soils and grows at a medium to fast rate. Evergreens are best planted in your yard on the north or west side to conserve energy, this allows shade during the summer months and sun to warm your house in the winter. It does lose its needles just not all at once. This tree is happiest in your yard or in the woods.

WhitePine

Northern Red Oak

60-80’ high, 35’ spread, Rounded shape

A fast growing Oak with radiant fall colors of reds and orange. This tree is long lived and well adapted to urban lawns. Its bark stays mostly smooth and is a darker grey. Its happy along the street, in the woods, or in your yard.

RedOak

Scarlet Oak

40-60’ high, 30-50’ spread, Pyramidal shape

This is the official tree of the District of Columbia. Known for its spectacular fall red colors and initial red leaf out. This oak is able to tolerant poor soils and windy locations. Good for hilltops where rocky soils are abound. This oak is good for neutral pH soils. It’s happy along the street, in the woods, or in your yard.

ScarletOak

Pin Oak

This oak is a very common shade tree. It is strong and upright and grows pretty quick. One way to tell it apart from other oaks in winter is its branching pattern. The lower third branches point down, the middle third are parallel, and the upper third point upward. This tree is happy planted in your yard or along the street.

PinOak

Swamp White Oak

50-60’ high, 30-50’ spread, Pyramidal shape

This medium sized oak, has very cool shreddie bark. It is in the white oak family and has rounded leaves that are fuzzy on the underside. It turns yellow in the fall, but good be rich reddish purple some years. This is a very tough, adaptable tree for the yard or street.

SwampWhiteOa

Chestnut Oak

50-70’ high, 30-50’ spread, Pyramidal shape

A great tree destined for rocky, dry, well drained soils. Its bark at maturity is corky and provides winter interest. This makes a great landscape tree.  Fall colors can range from orange-yellow to yellowish-brown. This tree is happiest in your yard in a well-drained location.

ChestnutOak

Learn More

Want to learn more about trees? Join us at one of our forestry events. Our certified and professional trained team offers opportunities to learn and explore the different tree species and how they interact with the environment.