Which lovable, albeit grumpy, Dr. Seuss character is known for saying “I speak for the trees”? If you guessed The Lorax, you’re right! And I’m guessing you share his love for trees, for their beauty and their tremendous environmental value. Our woody friends reduce cooling costs, increase property values, improve air quality, reduce soil erosion, and improve water quality.
And native trees offer even more. They’re more pest and disease resistant, can handle our weather extremes, and are essential to the survival of thousands of species of local wildlife and beneficial insects.
Selecting a native tree
Consider the following when selecting the right native tree for you:
- How large will the tree be when fully grown?
- How much sun does the planting site receive each day?
- How much water does the tree need?
- Do you want a tree that produces flowers, fruits, nuts or fall colors?
We’ve made it easier to select the right tree for you by including key details for each of our twelve native trees highlighted below. Let’s start with those that need the most growing space.
We’ve compiled information on the following five large varieties. These canopy trees, which comprise the upper layer of the forest, typically reach heights of 40-90 feet at full maturity. Scroll through the images to learn which tree is right for you.
Need to go smaller? Consider one of these seven understory trees which range in height from 8 to 20 feet at maturity and are generally more shade tolerant.
Each of these native seedlings benefit local wildlife. Flowering varieties provide nectar for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Berry producing trees offer small mammals and birds a source of food. All are critical hosts for beneficial insects.
Interested in adding some of these trees to your yard or a nearby greenspace? Come celebrate the 46th annual Arbor Day Tree Giveaway on Saturday, January 29, 2022, from 9 a.m. to noon at Rob Fleming Park for free native seedlings. The twelve varieties listed above are available, while supplies last.
You can also bring your tree planting and care questions to our Ask An Expert booth, have your photo taken with The Lorax and Puffy the Pinecone, and visit with experts to learn how to create habitat in your landscape for birds and pollinators.