Meet Some Native Trees

AMERICAN ELM  My name is Ulmus Americana but I go by American Elm. I am a beautiful, large, shade tree that turns a gorgeous yellow in the fall. I can grow up to 100 feet tall in an umbrella like form but most of the other elm trees you see are much smaller because of the Dutch Elm Disease. I don’t want to be extinct so I need your help to make sure I grow up big and strong. I can grow in full sun or part shade. I prefer rich, well-drained soil, but I can grow well with poor drainage or compacted soil. I am a very low maintenance tree and I grow really fast. I can grow 3-6 feet in one year. I don’t really have deep roots so don’t plant me near sidewalks or driveways where I can disrupt things. You can most easily identify me by my leaves. I look like I have teeth around my leaves and underneath I feel like sandpaper. I’m very unique in that way. My flowers are small and inconspicuous, appearing in drooping clusters in early spring. Bees can use my flowers pollen so I’m also considered a pollinator. The fruits I produce are also inconspicuous while on the tree and provide food for many different animals. I am a prolific producers of seeds, and birds, rabbits, opossums, squirrels, and rodents eat my seeds. Deer eat my leaves and twigs in the spring. So I am very important to our ecosystem. I won’t live over the  winter in a container so please plant me before the ground freezes and is too hard to plant. The hole you dig must be deep and wide enough to cover my roots but not high over my trunk. IF I AM TOO LOW I WON’T GROW, IF I AM TOO HIGH I WILL DIE.   My soil needs to stay moist so make sure I get lots of water for the next 3 weeks. You can place mulch around me to keep in moisture but not right up against my small trunk. Thank you for taking care of me!

 

BUR OAK My name is  Quercus macrocarpa but my friends call me Bur Oak.  I will give you lots of shade if you plant me in your yard. I don’t mind pollution or heat stress so I’m a perfect urban tree.  As I get older my stout limbs are resistant to wind and ice damage, and the corky bark protects me from sunscald as well as fire — to some degree. I’m a perfect tree to hang a swing on as my limbs are super strong. I can survive drought periods because I have a tap root that grows down and can get water from deep in the ground when rain can’t be found. This also makes me a great choice for your yard.  My deep roots won’t break sidewalks like other trees might. My Acorns are the preferred food for wood ducks, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, rabbits, mice, squirrels and other rodents. I also attract butterflies. My acorns are pretty large but I don’t get as many as other oaks.  Don’t plant me under electric wires as I can grow to be 80 feet tall. I grow 1-3 feet per year and can tolerate different soils.I can grow well in acidic, alkaline, loamy, sandy, well-drained, wet and clay soils. I prefer moderate moisture, but I am drought tolerant and I like full to part shade.  I can live to be 300 years old.  I won’t live over the  winter in a container so please plant me before the ground freezes and is too hard to plant. The hole you dig must be deep and wide enough to cover my roots but not high over my trunk. IF I AM TOO LOW I WON’T GROW, IF I AM TOO HIGH I WILL DIE. My soil needs to stay moist so make sure I get lots of water for the next 3 weeks. You can place mulch around me to keep in moisture but not right up against my small trunk. Thank you for taking care of me!

 

CHESTNUT TREE  My name is Castaneda Dentata but I go by American Chestnut. I am a native tree but I lost most of my family that lived in the US and Canada in the early 1900s.  So I really need your help to thrive and repopulate so I’m no longer endangered. I have long canoe shaped leaves with a prominent lance-shaped tip, with a coarse, forward hooked teeth at the edge of the leaf. My leaf is dull or “matte” rather than shiny or waxy in texture. I like to grow on hills in full sun to part shade. I like soils that don’t flood and are loose and not clay-like. I have a large, deep, tap root system so I won’t break your cement sidewalk or driveway as my roots don’t spread out. I generally grow 50-75 feet tall, but in ideal circumstances, I could grow up to 100 feet tall. So plant me where I have plenty of space to grow. I can live between 200-800 years old in the right conditions.  I am a very important tree for wildlife. My nuts provide fall food for humans, white-tailed deer, wild turkey, blue jays, black bears and carrier pigeons.  I contain more nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium in my leaves when compared to other trees so I replenish the soil. This means I return more nutrients to the soil so other plants, animals, and microorganisms can grow. So mulch my leaves or let them stay where they lay but don’t get rid of them  because I help the ecosystem.  I won’t live over the  winter in a container so please plant me before the ground freezes and is too hard to plant. The hole you dig must be deep and wide enough to cover my roots but not high over my trunk. IF I AM TOO LOW I WON’T GROW, IF I AM TOO HIGH I WILL DIE. My soil needs to stay moist so make sure I get lots of water for the next 3 weeks. You can place mulch around me to keep in moisture but not right up against my small trunk. 

 

NORTHERN RED OAK  My name is  Quercus Rubra  but my nickname is Northern Red Oak. I am a native Ohio tree with large deep roots. I have bristle-tipped leaves  that turn different shades of red in the fall. My leaves have 7 to 11 waxy lobes.  I’m a good street tree or yard tree because I can tolerate pollution well and I don’t mind compact soil. I won’t lift up your sidewalk or driveway as my roots run deep into the ground rather than across the soil.  I will give you lots of shade as I get older and will help keep you cool in the summer. I am a fast grower and can grow as much as two feet a year for 10 years. I get up to 60 – 75 feet and I spread out 45 feet and have a nice round shape.  I love the feel of the sun on my leaves and I should get at least six hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day. I also prefer to have my roots in acidic, loamy, moist, sandy, well-drained and clay soils. I like moisture but I can also tolerate dry weather once I am established. I provide lots of food with my acorns for many different animals. Blue jays, wild turkeys, squirrels, whitetail deer, raccoons and black bears have me at the top of their list of favorite foods.  I won’t live over the  winter in a container so please plant me before the ground freezes and is too hard to plant. The hole you dig must be deep and wide enough to cover my roots but not high over my trunk. IF I AM TOO LOW I WON’T GROW, IF I AM TOO HIGH I WILL DIE.  My soil needs to stay moist so please make sure I get lots of water for the next 3 weeks. You can place mulch around me to keep in moisture but not right up against my small trunk. Thank you for caring for me!

 

PIN OAK  My name is  Quercus Palustris but people call me Pin Oak. I’m a fast grower if I am put in the right spot in your yard. I can grow 2 feet or more every year and can grow 25 feet wide. I like wet, acidic, rich soils but I can tolerate most poor soils well and can survive a drought. I prefer full sun to part shade. I don’t mind pollution so I’m a great tree for your urban yard. I have a shallow fibrous root system so don’t plant me next to driveways or sidewalks. I will need pruned periodically to help me grow strong.   I have green, glossy leaves  that show brilliant red to bronze in the fall. I am a symmetrical decorative tree with small, distinctive acorns with a saucer shaped cap and smooth, gray bark. I provide food for lots of different animals including: deer, gray squirrels, red squirrels, chipmunks, wild turkeys, crows, flying squirrels, rabbits, opossums, blue jays, quail, raccoons, and wood ducks. I won’t live over the  winter in a container so please plant me before the ground freezes and is too hard to plant. The hole you dig must be deep and wide enough to cover my roots but not high over my trunk. IF I AM TOO LOW I WON’T GROW, IF I AM TOO HIGH I WILL DIE.  My soil needs to stay moist so make sure I get lots of water for the next 3 weeks. You can place mulch around me to keep in moisture but not right up against my small trunk. Thank you for taking care of me!

 

SWAMP WHITE OAK  My name is Quercus Bicolor, but my nickname is Swamp White Oak. I will make an excellent shade tree when planted in your yard but not a good street tree. My roots are  more shallow than other oak trees and spread so I can’t be planted too close to a sidewalk or driveway.  I’m found in low-lying moist sites, along bottomlands and swamps that are subject to periodic flooding. I can also tolerate drought once I am established. I thrive in full sun or part shade so I’m a very versatile tree. I grow faster than most other white oaks and I get 60 to 70 feet tall. I can live 300 years or more! My leaves are large (5 to 7 inches long) with rounded, shallow lobes. I have 2 tone leaves, dark green above and gray to shiny white below which is reflective in my name “BICOLOR”. My bark is smooth on small branches. They are purplish-brown and separate into large, papery scales. On large branches and trunks, they break into broad, flat ridges, with deep fissures and are gray-brown. My acorns usually occur in pairs on a very long stalk that is 1 to 4 inches long. My acorns are a valuable source of food for wood ducks, deer, turkey, squirrels and other rodents.  I won’t live over the  winter in a container so please plant me before the ground freezes and is too hard to plant. The hole you dig must be deep and wide enough to cover my roots but not high over my trunk. IF I AM TOO LOW I WON’T GROW, IF I AM TOO HIGH I WILL DIE. My soil needs to stay moist so make sure I get lots of water for the next 3 weeks. You can place mulch around me to keep in moisture but not right up against my small trunk. Thank you for taking care of me!