Learn all about the many different types of trees found all over the world in this exhaustive guide that will give you a deeper insight and better appreciation on the various trees.
It’s time to start getting curious about trees. These gentle giants have been our neighbors for as long as the human race has existed. They live a life of different in function and purpose, but the surviving elements between us are strikingly similar.
Trees live on an entirely different time scale than we do. Old growth forests prove to us that trees can outlive us tenfold, and this patience is exactly what allows them to thrive. But if we get down to the nitty gritty, we discover that just like us, trees communicate, eat, exist in families, learn, adapt, thrive, and perish. Only each minute for us, is extended to a year for them.
So in celebration of trees, we thought it necessary to dive in to a very small fraction of some incredible trees. Diverse, resilient, and incredible, welcome to 101 Types of Trees.
The Life of Trees
You’ve seen a tree before, but do you know why they are shaped in the way they are? Let’s begin with what is going on under the soil.
Trees are able to stand so tall thanks to their root systems. Depending on the variety of tree, the roots may grow very deep into the soil to provide the required support for the heavy trunk and branches above, or the roots grow shallow in the soil, but spread out widely. Root systems are in place not only to provide support, but that is how trees access the water and nutrients from the soil. Roots suck up water from the soil through osmosis, and then transport it all throughout the body of the tree — all the way up to the leaves in the sky.
The trunk of a tree is made up of woody tissue that provides strength, stability, and flex, as well as vascular tissue that helps transport water and nutrients to all the members of the tree. Most trees are covered with a layer of bark that helps provide a protective shield for the vulnerable and valuable parts underneath.
As we move upwards, we find ourselves in the canopy or the crown of the tree. This is where branches reach out from the trunk, and sometimes these branches are then divided inter smaller shoots. Different tree species only have branches at the very top of their trunk, whereas other species have branches that grow out of the entire length of the trunk.
At the end of the branches and shoots are where we find leaves (commonly associated with deciduous trees) or needles (commonly associated with coniferous trees). The leaves are able to capture energy from the sun, and photosynthesize to convert water into sugar (tree food!).
You can think of a forest of trees as capillaries in your lungs. Trees are the reason why humans and animals are able to breathe. They take carbon dioxide out of the air, and turn it into oxygen. The fewer trees there are on the planet, the more carbon dioxide there will be in the atmosphere. The deforestation of the planet is a major cause in climate change.
Trees also help keep the ground in its place. Deep and ancient root systems prevent the earth from eroding or washing away during severe storms. Trees provide shelter and nutrients for many animals and insects. For humans they provide food, field, shade, construction materials, and much more.
Trees as Individuals
All of this is well and good, but it is also important to view trees as entities of their own, where their primary function is not serve humans. Trees exist in communities. They support each other, they communicate, they learn, they adapt, they thrive, and they perish.
Our survival in inextricable from theirs, but their survival is entirely separate from humans. So in an effort to celebrate the life of trees, we’ve compiled a list of 101 varieties of tree (out of millions).
Table of Contents
- The Life of Trees
- Two Main Categories
- Types of Deciduous Trees
- 1. The Apple Tree (Malus Domestica)
- 2. The Pear Tree (Pyrus Communis)
- 3. The Peach Tree (Prunus Persica)
- 4. The Banyan Tree (Ficus Benghalensis)
- 5. The Common Fig Tree (Ficus Carica)
- 6. The Black Ash Tree (Fraxinus Nigra)
- 7. The White Ash Tree (Fraxinus Americana)
- 8. The Neem Tree (Azadirachta Indica)
- 9. The Bigtooth Aspen Tree (Populus Grandidentata)
- 10. The Quaking Aspen Tree (Populus Tremula)
- 11. The Mahogany Tree (Swietenia Mahagoni)
- 12. The Basswood Tree (Tilia Americana)
- 13. The American Beech Tree (Fagus Grandifolia)
- 14. The European Beech Tree (Fagus Sylvatica)
- 15. The Tulip Tree (Liriodendron Tulipifera)
- Birch Trees
- 16. The Black Birch Tree (Betula Lenta)
- 17. The Gray Birch Tree (Betula Populifolia)
- 18. The Paper Birch Tree (Betula Papyrifera)
- 19. The Yellow Birch Tree (Betula Alleghaniensis)
- 20. The Butternut Tree (Juglans cinerea)
- 21. The Black Cherry Tree (Prunus Serotina)
- 22. The Pin Cherry Tree (Prunus Pensylvanica)
- 23. The Sour Cherry Tree (Prunus Cerasus)
- 24. The Sweet Cherry Tree (Prunus Avian)
- 25. The American Chestnut Tree (Castanea Dentata)
- 26. The Eastern Cottonwood Tree (Populus Deltoides)
- 27. The Cucumber Tree (Magnolia Acuminata)
- 28. The Mountain Magnolia Tree (Magnolia Fraseri)
- 29. The Purple Magnolia Tree (Magnolia Lilliflora)
- 30. The Sweetbay Magnolia Tree (Magnolia Virginiana)
- Elm Trees
- 31. The American Elm Tree (Ulmus Americana)
- 32. The English Elm Tree (Ulmus Minor ‘Atinia’)
- 33. The Slippery Elm Tree (Ulmus Rubra)
- 34. The Hawthorn Tree (Crataegus)
- 35. The Black Locust Tree (Robinia Pseudoacacia)
- 36. The Honey Locust Tree (Gleditsia Triacanthos)
- Hickory Trees
- 37. The Bitternut Hickory Tree (Carya Cordiformis)
- 38. The Pignut Hickory Tree (Carya Glabra)
- 39. The Shagbark Hickory Tree (Carya Ovata)
- 40. The American Hophornbeam Tree (Ostrya Virginiana)
- 41.The American Hornbeam Tree (Carpinus Caroliniana)
- 42. The Tamarack Tree (or American Larch) (Larix Laricina)
- 43. The European Larch Tree (Larix Decidua)
- 44. The Western Larch Tree (Larix Occidentalis)
- 45. The Alpine Larch Tree (Larix Lyallii)
- Maple Trees
- 46. The Red Maple Tree (Acer Rubrum)
- 47. The Silver Maple Tree (Acer Saccharinum)
- 48. The Sugar Maple Tree (Acer Saccharum)
- Oak Trees
- 49. The Black Oak Tree (Quercus Velutina)
- 50. The Chestnut Oak Tree (Quercus Montana)
- 51. The Northern Red Oak Tree (Quercus Rubra)
- 52. The Scarlet Oak Tree (Quercus Coccinea)
- 53. The White Oak Tree (Quercus Alba)
- 54. The Eastern White Pine Tree (Pinus Strobus)
- 55. The Sassafras Tree (Sassafras Albidum)
- 56. The Serviceberry Tree (Amelanchier Canadensis)
- 57. The Black Walnut Tree (Juglans Nigra)
- 58. The Black Willow Tree (Salix Nigra)
- 59. The Flowering Dogwood Tree (Cornus Florida)
- Types of Evergreen Trees
- 60. The Australian Mountain Ash Tree (Eucalyptus Regnans)
- 61. The River Red Gum Tree (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis)
- 62. The Flowering Gum Tree (Corymbia Ficifolia)
- 63. The Water Gum Tree (Tristaniopsis Luscious)
- 64. The Balsam Fir Tree (Abies Balsamea)
- 65. The Fraser Fir Tree (Abies Fraseri)
- 66. The Douglas Fir Tree (Pseudotsuga Menziesii)
- 67. The Eastern Hemlock Tree (Tsuga Canadensis)
- 68. The Mountain Hemlock Tree (Tsuga Mertensiana)
- 69. The Western Hemlock Tree (Tsgua Heterophylla)
- 70. The Bristlecone Hemlock Tree (Nothotsuga Longibracteata)
- 71. The Pitch Pine Tree (Pinus Rigida)
- 72. The Red Pine Tree (Pinus Resinosa)
- 73. The Scotch Pine Tree (Pinus Sylvestris)
- 74. The Ponderosa Pine Tree (Pinus Ponderosa)
- 75. The Bristlecone Pine Tree (Pinus Longaeva)
- 76. The Wollemi Pine Tree (Wollemia Nobilis)
- 77. The Eastern Juniper Tree (Juniperus Virginiana)
- 78. The Western Juniper (Juniperus Occidentalis)
- 79. The Red Spruce Tree (Picea Rubens)
- 80. The White Spruce Tree (Picea Glauca)
- 81. The Black Spruce Tree (Picea Mariana)
- 82. The Coast Redwood Tree (Sequoia Semperivens)
- 83. The Giant Redwood Tree (Sequoiadendron Giganteum)
- 84. The Dawn Redwood Tree (Metasequoia Glyptostroboides)
- 85. The Tanoak Tree (Notholithocarpus Densiflorus)
- 86. The Kauri Tree (Agathis Australis)
- 87. The Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria Araucana)
- 88. The Patagonian Cypress Tree (Fitzroya Cupressoides)
- 89. The Nootka Cypress Tree (Cupressus Nootkatensis/Chamaecyparis Nootkasensis)
- 90. The Atlantic White Cedar Tree (Chamaecyparis Thyoides)
- 91. The Northern White Cedar Tree (Thuja Occidentalis)
- 92. The Western Red Cedar Tree (Thuja Plicata)
- 93. The Atlas Cedar Tree (Cedrus Atlantica)
- 94. The Southern Live Oak Tree (Quercus Virginiana)
- 95. The Bat Fig Tree (Ficus Amplissima)
- 96. The Southern Magnolia Tree (Magnolia Grandiflora)
- 97. The Blueberry Ash Tree (Elaeocarpus Reticulatus)
- 98. The Coconut Palm Tree (Cocos Nucifera)
- 99. The Peppermint Tree (Agonia Flexuosa)
- 100. The Kumquat Tree (Citrus Japonica)
- 101. The Olive Tree (Ole Europaeae)
- In Conclusion…
Two Main Categories
For the sake of organization, we’ve divided the trees into two main categories: deciduous trees, and evergreen trees.
Deciduous trees are also referred to as hardwoods; this type of tree has leaves that will change color and eventually shed come fall time. The tree will be bare for the entire winter. Once spring arrives, new leaves will take their place. Deciduous trees will commonly have broadleaves.
Deciduous trees do this so prepare for winter months. There is not enough sunlight in the winter to allow for efficient photosynthesis, and so trees go dormant during cold months. During this dormancy period they are still alive, but don’t put any energy towards growth.
Evergreen trees will be green all year round despite the changing seasons. Although some varieties of evergreen trees do shed their leaves, it is not an annual or seasonal occurrence. It is usually due to an unexpected environmental happening.
Most evergreen green trees are also conifers. Coniferous trees possess needles and cones instead of flat and delicate leaves. However, there is a small handful of coniferous trees that are deciduous!
But the question then arises “what is the importance of understanding the different types?”
If you are looking into landscaping of any space, it is important to know what the trees will look during the different seasons. Since trees are what ultimately add beauty to a garden because of their glorious look, it is important to plant a mix of deciduous and evergreen trees. Apart from the aesthetics, having trees placed correctly lessens the cooling and heating costs of a home.
Otherwise, it is worth it to learn about different types of trees simply to gain more knowledge about our slow and silent neighbors. The art of tree and plant identification is a dying skill, but it is time for it to be revived! Being armored with this kind of information allows one to feel prepared when on forest walks, and encourages deeper curiosity for the things we see every day.
Types of Deciduous Trees
1. The Apple Tree (Malus Domestica)
What better place to start this journey, than with the apple tree. The apple tree represents so many things, and these trees have become integral to farming practices all over the planet. Apple trees are of the deciduous variety, and they prefer to grow in moist, rich, and well drained soils, which is very common for fruit trees.
Apple trees are rather short, and will only grow to be between 2 and 5 meters tall. They are known for having lovely white/pink flowers that emerge at the same of the spring foliage. Apple tree leaves are alternately arranged on a twig and are a very dark green color.
Apple trees are grown and cultivated all over the world. Commercial groves have been around for centuries, and the lovely apple fruit that these trees produce could possibly be one of the most iconic and important fruits known to the human race! They go into makes all sorts of desserts, jams, butters, and make a nutritious snack all on their own.
2. The Pear Tree (Pyrus Communis)
Carrying right along with fruit trees, we present the pear tree. Pear trees prefer to have cold temperatures to achieve their special sweetness, and they are native to the temperate regions of Asia, North Africa, and Europe. There are over 3000 varieties of pear tree.
These trees are medium sized deciduous trees, and will grow to be anywhere between 10 and 17 meters tall. They have simple leaves that are alternately arranged on a stem, and are a deep green color with a glossy sheen. They are also known for having beautiful white flowers.
Commercially harvested pear tree groves are used to produce fruit, juices, jams, and many more delicious items. What you may not have known, is that pear tree wood is also used to make woodwind instruments, and customized furniture as well!
3. The Peach Tree (Prunus Persica)
When we think of pears, we immediately then think of peaches. Peaches are actually native to northwestern China, and since then have been cultivated all over the world. Their scientific name, persica, comes from the very popular cultivation of the peach tree in Persia.
Peach trees are members of the same family as the almond tree, plum tree, apricot tree, and cherry tree, which is the rosaceae family. They are only about 7 meters tall, with long lanceolate green leaves. They develop lovely pink flowers, and of course are best known for their delectable stone fruit, the peach!
Peach trees prefer to grow in either dry, continental locations, or in temperature climates. Like the pear tree, the peach tree also has chilling requirements in order to achieve proper ripeness and sweetness. Subtropical and tropical regions do not have these natural chilling requirements, and will therefore not grow in warmer places (except if it is at a high altitude).
4. The Banyan Tree (Ficus Benghalensis)
The banyan tree both a deciduous and evergreen tree. When fall comes, the leaves do not change color but merely fall off. The banyan is part of the fig tree family, and it bears fruit in the form of a syconium (this is an enlarged, pitless fruit with multiple ovaries inside).
Native to tropical and subtropical climates, the banyan tree is usually found in places like Pakistan, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Central America, South America, and a few tropical places in the United States as well.
The banyan tree begins its life as an epiphyte. This means that the seed will germinate and thrive in the crevice of another tree or plant. Seeds that fall to the forest floor will often be eaten before it can ever grow into a tree. Eventually the banyan tree will overtake the host tree and kill it entirely. This is why the banyan tree has been nicknamed “the strangler fig”.
This incredible type of tree has aerial prop roots, meaning that they grow in shallow and swampy soils, but span a larger surface area. This is how that enormous trunk can be properly supported. The leaves of the banyan tree are enormous, thick, and leather-like in texture. Locals will actually use the leaves of this tree as plates!
5. The Common Fig Tree (Ficus Carica)
The common fig tree is a species of flowering plant that is native to the Mediterranean and western Asia. It is part of the mulberry family, and has been naturalized in North America as well. They prefer to grow in deep and moist soil, though they have been known to grow in rocky dry locations as well.
These are small trees, sometimes called shrubs, and will grow to be between 7 and 10 meters tall. They possess very fragrant waxy leaves as well as attractive flowers. They have white, smooth bark, and are of course best known for their delicious and fleshy fruit.
The common fig tree have been cultivated since ancient times, and there are records of this tree being farmed in wild, dry, and sunny locations for thousands of years. Today the common fig tree is cultivated all over the world for its delicious fruit.
6. The Black Ash Tree (Fraxinus Nigra)
The black ash tree is another deciduous variety that commonly occurs in swamps or other water-logged soils. They are native all over eastern Canada and north eastern America, in provinces and states like Manitoba, Newfoundland, Virginia, and Illinois.
The black ash will grow up to 20 metres in height, with a trunk of around 24 inches in width. The bark of this tree is a dark grey color, corky in texture, that tends to fissure as it ages. Its leaves are pinnately compounded, and in the winter will sport lovely dark brown, velvety buds. The fruit of the black ash tree is of the samara variety, meaning it is a winged pod. They look rather dazzling as the fall to the earth.
Unfortunately, the black ash tree is on the verge of extinction due to an infestation of the invasive species: the emerald ash borer. This nasty little bug has managed to kill off 7.5 billion ash trees already, and there will likely be no more after the decade is over.
This is particularly detrimental to frog species who live in shared areas as well. The leaves of the black ash tree will fall into ponds where tadpoles live, and that is their main source of food. Other types of leaves are too rich in tannins, which are indigestible to frogs. So if there are no more black ash trees, the frog population is also directly threatened.
The wood of the black ash tree is used by humans in the form of electric guitars and bass manufacturing. Apparently this wood has excellent resonant qualities! In Native American cultures, the black ash is an excellent option for basket weaving, as the wood does not having connecting fibers holding the growth rings together.
7. The White Ash Tree (Fraxinus Americana)
White ash trees are very similar to their sibling, the black ash variety. One of the only differences is where they grow, and the colors of their leaves. The white ash prefers to grow in mesophytic hardwood forests (not too hot or wet, not too cold or dry) around sugar maple trees.
White ash trees can be found all over North America from Nova Scotia in Canada, to Minnesota, Florida, Wyoming, and Colorado.
The white ash gets its name from its leaves’ glaucous underside. This is a naturally occurring grey/blue metallic color that can also be found on certain types of beetles and bugs! The white ash leaves will turn a very vibrant red and yellow in the fall, with lovely compound leaves.
The white ash suffers from the same threat as the black ash does, the emerald ash borer. Although the white ash does seem to appear slightly more resilient against this invasive species than its siblings, the white ash is also on the critically endangered list.
Due to the extremely dense and straight grained wood, white ash is one of the most cultivated trees in North America. Its wood is used in many areas, from manufacturing baseball bats, to furniture, to flooring.
8. The Neem Tree (Azadirachta Indica)
The neem is both a deciduous and evergreen tree, and it is often referred to as either a nimtree, or an Indian Lilac. It belongs to the family meliaceae, or mahogany. It is considered evergreen, however in severe droughts there is a chance they may shed their leaves.
The neem tree is usually found in tropical and semi tropical regions, and is known for its resistance to draught. It prefers annual rainfall of around 800ml, with temperature hovering around 80 degree Fahrenheit, never falling below 39. Locations that possess all of the conditions are Iran, India, Laos, Cambodia, Bengal, Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
The neem tree grows incredibly fast, and will shoot up to an impressive 40 metres in its lifetime. Its branches are spread very wide and high, and on the ends of those you will find pinnate, dark green leaflets. In the spring it will explode with white, bisexual flowers, each branch sprouting a baffling 300 flowers per season!
This tree is utilized for its shade, as it is one of the only shade giving trees that is able to grow in these harsh regions. They’re often found around public spaces like temples and schools. The neem tree was actually labelled as a weed, and is able to spread overwhelmingly quickly. For this reason, it is illegal to transport any neem seeds or plants for risk of it becoming invasive in a foreign region.
9. The Bigtooth Aspen Tree (Populus Grandidentata)
Also referred to as the large-tooth aspen, American aspen, or Canadian poplar, this thin and disorienting tree is native to eastern North America. It is a deciduous tree with strange leaves, which is where it gets its scientific name. Populus grandidentata is latin for sharp teeth, basically.
Found in Virginia, Maine, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and beyond, the bigtooth aspen can adapt to a large variety of soil types. It is abundant in loamy sand, but is also capable of thriving on alpine, rocky sites (hello, Colorado!). They would prefer to exist in well aerated soils, but they definitely do no tolerate shade.
Seed production begins around 10 years for the bigtooth aspen, and each year the tree will release around a million seeds! Another way this tree reproduces is through suckers. If an aspen dies, suckers grow from the roots and eventually evolve into little clones of their mother tree. Kind of alien, huh?
These trees live short and fast, but provide necessary shade and food for their animal neighbors. Humans utilize bigtooth aspen wood in the form of pallets, log homes, chopsticks, and ladders. This is because their wood is straight grained with very fine texture.
The tree has thick leaves that tremble and clatter in the wind, with thin and smooth olive green bark that eventually turns white. In maturity, the bark will then start fading to grey and become thick and riddled with strange grooves.
10. The Quaking Aspen Tree (Populus Tremula)
The quaking aspen is a very different tree than its sibling, the bigtooth aspen. This particular species of deciduous tree is very tolerant to cold winters and short summers, and that is way it can be found in the coolest, most temperate regions of Europe and Asia.
Spanning from Iceland to the British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia, Spain, Turkey, North Korea, and Japan, the quaking aspen prefers to grow at high altitude in mountain ranges. This tree is highly demanding of water and sunlight, and for that reason it grows extremely quickly to beat out the canopy competition.
The quaking aspen can grow to be up to 40 metres tall with a trunk 1 metre in diameter. The bark is a light greenish-grey in color, that is smooth in their youth, and grows more rough with lenticels (porous tissue) as it ages. This tree gets its name because of the way the trees clatter and tremble at the slightest breeze. It’s leaves are small and round with toothed edges (like its sibling, the bigtooth aspen).
*A nickname for the quaking aspen is langues des femmes which translates to “the tongues of women”. Decipher that as you wish.
This aspen reproduces by either wind pollination, or by root sprouts. Funnily enough, the reason why aspens grow so close to one another, is that the suckers sprouting from the roots will grow anywhere from 40 metres from its mother tree, regardless of how much space there is.
The wood of the quaking aspen is rather soft and light, and so its used by humans for lumber and matches, and it very popular in the pulp and paper industry as well. The aspen is also an important habitat for insect and fungus species.
11. The Mahogany Tree (Swietenia Mahagoni)
This variety of mahogany tree goes by many names; American mahogany, Cuban mahogany (this will make sense later), small-leaved mahogany, and West-Indian Mahogany. This semi-deciduous, semi-evergreen tree loses a portion of its leaves in the colder seasons, and the new growth starts its life out as a lovely reddish-pink color. Hence the reason for it being semi-deciduous, semi-evergreen.
This variety of mahogany tree is native to south Florida, and the Caribbean islands of Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic. As you may have guessed, this tree prefers to live in tropical climates with ample sunlight and ample moisture.
This is considered as a medium sized tree, growing to heights of 25 meters with larger pinnate leaves. As mentioned before, when the leaves first sprout they are a blood red color, and quickly change to a dark green. Mahogany trees produce fruit in wood, winged pods that contain their seeds.
All of those nicknames that swietenia mahagoni has received all comes from the way that it has been cultivated over the years. The first ever recorded us was in 1514 to build the oldest church in the West Indies, and ever since then mahogany wood has been a staple in fine furniture making and royal rooms.
Mahogany is also a very coveted choice of material for the making of high end instruments, such as mandolins, marimbas, and guitars. However, due to irresponsible over harvesting, much of the mahogany available today comes from a different species, and is lower quality.
12. The Basswood Tree (Tilia Americana)
The species of this tree comes from the malvaceae family, and the basswood tree is the only representative of its genus in the western hemisphere! Otherwise known as American basswood, or American linden, it is a large deciduous tree that grows faster than any other North American hardwood trees. Not only that, this monster has a 200 year life expectancy.
The basswood tree grows in mesic soils with a rather high pH. A mesic soil is a soil that is neither too wet or dry, and is well aerated. These types of soils occur in Manitoba and Quebec in Canada, and in New England, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Nebrasksa, just to name a few.
This tree grows to be a baffling 37 metres tall with a trunk diameter of 1.5 metres. Its leaves are quite large, simply shaped with alternating ovate and cordate shaping (oval and heart with wide bases). It’s flowers are small, white, and highly fragrant, which are actually edible!
The basswood tree has wood that is very pale in color, free of knots but also doesn’t split easily. In the past this wood has been used to make baskets, fishing nets, and rope. It is also a popular choice of wood to manufacturing guitars as well.
The foliage and flowers of this tree have also been used for medicinal purposes. Usually dried and then made into tea, basswood flowers help with illnesses, inflammation, headaches, and muscle pain.
13. The American Beech Tree (Fagus Grandifolia)
Indicative of from its name, the American beech tree can only be found in certain parts of North America. If you want to get specific about it, it only occurs in the south of Ontario and Nova Scotia in Canada, and in north Texas, north Florida in the United States.
The American beech is a deciduous tree that grows to be anywhere between 20-35 meters in its lifetime. That being said, it’s a super slow growing tree and will only reach about 6 meters in 20 years! However, that process can be sped up if it exists in perfect conditions.
Those conditions are moist, and well drained acidic soils. These are usually found on slopes or rich bottomlands. It grows alongside yellow birch, sugar maple, and eastern hemlock in forests that have reached ecological succession. The American beech is strongly intolerant of too much sun, dry soil and any sort of urban pollution.
This variety of tree is largely ornamental, due to the fact that it is so slow growing. It’s a very hardwood that is difficult to split, but it is quite flexible. This is why it’s a great choice for bentwood furniture – it will bend quite easily went steamed without breaking.
14. The European Beech Tree (Fagus Sylvatica)
The European beech tree is also known as being the common beech tree. These deciduous trees are part of the fagaceae family, and will live to be 150-200 years old. They grow in places like Sweden, Sicily, France, England, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey. The only growing requirements they really have is soil that is well drained, and air that is humid. They are most likely to be found growing on fertile hillsides.
European beech trees are very large trees, and can commonly grow up to heights of 50 meters! They have alternately arranged on a stem and simple. Leaves are a very dark green color, and actually persist on the tree until the following spring, instead of falling in the fall like most other deciduous trees tend to do. This is a process called marcescence.
These trees are mostly used as ornamental trees in large parks and gardens. They tend to get quite messy because of their fallen leaves and beechnuts, but they are still a town favorite. European beech wood is used to manufacture furniture and flooring.
15. The Tulip Tree (Liriodendron Tulipifera)
Here we have a deciduous mammoth that can grow up to 60 meters in its lifetime! This is the largest tree so far in the list. Part of the magnolia family, tulip trees grow either all over North America, or in China and Vietnam.
They appreciate soil that is mildly acidic, temperate climates, and very moist soil. They are very easily recognized firstly by their height, but also because of their unique and large leaves. The leaves are shaped into four distinct lobes that vary from 8-10 inches wide.
A tree with very deep and reaching roots, they also sprout flowers in the spring around 4 inches large, a striking array of yellow, green, and orange flare. The flowers are the reason for the trees’ name, which strongly resemble tulips.
The wood of the tulip trees is very stable with a fine grain, making it quite easy to work with. It is most commonly used in inexpensive cabinet and furniture framing. Since it’s not a particularly attractive grain of wood, it is reserved for the foundation.
Birches are known as being pioneer trees. This means that when some sort of disaster occurs (most commonly forest fires), birches are the first tree to germinate and repopulate that area. They are survivors, but they don’t live for very long.
There are several varieties of birch tree, but we’re going to focus specifically on the black bitch, gray birch, paper birch, and yellow birch. These trees have many similarities, and many surprising differences. One birch only lives to be about 50, another can live to be almost 400!
16. The Black Birch Tree (Betula Lenta)
A black birch is a medium sized deciduous tree that is commonly found in east North America, mostly in southern Maine west and southernmost Ontario region. However, they do also occur in the Appalachian Mountains. They grow to be up 35 meters in height, and the oldest one known to exist is 368!
Birch trees prefer to grow in soil that is rather acidic and not too dry or too moist. They prefer to live in climates that have moderately hot summers, but they can survive easily in colder winters as well.
The wood of the black birch tree is quite hard, strong, coarse grained, and heavy. It is dark brown with yellow sapwood. It is easiest to recognize the black birch by its bark — the paper-y kind that you can strip off and write a note one.
Black birch wood is commonly used for furniture and fuel. Black birch wood is a common substitute for expensive furniture woods such as mahogany and cherry. Moreover, the oil extracted from its twigs is used for flavorings and medicinal purposes.
The black birch can also be tapped for syrup, just like a sugar maple! However, the sap must be gathered 3 times more often, and the syrup is much stronger with more of a molasses flavor.
17. The Gray Birch Tree (Betula Populifolia)
Also of the deciduous variety, the gray birch is native to several provinces in Canada, such as Nova Scotia, and Ontario. In the United States they occur in Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Unlike its siblings, the gray birch actually prefers to grow in soil that is low in nutrients and is rather dry. It is most often found on mountainsides or in mixed woodlands. This variety only lives to be about 30 years old, and is the first tree to appear after a forest fire.
They grow to be between 20-30 meters tall, and are topped off with a crown of slender branches. The leaves are dark green, and oval shaped that turn a blazing yellow in the fall and then fall off in the winter. Gray birches have smooth and thin bark, but doesn’t quite peel off in the same clean way that the black or paper birch does.
The wood of the gray birch tree is medium hard, and is a prime choice in the manufacturing of furniture, spools, and furniture. Because of its high oil content, it also makes excellent firewood, even when wet.
18. The Paper Birch Tree (Betula Papyrifera)
The paper birch tree is a medium sized, deciduous, and short-lived tree that is commonly found in North America. It earned its name as “paper” birch because the trunk of this tree is thin and white and it peels off as paper would. This tree is shade intolerant and it can grow in many different kinds of soils.
A paper birch tree flourishes the most when it is planted alongside streams, swamps, and lakes. The wood of this tree is strong, light, hard, tough and light brown in color. The wood is used to make wood pulp, woodenware, and spools.
In nature, the paper birch tree is a very important food source for moose during the winter. Although the bark is low in nutrients, there is enough of it to sustain them throughout the harsh and barren seasons.
The bark of this tree is reddish brown or golden when, but it soon turns into chalky white as the tree matures. The trunk is covered with thin shards of papery layers that peel away like shreds of paper. Leaves are similar to the leaves of its siblings, alternately arranged dark green leaves that end in a tip.
19. The Yellow Birch Tree (Betula Alleghaniensis)
A yellow birch tree is a medium sized, deciduous tree that is native to northeastern North America. The growing range extends from Newfoundland to Prince Edward Island, from Minnesota to the Appalachian Mountains. It successfully grows on moist and rich uplands when it has sugar maple and beech trees in its surrounding as they all flourish together.
The wood is coarse-grained, hard, strong, and light brown in color. It is commonly used for lumber, woodenware, flooring, furniture, airplanes, interior design, and in agriculture. It is a source of fuelwood as well for anyone who may come across it.
The bark of this tree is bright yellowish silver when it is young, and as it grow, it begins to peel off. It then unveils a dark brownish red color. The leaves of this tree are quite similar to the leaves of a black birch tree but the flipside of the leaves is a little hairy, just like its siblings.
20. The Butternut Tree (Juglans cinerea)
A butternut tree is a slow growing, deciduous tree that is native to southeast Canada and eastern United States. It will only grow in regions that don’t get too hot, and so they tend to stick to high alpine areas. They require soils that are slightly moist, well drained, with moderate acidity levels.
The wood of the butternut tree is soft but not strong, light, coarse grained, durable, easy to work with and light brown in color. Butternut would is a first choice for wood carvers, and it popular in furniture manufacturing as well. The oils from butternut trees prove to have medicinal qualities, and butternut bark has traditionally been used for natural dyeing.
The bark of the butternut tree is light gray in color and quite smooth when it is young, but as the tree matures the color of the bark changes along with its texture. The butternut tree has simple leaves that are stem less and long with pointed tips. The leaves are downy, and more of a yellow-lime green color.
21. The Black Cherry Tree (Prunus Serotina)
A black cherry tree (often referred to as a shrub) is a fast growing, medium sized, deciduous tree that is widespread and commonly found in North and South America. This tree is considered as the most valuable cherry tree found in New York.
It requires growing in moist hillsides or rich soiled bottomlands, but it can be grown in drier locations as well. The wood of this tree is strong, light, and hard, coarse-grained and pale brownish red heartwood.
The wood of the black cherry tree is always in demand because of its fantastic qualities and it is used for tools, fence posts, cabinet making, interior design, and tires. Apart from being a great source of timber, many wildlife creatures feed off this tree.
Black cherry bark is red brown in color at first, that is smooth and and banded, resembling a birch. As the bark starts to mature, it becomes darker and rough. The leaves of the black cherry tree are quite simple with pointed tips, and are glossy and deep green in color.
22. The Pin Cherry Tree (Prunus Pensylvanica)
A pin cherry is a small cherry tree that is often considered a shrub because of its small size. It is native to North America and it is most commonly found in the different provinces of Canada. This tree thrives in abandoned lands because it is a tree that is the first to reproduce in a disturbed area.
The reason why this tree is valued is that it has the ability to protect soil in wastelands so when other trees are planted, they can establish and flourish to their fullest potential. The wood of the pin cherry tree is soft, coarse-grained, light, and light brown heartwood. The wood of this tree is barely ever used commercially.
The bark of the pin cherry tree possesses a bright red brown color and it is smooth with breathing pores. As it starts to mature, the bark starts to get rough around the base of the tree. Just like the tree, the leaves of this tree are small and simple, they have a pointed tip and they are broader compared to the black cherry tree leaves.
23. The Sour Cherry Tree (Prunus Cerasus)
The sour cherry tree is a species of cherry tree that is native to Europe and southwest Asia. They are also sometimes referred to as a tart cherry tree, or a dwarf cherry tree. Like other cherry species, they prefer to well drained, rich in nutrients, and moist soils.
These trees are quite small, growing anywhere between 4 and 10 meters in height. They grow very twiggy branches and are closely related to the sweet cherry tree (prunus avian). Though the produce a drupe fruit (cherry) that is much more acidic and sour.
Sour cherry trees are too small to have their wood used commercially, and so their main use comes from their fruit. Sour cherries are used for both cooking and baking, in cakes, tarts, pies, and sour cherries are also used for making liqueurs and fermented beer as well.
24. The Sweet Cherry Tree (Prunus Avian)
The sweet cherry tree is a deciduous tree that is native to Europe, Western Asia, the British Isles, Morocco, Tunisia, Norway, and Iran. These trees have become naturalized in North America and Australia as well. Cherry trees like to grow in fertile, moist, and well drained soils.
These trees grow to be 15-32 meters in height. They have smooth purple/brown bark, and shiny simply leaves that grow alternately on a twig. Sweet cherry trees are also known for their very lovely summer flowers. They produce very delicious bright red drupes that are eaten by birds, mammals, and humans alike.
Sweet cherry wood is sometimes used as timber, and can be made into cabinets and musical instruments. These trees are mostly used for their delicious fruit or ornamentally. The wood is also a popular option for meat smoking as well.
25. The American Chestnut Tree (Castanea Dentata)
The American chestnut tree is a large sized, fast growing, deciduous tree that is commonly found in North America, hence its name. The American chestnut tree is a subspecies of the chestnut tree. Other popular chestnut trees are found in Europe and Asia (especially in Japan and China).
The wood of the American chestnut tree is popularly used by farmers because of how rapidly it grows. The wood of this tree is soft, light, coarse grained, durable when it touches soil, and red brown in color. The American chestnut tree wood is commonly used for posts.
The bark of this tree is red brown and smooth, but as it gets older, the color becomes darker and the bark begins to break a little. The leaves of the American chestnut tree are small, oval, and light brown in color. The leaves of this tree are similar to the leaves of other chestnut trees.
26. The Eastern Cottonwood Tree (Populus Deltoides)
An eastern cottonwood tree is a large, fast growing, short lived, deciduous tree that is commonly found in the United States of America, Canada, and Mexico. It is a tree species that grows best in rich and moist soil locations. The eastern cottonwood tree generally flourishes alongside lakes and streams. This tree can be planted anywhere in the country except for places with high elevations.
Eastern cottonwood trees are considered as ornamental trees because of their appeal. Although, this tree successfully adds aesthetic value to any location, its downy hairs tend to clog sewers and drains. The wood of this tree is weak, light, soft, and dark brown in color.
White sapwood warps around the wood when there is not enough water content in the roots. The wood is commonly used for boxes and pulp. If this tree is ever cut down, it tends to grow back really fast.
The bark of this tree is light green yellow in color and smooth. However, as it matures, it turns into an ashy gray color and becomes more rough in texture. The leaves of the eastern cottonwood tree are simple, triangular shaped and fairly long. They feature incurved teeth along the margin. In the summer, the eastern cottonwood sheds incredible amounts of downy cotton that contains its seeds.
27. The Cucumber Tree (Magnolia Acuminata)
A cucumber tree is a deciduous tree and one of the largest magnolia tree species on the globe. It is found in eastern United States and southern Ontario. The reason why it is called a cucumber tree is because it grows fruit that looks like an oddly shaped cucumber. It is commonly planted in moist slopes, rich soiled woods, or along streams.
The bark of the cucumber tree is brown gray in color and it has long narrow furrows that disperse as they reach the top. The leaves of this tree are simple, and pointed at the tip. The leaves of the cucumber tree have an entire margin. Moreover, the twigs of this tree have a beautiful scent.
The wood of this tree is brittle, light, soft, coarse-grained, and light brown yellow in color. They are most commonly planted as ornamental trees, however not in the same way that magnolias are. Though the tree shape is relatively the same, the cucumber tree grows its beautiful flowers (and subsequent fruit) high up in the canopy, where it is most difficult for us to see from the ground.
28. The Mountain Magnolia Tree (Magnolia Fraseri)
This deciduous evergreen tree is native to the southeastern United States. They grow specifically in the Appalachian Mountains regions. The also go by the names of Fraser magnolia, earless cucumber tree, and mountainoread tree. The can be found growing in mountainous regions that have rich, moist, and well drained soils.
Mountain magnolias are a rather small tree, and will grow to be an average of 14 meters in height. They have very dark brown bark that has a rough scaly texture, that some have likened to being “warty”. They have glossy green leaves, and are of course known for their large and showy white flowers.
Like all other magnolia species, the mountain magnolia isn’t used commercially for its wood. It’s mostly used as an ornamental tree, both for its beauty and for its attractive fragrance. They are an important source of food for various bird, insect, and small mammal species, and bring beauty to any property that they are on.
29. The Purple Magnolia Tree (Magnolia Lilliflora)
This species of magnolia tree is native to the southeastern parts of China, specifically Sichuan and Yunnan. These trees prefer either acidic or neutral soils, and can tolerate both full sun conditions or partial shade. Purple magnolias may also be called Mulan magnolias, red magnolias, lily magnolia, tulip magnolias, Jane magnolias, a woody orchid, or Japanese magnolias (though they are not native to Japan).
Purple magnolias are known as a small deciduous tree, usually only growing to be about 4 meters tall. They have a pretty standard magnolia tree shape, with thin and spreading branches, though are characterized by their very striking and large flower blooms. Flowers will be either a purple, red, or deep pink color.
These trees are now ornamentally grown all over Europe, North America, and Japan. These trees have been cultivated for centuries in China and Japan as ornamental trees, for their obvious beauty, fragrance, and surprisingly easy care.
30. The Sweetbay Magnolia Tree (Magnolia Virginiana)
The sweetbay magnolia tree is native to the Atlantic coastal plains of the United States. The will only grow near swamps and lowlands in these areas. They are also referred to laurel magnolias, whitebay magnolias, swampbay magnolias, or simply swamp magnolias. This is indicative of their preference of growing location.
The sweetbay magnolia tree is interesting because it will be either deciduous (shedding leaves seasonally) or evergreen (keeping leaves all year long) depending on the surrounding climate. It will be evergreen in areas with mild winters, and deciduous in areas that receive colder winters.
These trees have simple and glossy green leaves, with smooth gray bark. They have particularly lovely lowers. Sweetbay magnolia flowers are very large and showy. They are a creamy white color, and are paired with a shockingly sweet vanilla scent. These trees are a very popular ornamental tree around the Atlantic coastal plains of America.
Elm trees are tough. They are varying, resilient, and when they were once prevalent and a prospering species, the grew to large sizes and ordained many countrysides and city streets.
Unfortunately, an invasive pathogen invaded the elm species all of North America, and it has taken a huge toll on the elm species — this diseases is called Dutch Elm Disease. Some species of elm are more susceptible than others, and we are lucky to still have existing communities.
31. The American Elm Tree (Ulmus Americana)
An American elm tree is a medium sized, deciduous tree that is commonly found in North America, specifically in Nova Scotia, Alberta, Montana, Florida and Texas. The American elm tree is considered as one of the most graceful, well known, and beautiful tree in New York. This tree is the common tree for most bottomlands and it largely grows in many states of the United States.
The wood of this tree is tough, strong, hard, heavy, coarse grained, hard to work with and light brown in color. The wood is usually used for wheel hubs and crates, veneer, hoops and barrel staves. The symmetrical crown of the American elm tree gives it its ornamental quality.
Unfortunately, this tree became the victim of the Dutch Elm disease, which is why it was no longer seen on streets and at parks. Luckily, there have been serious measures that took place to revive this species.
The bark of this tree is dark gray in color and has odd furrows all over it. As it gets older, the outer bark begins to flake off revealing a white and brown surface. The leaves of the American elm tree are simple and they become dark green as they mature.
32. The English Elm Tree (Ulmus Minor ‘Atinia’)
An English elm tree (also known as a British elm tree) is a medium sized, fast growing, deciduous tree largely found in Europe. The fields of central southern Europe were full of English elm trees before the Dutch Elm disease took over. The upper branches of this elm tree make the tree look like a fan shaped crown.
English elm wood was once highly valued for the manufacturing of water pipes and hollowed trucks — thanks to its resistance to rot in saturated conditions. This wood has also been used as timber, for pier construction, and jetties as well.
The bark of this tree is usually scaly and nothing compared to the bark of the ancient Field elm. It is quite rough and dusty brown in color. The leaves of the English elm tree start off as light green but as they mature, they become dark green. They sprout beautiful apetalous, purple flowers in the early spring, before the deciduous leaves come out.
33. The Slippery Elm Tree (Ulmus Rubra)
A slippery elm tree is a medium sized, deciduous tree that is native to northern America and largely found in North Dakota, Maine, Quebec, Florida, and Texas. It is the kind of tree that flourishes in low fertile slopes and on stream banks.
Slippery elm tree is strong, hard, heavy, fairy durable when it touches soil, and coarse grained. The wood of this tree is not commonly used commercially, but when it is used, it is used to make barrel staves, fence posts, hoops, and ties.
Slippery elm bark has been used traditionally for medicinal purposes, firstly by First Nations communities, and then the knowledge of its remedying became more widespread, and is still used today as a soothing salve.
The bark of this tree is brown gray in color and tends to differ from the bark of an American elm tree. The inner bark of this tree has a white slimy, glue like substance on it which is why it is called “slippery” elm. The leaves of this tree are –somewhat- big, they have teeth on the margins, and tend to change color as they get older (go from light green to dark green).
34. The Hawthorn Tree (Crataegus)
The hawthorn tree is a genus of tree that contains several hundred species. This tree species is commonly found in North America, Asia, and Europe. Since there are many subcategories in this tree species, the distinguishing factor is commonly the fruits and flowers that grow on the tree.
Many of the hawthorn species are very similar to one another, and can be rather difficult to distinguish. It would take a keen eye to be able to tell them apart. They are a very popular ornamental tree, and adorn many English countrysides.
The hawthorn tree also carries a decent amount of folkloric tales, and some spiritual significance. It is a symbol of fertility to some cultures, and a way to ward off evil spirits to others. They produce beautiful flowers with an intense smell, and small, delicious, and deep colored fruits that are enjoyed by humans and animals alike.
35. The Black Locust Tree (Robinia Pseudoacacia)
The black locust tree is sometimes referred to as a “false acacia” (hence the inclusion of “pseudo” in its scientific name) because they are very difficult to distinguish from one another. This deciduous tree is part of the robiniaea family, and the subfamily of faboideae, which both peas and beans are also part of!
The black locust in native to North America, but is also considered as an invasive species because it’s just too good at populating areas where there is no shade competition. They are capable of turning grasslands into a forest ecosystem.
They have been cultivated to many other continents, and countries, including Asia, Europe, Africa, south America, Pakistan India, Canada, and New Zealand. They appreciate all kinds of soils, but grow the best in areas that aren’t too moist and get a ton of sunlight.
Black locust wood in the toughest hardwood that can be found in North America, and is considered to be very valuable for this reason. They’re an excellent tree to plant to help with soil erosion, and the wood is used for furniture, flooring, fence posts, and small boats.
They have very straight trunks with a narrow crown, beautifully colored leaves, and stunning flowers that bloom in the shape of a butterfly that are a valuable resource to nectar loving insects.
36. The Honey Locust Tree (Gleditsia Triacanthos)
The honey locust tree is a tree native to North America, and is so good at adapting to new environments that it is considered as being an aggressively invasive species. They grow very quickly, live for about 120 years, and can really wreak havoc within that time.
These deciduous trees develop very thorny spikes that prove to be monumentally annoying for livestock and other animals. They grow lovely smelling flowers and edible fruit, and have bark that is gray and furrowed.
The wood is durable and flexible and is very easy to work with, making it a valuable wood to use in the lumber industry. Bark and twigs are also used for medicinal purposes by certain First Nations cultures.
There are 18 species of hickory tree, though they vary in size and small characteristics, they are all rather large, fast growing, hardwood trees. Hickory trees are all deciduous, and their wood is valued for a number of different reasons.
Some have delicious and edible nuts, others are valued for their quality of wood for meat smoking, but they are all tall with impressive canopies.
37. The Bitternut Hickory Tree (Carya Cordiformis)
A bitternut hickory is a large sized, deciduous tree that largely grows around North America. This tree prefers growing on wet lands such as pastures, fields, hillsides, ridge tops and along streams. The bitternut hickory tree does well in rich, moist soils.
The wood is strong, touch, heavy, hard, and dark brown in color. The wood of the bitternut hickory tree is often used for lumber, pulpwood, furniture pannelling, and not to mention that it is one of the most popular choices of wood for meat smokers — this is because of its attractive smoke smell.
The bark of this tree is light gray in color and has shallow furrows on it. The leaves range in size but they all have sharp points at the tip, and are a delicate yellow-green color. They drop a huge amount of debris in late autumn, making them kind of a nuisance for landscapers.
Unlike their relatives, the pecan hickory, their nuts are too bitter to be edible, but the wood is sometimes mixed in with the wood of true hickories when being sold. They are the shortest lived of all the hickory trees, but 200 years isn’t something to laugh at!
38. The Pignut Hickory Tree (Carya Glabra)
A pignut hickory tree is a medium sized, deciduous tree that is commonly found in Canada and Eastern United States. It is an upland species that grows well on hillsides and dry ridges, but grows most prosperously in more humid climates. It can be found in almost every state in America.
Pignut hickory wood isn’t used commercially all that often, because internal discoloration of the wood occurs due to it being favored by various beetles and birds. Many forest dwelling species rely on pignut foliage and seeds as the main part of their diet.
Pignut hickory bark is coarsely textured with short branches and an irregular crown. Its leaves are compound (composed of leaflets) that drop in the fall, but before that they turn a stunning golden yellow.
39. The Shagbark Hickory Tree (Carya Ovata)
A shagbark hickory tree is a large, long lived, deciduous tree found in southeast Canada and north east United States. It is one of the oldest living hickory trees, and tends to grow very tall — 350 years old and up to 40 meters tall.
The wood of this tree is tough, elastic, heavy, and coarse-grained. Because the tree is slow growing, it isn’t very popular in the lumber industry, but it is sometimes used to manufacture certain types of tool handles. Its most important uses come from forest animals, who heavily rely on its foliage and sweet nuts as a part of their diet.
The bark of this tree is light gray, and smooth. As the tree begins to age, the bark of the tree starts to peel off. The peeling process is unique as it peels off in long strips that are attached in the middle but loose on the ends. This is what gave it its name as “shagbark” hickory.
40. The American Hophornbeam Tree (Ostrya Virginiana)
An American hophornbeam tree is a small sized, deciduous tree that is found in eastern North America, Central America, and Mexico. This tree is very similar to the American hornbeam and it is quite popularly found in the stony, dry soils on ridges and slopes.
This tree grows very slowly and it never grows larger than 10 inches in diameter. The wood of this tree is very strong, heavy and hard, which is why it is often called ironwood. The wood is used for levels, tools, handles, and it makes the best fuel wood.
The bark of this tree is very thin and flakey. It is light gray brown in color. The leaves of this tree are simple and they are serrated all around its edge.
41.The American Hornbeam Tree (Carpinus Caroliniana)
An American hornbeam is a small-sized, bushy, deciduous tree that is native to North America. It is most commonly found in Minnesota, Florida, Maine, Texas, and Quebec. In addition, this tree is commonly planted on the edge of swamps and along watercourses.
The wood of this tree is hard, very heavy, strong, and coarse-grained with a very light cream color. The wood of the American hornbeam tree is commonly used for the making of many kinds of tool handles.
The bark of this tree possesses a dark gray blue color, it is thin and smooth. This tree is known for its attractive bark, making it a nice addition to a home garden even after it has dropped its leaves. The leaves of the American hornbeam are simple and they have subtle serrate along the entire margin.
42. The Tamarack Tree (or American Larch) (Larix Laricina)
The tamarack is a small to medium sized, boreal deciduous and coniferous tree that is most commonly found in Canada. This Canadian native tree is also found in different areas around the United States such as Alaska, Minnesota, and West Virginia. It can be both coniferous and deciduous because it possess needles and cones, but they still drop seasonally.
Often, the American larch is considered as the “forest tree of swamps.” It can easily be found in the mountainous locations including steep slopes, but it can also be found in cold swamps around North America. It is able to withstand incredibly cold temperatures, up to -85 F!
The wood of this tree is hard, strong, heavy, and light brown in color. Many of the uses of the tamarack tree come from First Nations customs. The bark is used medicinally, and the wood is used to create snowshoes.
The bark of this tree is smooth and light gray, but as it gets older, the texture of the bark gets rough and the color turns a brown red. The leaves of the tamarack tree change their appearance during the different seasons, but for majority of the time, they are pale green.
43. The European Larch Tree (Larix Decidua)
A European larch tree is a medium to large sized, mountainous, deciduous conifer tree that is found in Europe. This larch tree species can live up to a 1000 years! It is only found in cold, high elevated areas such as the Carpathian Mountains and the Alps.
However, recently, this tree is being spotted in gardens and parks as ornamental pieces. The wood of the European larch tree is heavy, durable, strong, but flexible. It is commonly used for yacht making and fence posts.
The bark of this tree is a dusty brown color and smooth, but as it gets older, the smooth bark peels off and reveals a reddish brown surface. The leaves of this tree are similar to the leaves of the American larch tree.
44. The Western Larch Tree (Larix Occidentalis)
The western larch tree is a species of larch that is native to the mountains of western North America. They are a very cold tolerant tree, and will commonly be found growing in well drained and dry rocky soils.
These are large deciduous conifers, sometimes gaining heights of over 35 meters. They have needle-like leaves that are a light green color. The main branches of the tree are upsweeping, and the side branches are down sweeping. This creates an interesting crown shape. Bark peels away in narrow strips.
The western larch tree has been used in the past for yacht and boat building, as the tree is very tolerant of water damage and harsh conditions.
45. The Alpine Larch Tree (Larix Lyallii)
The alpine larch tree is both a deciduous tree and a conifer. This means that it has needles and cones instead of leaves and flowers, but those needles do shed seasonally. Alpine larches are native to northwestern North America. Specifically in the rocky mountains of Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, and Alberta. They also go by the common name of subalpine larch.
These trees will only grow at high altitudes, usually between 1800 and 2400 meters above sea level. They prefer to grow in areas with low temperatures and thin rocky soil. These conditions usually occur right at the tree line.
Alpine larches will grow to be around 25 meters tall with a very straight trunk, horizontal branches, and a sparsely arranged conical crown. They have long needle-like leaves that are a blue-green color when they first emerge, and they turn a golden yellow in the fall.
Alpine larch trees are actually the oldest tree species that can be found in Canada. The oldest alpine larch is said to be over 2000 years old!
Maple trees are considered as one of the most important forest tree group in North America. The most popular type of maple tree would be the sugar maple tree, as this is the one that produces the sap that creates maple syrup, while also having valuable wood, beautiful aesthetic qualities, food for the wildlife, and watershed protection. There are many trees in this species that are popular all around the globe. Different areas of the world have different maple trees.
The most distinguishable factor of maple trees would be the arrangement of its leaves, twigs, and buds — and probably the most recognizable being a maple leaf. The fruit grown on this tree is quite distinctive as well. The bark of each maple tree depends on what type of maple tree it is.
46. The Red Maple Tree (Acer Rubrum)
A red maple tree is a medium to large sized, fast growing, deciduous tree that is commonly found in North America. This tree is the most widespread and most common tree found in east and central North America.
The reason why it is called red maple is that during the fall time, the leaves of this tree turn a beautiful bright red color, and its twigs, buds, and flowers are all red as well.
The red maple tree can be found in swamps, in woodlots, and on moist slopes. The wood of this tree is somewhat strong, coarse-grained, and inexpensive. The red maple tree wood is commonly used for cheap furniture, fuel wood, railroad ties, crates, and baskets.
The bark of this tree is light grey when it is young and quite smooth. However, as it gets older, it gets darker and rough. The leaves are simple with 5 lobes, with the top 3 being larger than the bottom 2. They are most similar to the leaf of the sugar maple, whereas as other maples have leaves that are more narrow with sharper points.
47. The Silver Maple Tree (Acer Saccharinum)
A silver maple tree is a medium sized, fast growing, deciduous tree that is commonly found in the United States and Canada. Even though this tree is commonly spread all over North America, it is not as common as the red maple tree. The silver maple tree flourishes when it is planted in similar locations as the red maple tree and its wood is very similar to the red maple tree as well.
Lumbermen have given its wood the terminology “soft maple”, because of its soft quality. Since it is a fast growing tree, it is commonly planted for shade purposes. However, it has weak wood which is why it should not be planted near cars, homes, and other buildings.
The bark of this tree is reddish gray and smooth. As it matures, it starts to become a reddish brown color and starts getting flakey. The leaves are quite similar to the red maple tree leaves, but they possess a green and silvery white color, which is why it is called the silver maple.
48. The Sugar Maple Tree (Acer Saccharum)
A sugar maple tree is a medium sized, deciduous tree that is native to Canada, but is prevalent all over North America. Whereas most maples are renowned for their beautiful foliage, the sugar maple is most known for its sap. This sugary sap is what creates maple syrup which is distributed all over the planet.
The wood is strong, coarse-grained, hard, and tough, with a fine surface. It is most commonly used for interior design, shoe lasts, furniture, veneer, flooring, fuel wood (of the highest quality) and rollers. Sugar maple has the quality of wood in the maple family.
The bark of a young sugar maple tree is dark gray, firm, and smooth, but as it gets older it starts becoming furrowed. The leaves are similar to the other maple tree leaves but, the sugar maple tree leaves are dark green in color. In the fall, the leaves can possess a variety of colors at the same time, from purple, to yellow, to green, to brown, to orange, to red.
There are almost 300 known oak tree species in the world and 55 of them are native to North America of which most are in the eastern part of the United States. Oak trees are the most common trees in the forests of New York. Oak trees are known to grow in different conditions, and each different species has its own variation, form, and distinguishing factors. While some oak trees flourish in mountainous areas and forests, others prefer growing in sheltered valleys.
In order to gain a better understanding of oak tree types, it is better to divide them in two groups: the white oaks and the black oaks.
The leaves of the white oaks are rounded and the acorns that grow on it are sweet. The acorns of this category take a year to mature which is why they are referred to as annual oaks.
The leaves of the black oaks have bristles on their tips instead of being round and the acorns are bitter as well. The acorns of this category mature two times in one year which is why they are referred to as biennial oaks. The immature acorns are what help distinguishing black oaks from white oaks.
Read about the different types of oak wood here.
49. The Black Oak Tree (Quercus Velutina)
A black oak tree is a small sized, fast growing, deciduous tree that is commonly found in central and eastern North America. This tree is a dominant tree commonly found in different parts of North America, but it is not as valuable as the red oak tree (mentioned below). This tree is usually grown on gravelly soils and dry grounds.
The wood of the black oak tree is strong, hard, and heavy, but not as valuable as the red oak tree. The wood is used for fuel wood, ties, and construction.
The bark of the black oak tree is dark brown, and smooth. As it gets older, it started becoming gray black and extremely rough. Sometimes, the bark starts to peel off and it reveals a yellow orange inner bark that is often used to yield yellow dye. The leaves of this tree are simple and they have bristles on their tips.
There are two other types of black oak trees as well. One of them is the Casuarina pauper, Australian tree species and Quercus kelloggii, the Californian tree species, from the western United States.
50. The Chestnut Oak Tree (Quercus Montana)
A chestnut oak tree is a medium sized, deciduous tree that is commonly found in eastern United States. his oak tree species is found on rocky ridges, hillsides, and dry lands.
The wood of the chestnut oak tree is like the wood of a white oak tree (mentioned below) but is less valuable. The wood of this tree is used for posts, rough construction, and ties. The lumber obtained from it is quite hard for any interior finishes.
The bark of this tree is yellow brown and smooth when it is young. When it gets older, it starts becoming dark brown and black with rough ridges and deep furrows. The leaves of this tree are commonly yellow green and simple.
51. The Northern Red Oak Tree (Quercus Rubra)
A northern red oak tree is a medium to large sized, fast growing, deciduous tree commonly found in North America. This tree has shown signs of adaptability in different soils and conditions. The name is indicative of its qualities, as the heartwood, twigs, flowers, and leaves are all red.
The wood of the northern red oak tree is light, strong, hard, heavy, and light brown red in color. It is commonly used for interior finishes, piling, ships, general construction, and furniture. However, is not as durable as the wood of a white oak tree.
The bark of this tree is smooth and gray green when it is young. As it gets older, the bark starts breaking in an irregular way and reveals shallow furrows. The inner bark color is red. The leaves of the northern red oak are simple and have bristle tips.
52. The Scarlet Oak Tree (Quercus Coccinea)
A scarlet oak tree is a medium to large sized, deciduous tree native to eastern and central United States. The scarlet oak tree is a tree that has vibrant foliage in the winter — leaves stay attached to the tree well into the winter, creating a stark and stunning contrast on snow landscapes.
The wood of this tree is coarse, heavy, and strong. It is commonly used for inferior constructions, but it is not used for ties, fuel, and props. The scarlet oak tree adds a beautiful aesthetic because of its unique colored leaves; it is often used as an ornamental piece by many homeowners.
The bark of this tree is smooth and light brown. As it gets older, it starts getting edges and furrows in it. The color of the bark turns black. The inner bark has a beautiful red color. The leaves of the scarlet oak tree are simple and toothed.
53. The White Oak Tree (Quercus Alba)
A white oak tree is a medium to large sized, long lived, deciduous conifer tree that is commonly found in central and eastern North America. The reason why it is called a white oak tree is because it is not common to find any tree species that has a white bark, light gray is common, but having a white trunk is exotic.
A white oak tree produces the highest quality of oak lumber. The wood of this tree is strong, heavy, durable, and hard. It is most commonly used for implements, flooring, ties, furniture and general construction where the sturdiness of the wood is required. Moreover, the acorns that grow on the white oak tree are quite important for wildlife.
The bark of the white oak tree is white and sometimes ashy gray in color. It has furrows and scales, but as it gets older, the furrows get deeper. The leaves of this tree have round lobes and shallow notches.
54. The Eastern White Pine Tree (Pinus Strobus)
An eastern white pine tree is a medium sized, deciduous conifer tree that is most commonly found in North America and in the United Kingdom. This tree was once the most important species in the lumber industry, before it was over-logged. Old growth eastern white pines could sometimes reach heights of 70 meters.
The wood of the eastern white pine tree is even textured, soft, light brown, and can be easily worked with. The lumber it provides is used for a variety of things such as doors, buckets, boxes, interior trims, and sashes. There is no other tree that has such versatile wood, and it is the most valuable type of wood on the market.
The bark of this tree is green, smooth and quite thin. However, as it gets older, it becomes brown and grey with deep furrows. The foliage of the eastern white pine are blue-green needles, usually 5 inches long and grow in close clusters.
55. The Sassafras Tree (Sassafras Albidum)
A sassafras tree is a small size to medium sized, shade intolerant, deciduous tree that is commonly found in eastern North America and eastern Asia. This tree is popularly known for its roots and bark as they are commonly used to make sassafras tea and they have been being used traditionally for hundreds of years.
This tree species is commonly found in sandy soils, between mountains or on hillsides. The wood of this tree is aromatic, brittle, weak, soft, and extremely durable when it comes in contact with soil. The wood of the sassafras tree is commonly used to make fence posts.
The bark of this tree is brown red in color and it has deep furrows on it when it is young. As it gets older, the bark starts cracking and it reveals a beautiful vibrant cinnamon red color. Every sassafras tree has its own type of leaves. While some have 3 lobes, there are a few that may have 5; however, this is quite rare.
56. The Serviceberry Tree (Amelanchier Canadensis)
A serviceberry tree is a small sized, deciduous tree or shrub that is commonly found in the Northern Hemisphere. There are a few species of this tree that is native to Canada and the United States while some species are only found in Asia and Europe.
The serviceberry tree blossoms beautiful flowers during the spring time which are small and white. A serviceberry tree is commonly found along river banks, streams, along fences, and on hills. Sometimes they are also found on highlands.
The wood of this tree is harder than a white oak’s wood; it is strong, heavy, coarse-grained, and dark brown with red highlights. The wood is very rarely used for tool handles. Although this tree has an attractive appeal to it, it does not have any value for timber.
The bark of this tree is brown gray in color and quite smooth, but as it gets older, dark streaks begin appearing. The leaves of this tree are simple with sharp pointed tips.
57. The Black Walnut Tree (Juglans Nigra)
A black walnut tree is a medium to large sized, deciduous tree that is commonly found in North America, Africa, and some places in Europe. This tree is extremely popular because it has high quality wood and edible, big nuts that are commercially harvested. The best conditions for a black walnut tree to grow would be well drained, rich soiled bottomlands.
The wood of this tree is strong, hard, heavy, durable, east to work with, can be polished with finesse, and it possesses a rich brown color. The wood of the black walnut tree is most commonly used for interior works, cabinet making, gunstocks, and high end furniture. It is important to protect black walnut trees and they must be planted in locations where they can flourish.
The bark of the black walnut tree is dark, thick, furrowed and brown gray in color. As it gets older, it begins to shred off and it reveals a beautiful dark chocolate brown color inner bark. The leaves of this tree are usually alternately arranged and compound that are dark green in color with serrated margins.
58. The Black Willow Tree (Salix Nigra)
A black willow tree is a medium sized, deciduous tree that is commonly found in North America and Europe. Out of all the willow tree species, the black willow tree is the biggest and most widely spread species. A black willow tree requires wet or moist soil along lakes and streams to grow to its fullest potential, but it can also be grown on sandy, fresh and gravely soils where it can soak up a good amount of sunlight.
The black willow tree does not have much importance in terms of its timber production but it can be used for other things. The wood of this tree is soft, weak, and crooked. It is most commonly used for pulp, boxes, excelsior, and it was actually the first wood that was used to create artificial limbs!
The bark of a black willow tree is rough, thick and it has scales all over it. When the tree is young, the color of the bark is light brown, but as it gets older, the bark becomes a darker shade of brown. The leaves of this tree are simple leaf blades that are dark green in color, with a lightly serrated margin.
59. The Flowering Dogwood Tree (Cornus Florida)
A dogwood tree is a small sized, ornamental, deciduous tree that is commonly found in eastern North America and northern Mexico. A dogwood tree does well when it is getting exposed to lots of water and it is soaking up a good amount of sunshine.
The flowering dogwood tree is commonly known for the light yellow and white flowers that begin to blossom on it during the spring time. Since these flowers have a beautiful appearance, these trees are most well known for ornamental appeal.
The wood of this tree is gray brown in color, coarse grained, dense, and hard. The wood of the dogwood tree has been used for mallets, tool handles, butchers block, golf club heads, wooden rake teeth, and jewelry boxes. The bark was traditionally used as a holistic medicine to help treat mange in dogs. This purpose is where the name “dogwood” came from.
The bark of this tree has an interesting appearance. It is quite scaly and possesses an ash-brown color. The leaves of this tree simple and oval shaped. One distinguishing factor about this tree is that during the fall time, the leaves turn into a beautiful brown red color, making it beautiful all year round!
Types of Evergreen Trees
60. The Australian Mountain Ash Tree (Eucalyptus Regnans)
Eucalyptus is a genus that contains more than 700 species of shrubs, flowering plants, and trees. Even though they have different genus names; eucalyptus is often referred to as eucalypt in European nations.
The plants that belong to this genus have smooth, hard, stringy or fibrous bark, leaves that have oil glands and they have petals and sepals. The fruit that grows on this species is referred to as a gumnut because it is shaped like a woody capsule.
Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia and because wildfires are common in the Australian region, these trees can survive the fire. Moreover, if the tree gets damaged because of these fires, it can re-sprout. There are a few species of eucalyptus plants that can be found outside of Australia. The tree species that are grown in other countries are known to be fast growing and they have valuable timber which is used for honey, essential oils, and pulpwood.
The mountain ash eucalyptus is the tallest of the eucalyptus family, with old growth groves growing to be over 100 meters tall! That makes them the tallest living thing in on the planet. They can grow to be upwards of 500 years old, and are an important habitat and source of food for many animal species.
61. The River Red Gum Tree (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis)
The river red gum is an evergreen tree species that is part of the eucalyptus family. These trees are endemic to Australia, meaning that they will only occur there, and no where else. River red gum trees are extremely tolerant of drought and soil salinity, though they tend to perform best if flood-prone areas, and will commonly be found growing in watercourses.
These trees have smooth white bark that sheds off in large plate-like strips. They have lance shaped green leaves and striking white flowers. These trees provide valuable habitats for bats, pythons, and birds.
River red gum trees are used as a restoration tree species in drought areas. The wood is also known for its brilliant red color, and is a very coveted type of wood for craft furniture makers.
62. The Flowering Gum Tree (Corymbia Ficifolia)
The flowering gum tree is one of the most widely cultivated eucalyptus trees in Australia. They will only grow in very temperate climates with low humidity in the summer time, and not too much rainfall either. This makes Australia the perfect habitat!
These trees are medium sized evergreens, growing only to heights of about 15 meters. They have very rough and darkly colored bark, with huge recognizable dark, glossy green gum leaves. They are known for having super showy and lovely flowers, ranging from orange, to red, to pink.
Gum trees are very popular ornamental trees in Australia, and they are also a very important source of nectar for birds and insects. Because of the dry and harsh conditions of its growing region, not many other flowering plants can prosper as well as the flowering gum tree.
63. The Water Gum Tree (Tristaniopsis Luscious)
The water gum tree is a brilliant evergreen tree that also grows in Australia. They will only grow in very temperate climates with low summertime humidity, and not too much rainfall.
They are most recognized by their beautiful evergreen leaves. They first emerge as a unique bronze orange color, before they turn a deep, glossy green. This tree will reach heights of about 8 meters, and have a broad columnar shaped crown. Trunks are covered with a creamy gray bark.
They are often planted as a shade tree or a screen plant to help protect more vulnerable and less sun-hardy plants in gardens and parks.
64. The Balsam Fir Tree (Abies Balsamea)
A balsam fir is an evergreen, medium size forest tree that is native to northeastern United States and eastern and central Canada. The balsam fir tree is commonly found in cold climates, growing around wet swamps, flatlands, and mountain ranges.
The wood of this tree is soft, coarse grained, light, not durable, and light brown in color. The balsam fir tree wood is not used for lumber. It became a popular tree type to have because many people use it as a Christmas tree. The needles of the tree are very fragrant and stay on much longer than other types of pine trees.
The bark of this tree is gray and brown in color. It is covered in small patches of balsam blisters that have an oily resin them (that is often used for medicinal purposes!).
65. The Fraser Fir Tree (Abies Fraseri)
The Fraser fir tree is a member of the fir family. It is an evergreen coniferous tree, and is native specifically to the Appalachian mountains of the southeastern United States. They are very drought resilient trees, and can grow in a great variety of soil types. They are very tolerant to cold.
These trees are rather small, only growing 10-15 meters in height, with a iconically conic crown. Fraser fir trees have straight branches and smooth gray/brown bark. They have needle-like leaves that are dark green in color and them smell very pleasant.
The Fraser fir tree is best known as being an optimal Christmas tree. This tree has actually been used more times than any other tree species as the White House Christmas tree. North Carolina has the largest amount of commercial Christmas tree groves, though there are notable groves in Scotland, Ireland, and Canada as well.
66. The Douglas Fir Tree (Pseudotsuga Menziesii)
The Douglas fir is a tree that is actually part of the pine family, and it is native to the Pacific Northwest of North America. They can grow in a great many varieties of soil types and different climatic areas.
Douglas firs are medium to extremely large trees, and will grow to be anywhere from 20 to 100 meters depending on their growing region. They have long branches, and soft bright green needles. Needles grow directly from the twig instead of in clusters, making them easier to recognize.
Douglas firs are wonderful trees to look at, and they are one of the best known and most used types of wood available. They are used for framing, construction, and flooring. They’ve also been a very popular choice of Christmas tree throughout the years.
67. The Eastern Hemlock Tree (Tsuga Canadensis)
An eastern hemlock tree is a large, long lived, shade loving (which is unusual for evergreens), coniferous tree that is native to North America. This tree is considered as a valuable forest tree and is commonly found on the eastern side of North America. It is commonly grown in shaded areas, steep mountain slopes, or at the border of swamps.
The bark of this tree is gray red in color and it contains a high content of tannin, the leaves of this tree are borne singly and they have a beautiful dark green color.
The wood of this tree is not strong, brittle, light, coarse grained, not durable, and light brown in color. The wood is most commonly used as construction lumber and it always stays in demand for pulp. Inner bark is edible and medicinal, and the needles can be made into tea!
68. The Mountain Hemlock Tree (Tsuga Mertensiana)
The mountain hemlock tree is native to the west coast of North America, and will grow in high altitudes from Alaska, southward to California. They are commonly found in inland rocky locations, with cold and snowy subalpine conditions. There are some trees that can live to be over 800 years old.
Mountain hemlocks are medium to large evergreen conifers, and will commonly grow to be 20-40 meters tall, though some exceptional trees have been known to exceed 59 meters. They have a slender, conic crown and are known best by their pendulous branchlet tips. They have blue/green needle-like leaves.
Mountain hemlock trees mostly grow in the wild. They don’t have many uses for humans other than to be admired on hikes, and they are sometimes grown ornamentally in parks and gardens. They make for a great landscaping tree in areas that experience severely cold winter weather.
69. The Western Hemlock Tree (Tsgua Heterophylla)
The western hemlock tree, or the western hemlock-spruce, is native to the west coast of North America. This evergreen conifer grows from Alaska down to California. Unlike the mountain hemlock tree, the western hemlock will only grow at low altitudes or at sea level. It prefers temperate rainforest like conditions.
The western hemlock has a neat conic shape with dark green needle-like leaves. These trees have brown, thin and furrowed bark. The tree is most easily recognized by its drooping shoots. The tree is an integral component of the Pacific Northwest coastal range of forests.
Western hemlocks are mostly used as a garden tree or ornamental tree, though they are sometimes used in forestry to help with soil erosion, thanks to their dense and sturdy roots. Western hemlock wood is sometimes used to make furniture as well.
70. The Bristlecone Hemlock Tree (Nothotsuga Longibracteata)
The bristlecone hemlock tree is a very rare tree. This coniferous evergreen tree is endemic to southeastern China, and only contains the one single species. They are highly endangered, and only a few can be found at low to medium mountain elevations
These evergreen trees can grow to be over 30 meters tall. They are usually multi stemmed with a conical/drooping crown that will sometimes have a flat top. They have flat needles that are glossy green, and are arranged spirally on a twig.
These trees were once heavily logged, to the point of supposed extinction. Until quite recently, they were thought to have been completely extinct. Luckily they are now on the critically endangered list and are now protected. Chances are, the majority of us will never see a bristlecone hemlock tree in our whole lives!
71. The Pitch Pine Tree (Pinus Rigida)
A pitch pine tree is small to medium sized, coniferous tree that is commonly found in eastern North America. Pitch pines can growing on sites and in conditions that are entirely unsuitable for other types of trees and plants.
The wood of this tree is coarse grained, hard, and reddish brown in color. Although, the tree rarely ever reaches a big size, when it does, the wood is used for lumber. It is used for ties, mine props, rough framing lumber, and crates.
The bark of this tree is reddish brown in color and it is quite rough even at a young age. However, as it gets older, it becomes a deeper red brown color and gets deep furrows all over. Because the bark of the pitch pine three is very thick, it is a fire resistant tree. The leaves of the pitch pine tree are needles that are very stiff, and are green yellow in color.
72. The Red Pine Tree (Pinus Resinosa)
A red pine tree is a medium to large sized, rapid growing, coniferous evergreen tree that is commonly found in the United States, United Kingdom and some parts of Europe. They grow in sandy soils and in low nutrient soils, much like other species of pine trees.
The wood of this tree is light, coarse-grained, somewhat smooth in texture, light red in color, and often mixed with white pine lumber. Since this tree species grows quite fast, it is prone to diseases and insects, which is why it is commonly planted in lands that are away from cities and suburban areas.
The bark of the red pine tree is brown red in color and it has thin ridges all over it. Similar to the pitch pine tree, this tree has needle like leaves as well, but they possess a rich, deep green color. Needles will live on the tree between 3 and 6 years.
73. The Scotch Pine Tree (Pinus Sylvestris)
Referred to as the scotch pine in the United States, and a scots pine in the United Kingdom, this tree is a medium to large sized, coniferous evergreen tree commonly found in Europe and Asia. This tree is commonly planted in sandy and poorer quality soils, peat bogs, and rocky outcrops or near the forest limit.
Similar to the other pine trees, the scots pine has wood that is coarse-grained, thick, and brown in color. The wood is often used for ties, pulpwood, and framing lumber. On the other hand, the scots pine tree was also a popular choice of Christmas tree in the 80’s and 90’s before fir trees became the prominent choice.
The bark of this tree is scaly, thick, and brown gray in color. However, the upper part of the trunk is flaky, thin, and orange in color. The leaves are needle-like, possessing a blue/green color. They grow in fascicles of 2 on older trees, but in fascicles of 5-6 on vigorous young trees.
74. The Ponderosa Pine Tree (Pinus Ponderosa)
The ponderosa pine is a coniferous evergreen tree that is native to some of the driest sites known in North America. They occur all over British Columbia, Washington, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and they are the most common tree found in Colorado.
Ponderosa pines are very large tree, with common heights occurring between 35 and 50 meters. The tallest one known is 81.77 meters tall! They’re also very long lived, with the oldest one being 933 years old.
These pine trees have long, flexible, blue green needles that grow in clusters of 3. Their bark grows in large plates that are dark orange brown, with crevices that are black.
Ponderosa pines are very important in the tree planting and logging industry, and they are a very popular choice of wood for close fitting jobs.
75. The Bristlecone Pine Tree (Pinus Longaeva)
The bristle cone pine is a very well known tree, as it is the oldest living specimen known on the entire planet. Bristle cone pine trees have a life expectancy of over 3000 years, which absolutely blows the redwood trees’ life expectancy completely out of the water.
The reason why the bristlecone pine may be lesser known than the redwood, is because these trees live in extremely harsh conditions, which greatly affects their overall size. In fast, the bristlecone pine can thrive where no other plant even exists. They are the very last tree species found at the altitude tree line.
Bristlecone pines are coniferous evergreen trees with short green needles that can stay alive on a tree for over 40 years! They rarely exceed 20 meters in height, and trees that grow at high altitudes may even be about half that height.
These trees are so rare, so long lived, and so peculiar looking, that they really are not used in the same way that other trees are used. The bristlecone pine is meant to be admired, protected, and very gently handled. If it weren’t for these trees, dendroclimatologists (determining ancient climate patterns through observation of ancient tree rings) wouldn’t know nearly as much as they do today.
76. The Wollemi Pine Tree (Wollemia Nobilis)
The wollemi pine tree is part of the araucariaeceae family, and is endemic to Australia, though they have been cultivated elsewhere. They are currently on the critically endangered list. They are very versatile and resilient trees, and they can survive in any kind of soil. They prefer full sun to partial shade, and can tolerate relatively low temperatures for a member of the araucariaeceae family.
Wollemi pines can achieve heights of 40 meters, and they are covered in a chocolate brown colored bark that is covered in strange bubbles. These trees have a rather unusual branch formation, they are multistemmed and grow in eratic directions. They grow flat leaves that are bright lime in color, and are arranged spirally on a stem.
Because these trees are critically endangered, they are not used in any way but to be admired. They are very popular in botanical gardens, and make for very attractive garden and ornamental trees because of their easy care. They’ve even been promoted as Christmas trees, but that was before their population was threatened.
77. The Eastern Juniper Tree (Juniperus Virginiana)
The eastern juniper tree is a slow growing, coniferous evergreen tree that is native to North America. This tree is known for being incredibly resilient and hardy. It can withstand drought, heat, flooding, and cold. They can grow in nearly any soil type.
The wood of this tree is fragrant, soft, brittle, light, very durable, and it is completely resistant to rot. The eastern juniper tree’s wood is red in color but it has white sapwood highlights on it. The wood is often used for cedar chests, pencils, interior decorating, and cabinetry.
The bark of this tree is light brown red in color and the leaves of this tree vary from being red brown to dark green. They overlap each other and they have quite a unique look. The most familiar part of this tree are its attractive, small, blue berry like fruits.
78. The Western Juniper (Juniperus Occidentalis)
The western juniper tree is a small tree or shrub that is native to the western side of the United States. The evergreen conifer can usually be found growing at altitudes between 800 and 3000 meters in elevation. They prefer to grow on dry, rocky sites, that are out of the range of competition between ponderosa pines and Douglas fir trees.
These small trees grow to be less than 10 meters tall, with a very robust and wide conical crown. They have slightly ascending branches that are covered in deep green needle-like leaves. Cones are very small and berry like, very characteristic of juniper trees.
The western juniper tree is an important source of food for the birds and small mammals that are present in the same region. They are not used by humans other than being admired on hikes!
79. The Red Spruce Tree (Picea Rubens)
A red spruce tree is a small to medium sized tree that is native to many regions in North America. They are very shade tolerant and slow growing. Both perennial and coniferous, they are an extremely cold hardy tree.
The wood of the red spruce tree is soft, light, and coarse-grained. It is the kind of wood that is in demand for chemical wood pulp. It has a certain sound managing quality that makes it an optimal choice for musical instruments. These trees are also a popular choice for Christmas trees as well.
The bark of this tree is very thin and it peels off quite easily. The leaves are needle like, yellow green in color, somewhat flexible, and can stay on the tree for 5-6 years.
80. The White Spruce Tree (Picea Glauca)
A white spruce tree is a large sized, coniferous evergreen tree that is commonly found in the boreal forests of North America. These large trees can be found on mountain slopes as well on flat grounds.
Just like the red spruce tree wood, white spruce wood is used for wood pulp and construction. The attractive foliage of this tree is what makes it the perfect ornamental tree, which is why it is used as a Christmas tree.
The bark of the white spruce tree is light brown red in color and it separates in slim scales. The leaves of this tree are needle like, shiny, green and they have a strong smell.
81. The Black Spruce Tree (Picea Mariana)
Black spruce trees are native to North America, but mainly in Canada and the most northeastern parts of the United States. They are sometimes referred to as a “bog spruce” or “swamp spruce” because it is very common to find them growing near bogs and swamps! However, they do also grow in mountainous regions.
Black spruce trees are one of the smaller spruce species. They have the darkest bark, the smallest cones, and the shortest needles as well. Needles are less than an inch long, a dark green color, and are very stiff.
These trees are known for their contribution to the pulpwood industry, though are not important commercially because of their very small size. They contribute to forest ecology, and are known for their resilience to low nutrient soil, and harsh conditions.
82. The Coast Redwood Tree (Sequoia Semperivens)
This is a moment I know we’ve all been waiting for. The redwood tree is one of the most well known trees on the planet. Many only know it for its sheer size and impressive life expectancy, but there is so much more to the redwood tree than that!
This tree can grow to be 115 meters tall, and they have an average life expectancy of 1200-1800 years. The oldest redwood tree is said to be 2200 years old! They are best known for their old growth groves that occur in northern California and southwestern Oregon.
Redwoods have very thick, red bark that makes them incredibly resistant to fire damage. They have short coniferous needles and small cones that release pollen every winter.
83. The Giant Redwood Tree (Sequoiadendron Giganteum)
Along with the coast redwood and the dawn redwood, the giant redwood is one of three species known as the redwoods in the cupressaceae family, and subfamily sequoioideae. The giant redwood is endemic to only the Sierra Mountains of California. They require tons of moisture in order to succeed.
Giant redwoods can gain heights of 50-85 meters (on average) and can live over 2500 years old. The oldest known giant redwood tree is thought to be over 3200 years old. They have massively thick trunks that are covered in very thick, fibrous, and furrowed red/brown bark. Leaves are awl shaped and arranged in spiral shoots.
Giant redwoods are a very rare species of tree, and all known ranges are protected. This is because they were over-logged in the 18th and 19th centuries to the point of near extinction. Now their only interaction with humans is by being gazed upon in protected sanctuaries.
84. The Dawn Redwood Tree (Metasequoia Glyptostroboides)
To begin, we will clarify that the dawn redwood tree is not an evergreen tree, but it is coniferous, meaning that it possesses needles and cones, but the needles do shed seasonally. The reason we are including the dawn redwood, is because it is the third of the three surviving species of the sequoia family.
The dawn redwood is native to southeastern China, but it has been naturalized in the temperate regions of the United States and certain parts of Europe as well.
The dawn redwood is a very fast growing tree, and though the shortest of the sequoia trees, still grow to be an average of 37 meters in height. They have bright green needle-like leaves, and bark the is vertically fissured and peels off in long ribbons. Bark is a red/brown color.
This tree was thought to have been extinct until the mid 20th century, and is known as a “living fossil specie”. This means that the tree exists today quite similarly to when it did thousands of years ago. These trees are less endangered than the other 2 species, and they are often used as ornamental trees.
85. The Tanoak Tree (Notholithocarpus Densiflorus)
The tanoak tree is a native tree to very specific regions, and it occurs naturally mostly in northern California and southern Oregon. This large tree is usually found growing amidst redwood trees and Douglas fir trees.
Tanoaks are large trees usually reaching heights of 40 meters, though they have rather thin trunks. The bark is light gray/brown and thin, with large broadleaf leaves that have a waxy or leathery texture. Branches grow into a narrow and dense crown at the top of the trunk.
Though not particularly valuable in the lumber industry, tanoak trees are a very important source of food, and an important habitat to many birds, chipmunks, squirrels, raccoons, and many other mammals.
86. The Kauri Tree (Agathis Australis)
This coniferous evergreen tree is native and endemic to only New Zealand. They run a close second to the redwood tree in terms of overall massiveness and life expectancy. These trees grow in very humid regions, and are a very tough competitor for soil nutrients.
Kauri trees have been around since the Jurassic period, which was some 190 million years ago. This indicates that their genetic makeup is extremely robust, enabling them to survive many ages and climate changes.
They can grow to be upwards of 50 meters tall, with a trunk diameter that challenges the redwood at 9 meters around. Their bark is smooth gray and defoliates in thin sheets, creating enormous piles of debris.
These trees are protected and are not used commercially for any reason. They are present for us to admire, and nothing more.
87. The Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria Araucana)
The monkey puzzle tree may be one of the most unusual looking trees you’ll ever see. This tree is also known as the monkey tail tree or the Chilean pine, and it is native to the Andes mountain regions of Argentina and Chile.
These trees are coniferous evergreens with leaves that are very sharp and scale-like. They grow spirally along the branches and cover the entire length of the trunk as well. They have light gray bark that eventually starts to look like the foot of an elephant as a tree ages.
These large trees can grow to be over 50 meters tall, with trunk diameters averaging at 1 meter around. Though they are not used commercially, monkey puzzle trees are staple plants in botanical gardens throughout North America and Europe.
88. The Patagonian Cypress Tree (Fitzroya Cupressoides)
The Patagonian cypress tree is a very long lived and very tall conifer that grows only in the mountains of southern Chile and southern Argentina. They grow in rainforest-like conditions and are sometimes called the sequoia of South America.
Some other names for this tree are alerce (which means larch in Spanish) and lahuan, which is the Patagonian aboriginal name for the tree. The largest known specimen is 60 meters tall, and the oldest known specimen is 3622 years old.
This tree has a pyramidal shape and decussate whorls of leaves. The scale like leaves are a deep green color and are the easiest way to identify this tree. They have thick red bark that peels off in strips.
Patagonian cypress trees are unfortunately an endangered tree species now, and that means they are not used for any reason other than to be admired.
89. The Nootka Cypress Tree (Cupressus Nootkatensis/Chamaecyparis Nootkasensis)
The Nootka cypress tree is native to the west coast of North America. They exist in small pockets where soil is the most moist. This tree has many different names, including; Nootka cypress, yellow cypress, Alaska cypress, Nootka cedar, yellow cedar, Alaska cedar, and Alaska yellow cedar.
These trees are large, growing to be an average of 40 meters tall. They have characteristically pendulous branches and foliage that grows in very attractive flat sprays of dark green scales. They are also sometimes called weeping cypresses for these attractive sweeping branches.
Nootka cypress wood is considered as being one of the finest timbers in the world, because of its resistance to weather and insect damage, and because it is very durable and attractive looking. Nootka cypress wood has been traditionally used to make face masks, paddles, dishes, and bows.
90. The Atlantic White Cedar Tree (Chamaecyparis Thyoides)
The Atlantic white cedar also goes by the names of Atlantic white cypress, southern white cedar, white-cedar, or false-cypress. This tree is a member of the cypress family, and native to the Atlantic coast of North America, indicated by its common name! They grow within 100 miles of the coast, and at a maximum altitude of 50 meters above sea level. They prefer to grow in freshwater wetlands, and are considered as being an obligate wetland species.
Atlantic white cedars are medium sized evergreen conifers that grow to be around 20-28 meters tall. They grow feathery foliage that creates a flattened spray shape, and scales are a blue/green color. The bark of the Atlantic white cedar tree is anywhere from being ash gray to red/brown, and it develops deep ridges with age.
Atlantic white cedar wood is commonly used for shingles, panelling, and interior finishing. However, this attractive conifer is mostly planted as an ornamental tree in areas that experience harsh winters and require cold hardy trees to decorate a property.
91. The Northern White Cedar Tree (Thuja Occidentalis)
The northern white cedar tree goes by many names. It is also known as being an eastern white cedar, a swamp cedar, an American arborvitae, or an eastern arborvitae. The word arborvitae is latin for “tree of life”, which has been chosen for the medicinal properties of the trees foliage, sap, and bark.
These trees are part of the cypress family and they grow in the eastern part of Canada, and the northeastern parts of the United States. They are called “swamp cedar” because they prefer to grow in areas that are exceptionally wet.
The northern white cedar tree is medium sized, only growing to be about 15 meters tall in good conditions, and they are covered in red/brown bark that defoliates in narrow strips. Foliage grows in a fan shape and is comprised of scale-like leaves.
These trees are best known for the medicinal properties, as their foliage is rich in vitamin C and has traditionally been a great source of nutrients for First Nations communities. Otherwise these trees are grown as ornamental plants in areas that experience harsh winters.
92. The Western Red Cedar Tree (Thuja Plicata)
The western red cedar tree is otherwise known as the Pacific red cedar, the giant arborvitae, the western arborvitae, or giant cedar. This evergreen conifer is part of the cypress family, and are therefore not a true cedar or part of the cedrus genus. It is native to western North America, and will grow most prosperously in lush forests, on mountainsides, and by swamps and streams.
These trees are very large and grow to heights ranging between 65-70 meters in height. They are characterized by their flat sprays of scale-like green leaves. They have very robust and conical crowns.
Western red cedars are mostly known as being ornamental trees in areas that experience harsh winters. Though their wood is valued because of its overall aroma, attractive appearance, and its resistance to decay from water or insect damage. Western red cedar wood is commonly used to make shingles, siding, and framing. It has also traditionally been used for making sailboats and kayaks.
93. The Atlas Cedar Tree (Cedrus Atlantica)
The atlas cedar tree is a member of genus cedrus, and of the pine family (pinaceae). These coniferous evergreen trees are native to the Atlas mountains of Morocco. They will grow at elevations occurring between 1370 and 2200 meters above sea level. They grow in humid and temperate climates.
Atlas cedars are large trees and reach heights of 30-35 meters. They have crowns that contain splitting branches that are pendulous, creating a uniquely shaped crown. They grow needle-like leaves that are a blue green color.
Atlas cedars don’t occur in many places, though in those places they are a popular ornamental tree. They are also grown in the south of France for commercial timber.
94. The Southern Live Oak Tree (Quercus Virginiana)
The southern live oak tree may be one of the most majestic and ephemeral looking trees out there. They are sometimes called the Virginia live oak, the bay live oak, the scrub oak, the plateau live oak, or the escarpment live oak.
These trees are endemic to the southern United States alone, and they are an iconic image of what the south looks like. They tend to grow along marshes, swamps, and like to stay close to the shore line.
These trees are very easily recognized, for their large and expansive branches that grow every which way and will sometimes even dip and touch the ground. They are covered in stiff and leathery green leaves, with thick and dark gray colored bark.
Southern live oaks aren’t really used for any commercial purposes in modernity. They span throughout the southern United States and provide nothing but beauty, and of course a place for many different moss species to grow.
95. The Bat Fig Tree (Ficus Amplissima)
The bat fig tree is a flowering plant of the mulberry family, and it is native to the Mediterranean and western Asia. They have been naturalized in North America as well. They prefer to grow in very wild, dry, and sunny locations. Some other common names include Indian bat tree, Indian bat fig, pimpri, pipri, pipali, and bilibasari tree.
Bat fig trees are evergreen trees that grow to be 25 meters in height. They have leathery green leaves and are most well recognized by their juicy and delectable fruits. Figs are attractants to many insect, animal, and bird species. These trees are also characterized by their dense aerial roots.
Bat fig trees are planted commercially for their fruit, and they are also planted in coffee plantations. This is because their dense foliage is very valued to help shade the coffee plants that tend to grow in very hot and sunny locations.
96. The Southern Magnolia Tree (Magnolia Grandiflora)
The southern magnolia tree is also sometimes called a bull bay tree. They are part of the magnoliaceae family, and are native to the southeastern United States. They tend to grow near bodies of water, including swamps, streams, lakes, and bogs. Southern magnolias are endemic to subtropical lowland forests along the Atlantic coastal plain.
These trees are easily recognized by their very large, white, and beautifully smelling flowers. Southern magnolias have very dark green glossy leaves, and can sometimes grow to heights of 30 meters or more. Magnolias are not used in any other way than as an ornamental tree.
97. The Blueberry Ash Tree (Elaeocarpus Reticulatus)
The blueberry ash tree goes by many names. It is also commonly known as an ash quandong, blue olive berry tree, fairy petticoat tree, fringe tree, koda tree, lily of the valley tree, or scrub ash tree. They grow in eastern Australia, and they prefer warm regions near rainforests, moist gullies, and sometimes stony ridges that receive a lot of precipitation.
These are small trees that only grow between 3 and 10 meters in height. They grow oblong in shape leaves and are known for having exceptionally beautiful pale pink flowers that have a bell shape. These flowers are said to smell like blueberries.
Blueberry ash trees are only used ornamentally, and will be chosen as either a feature tree because of their beautiful flowers and wonderful fragrance, or as a screen or shade tree for plants that are less heat loving.
98. The Coconut Palm Tree (Cocos Nucifera)
Everybody knows what a coconut palm tree is. These trees are part of the arecaceae family, and the term cocos comes form the Portuguese world for “skull” which is indicative of the features that grow naturally on the face of the coconut fruit.
These trees grow anywhere in the world where there is plenty of sunlight, nothing but warm weather, sandy soil, and ample rainfall. They will not grow in areas that don’t have all year long warm conditions.
Coconut palm trees are very tall, usually exceeding 30 meters in height, and are covered in very fibrous, hard, dark brown bark. Trunks are very slender and flexible, and meet a crown that is comprised of very long pinnately shaped leaves that are 4-6 meters long.
Coconut palm trees are one of the most useful trees in the world, and to many cultures are referred to as the “tree of life”. The provide materials to create furniture, they sustain us with milk, cream, water, fruit, flour, and they also go into making all sorts of wonderful cosmetic products as well.
99. The Peppermint Tree (Agonia Flexuosa)
Peppermint trees go by many names. Some common ones include western Australian peppermint, swan rive peppermint, willow myrtle, or the indigenous people of Australia refer to them as a wanil, wonnow, wonong, or wannang tree. The peppermint tree is one of the most recognizable trees of western Australia.
These trees apparently look like willow trees from afar. The have narrow and long leaves that hang gracefully from their twigs, and they are a dull green color. Their trunks are covered with red brown bark, and trees will usually reach heights between 3 and 10 meters.
Peppermint trees are cultivated all over Australia as garden and park trees, because of their brilliant white flowers and attractive shape. They are also known to have leaves that smell of peppermint when crushed, only adding to their appeal.
100. The Kumquat Tree (Citrus Japonica)
Kumquat trees are amazing. They are part of the rutaceae family and are a very cold hardy tree. These trees are originally native to China and Japan. They have long been cultivated all over Asia, and were brought to Europe and North America in the early 1800’s. Much like other citrus fruits, the kumquat tree requires very hot summers. But unlike other citrus fruit trees, kumquat trees can survive temperatures below freezing.
These are small little trees, growing to heights around 2 to 50 meters. They have dark green glossy leaves, white flowers, and of course, produce the ever delicious kumquat fruit in the summer time. Kumquat trees develop crowns with very dense branches and are sometimes covered in small thorns.
101. The Olive Tree (Ole Europaeae)
Olive trees are ancient trees. When talking about the oldest trees on the planet, olive trees are not usually mentioned. This is odd, considering that the oldest known olive tree in over 3350 years old, which beats out the average life expectancy of redwood trees!
Olive trees are part of the oleaceae family, and are native to the Mediterranean basin, South Africa, South America, China, Australia, Mexico, and New Zealand as well. They require warm and temperate climates in order to bear fruit. These trees are related to ash trees, lilcas, jasmine, and forsythia.
This evergreen tree only grows to be between 8 and 15 meters tall. They have gnarled trunks and twisted branches that create unusually shaped crowns. They have silvery green leaves that are oblong in shape, and small feathery white flowers.
The olive tree has been cultivated all over the world for thousands of years. The world would be a sad sad place with out olive oil. It is such an integral part to almost every culture’s cuisine!
Whew! That was a lot of trees! I know that I learned a lot researching all of those trees, so I hope that my enthusiasm and inspiration passed on to you. We wouldn’t be here without trees, and it is up to us to make sure that they keep living on in their evolutionary timescale.