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25 Common Types of Trees Native to Maryland (Grow or Admire)


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Growing native trees offers a variety of benefits to the Maryland gardener and their home landscape.

Thankfully, MD has no shortage of incredible native trees – evergreen to deciduous, flowering trees and fruit trees, tall trees and short ones. In fact, there are more than 100 species of trees native to Maryland. You are guaranteed to find a selection of attractive native trees that will fulfill your needs.

But not all of these trees will thrive in every part of the state, and many do not grow so easily.

So here are some of the most adaptable and commonly spotted native trees found in MD that you may want to consider planting on your property.

25 Gorgeous Natives You Can Find in Maryland

1. Birch (Genus Betula)

birch trees
Photo by Paul G via Pexels

While thin, deciduous birch trees can be found throughout the United States, they tend to prefer cooler climates. No surprises then, that there are several species of birch native to Maryland.

Birch trees are often used as an ornamental species in landscape gardening due to the striking white bark that adorns some birch species such as the silver birch and paper birch, the latter of which is native to MD. They can be planted as a focal point of your garden or as an accent for a stream, pond, or any other water feature, as they thrive in damp soil.

Most birch species also grow best in full sunlight, approx six hours of sun a day, with shaded soil to protect the tree’s shallow root system from being burned. They should be grown in loose, moist, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH.

Growing Zones: Varies depending on species, typically between 2-9

Average Size at Maturity: 40-80 feet tall, depending on the species

Varieties Native To Maryland: River birch, Paper birch, Yellow birch, Sweet birch

Flowering Season: Spring

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

2. Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus Virginiana)

eastern red cedar
Image by Doug McGrady via Flickr

The eastern red cedar is native to the eastern United States and every region of Maryland but is most commonly found in the coastal, mountain, and Piedmont regions of the state. It can grow abundantly in old fields, cleared land, and pastures. It can even potentially become invasive in some of these areas.

The blue-gray foliage of these pyramidal evergreens is a lovely way to break up the winter landscape, and they grow densely enough to make an effective hedge tree, and can also be grown as a noise and windscreen. They are also an important source of food and shelter for local wildlife, particularly birds, who feed on their cones and nest in their branches.

Eastern red cedar is a remarkably adaptable pioneer species that can tolerate soil of varying types and quality. Just make sure to plant it in a location with full sun and moist, well-draining soil.

Other Common Names: Eastern Juniper, Red Cedar, Red Juniper, Pencil Cedar, Cedar Apple

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 40-70 feet tall, with an 8-25 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Fall

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

3. Maple (Acer)

maple tree
Image by Ray Bilcliff via Pexels

The Eastern coast of North America is well-known for its rolling hills and mountains, and the colorful maple trees dotted along them. Maryland is no exception, with a handful of native maple varieties that brighten the landscapes, particularly in fall when their foliage turns shades of red, orange, and yellow.

These sturdy trees have a variety of uses, from making maple syrup from their sweet sap and using the dense, hardwood in woodcarving and furniture making. Different varieties adapt to different environments, including climate and soil, but you will find that most native maples can be grown in any region of MD.

Maple trees need plenty of space when planting, as their roots will spread at least four feet wide and can disrupt pavements and sewer lines, so choose your location carefully. The trees should be grown in rich, fertile soil in full sun and/or partial shade, depending on the species.

Growing Zones: 3-9

Average Size at Maturity: 30-100 feet, depending on species

Varieties Native To Maryland: Red, Black, Sugar, Silver, Box-elder

Fruiting/Flowering Season: Early Spring to early Summer

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

4. Magnolia (Magnoliaceae)

magnolia tree
Image by Shuxuan Cao via Pexels

Several species of the gorgeous magnolia tree are native to Maryland, even the southern magnolia which, as per it’s name, is usually found further south in warmer states such as Texas.

For these reasons make sure to consider the environmental needs of each species if you want to grow native magnolias in MD, as some species (like the southern magnolia) will only grow in specific parts of the state.

Magnolias are graceful, pretty trees, thanks to their large spring flowers that vary from stark white to light pink to vivid purple. As well as ornamentals they make excellent shade trees due to their sprawling branches that can spread as wide as 40 feet.

Most magnolias prefer moist, acidic, well-draining soil, and should be grown in full sunlight or partial shade depending on the climate. Mulch semi-regularly to improve drainage and water retention around the shallow root system.

Other Common Names: Large-flower Magnolia, Evergreen Magnolia, Big Laurel

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: As little as 15 feet tall for dwarf varieties, to over 80 feet for larger varieties

Varieties Native To Maryland: Southern, Bigleaf, Sweetbay

Flowering Season: Early Spring

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

5. Serviceberry ​​(Amelanchier)

serviceberry tree
Image by Peter Stevens via Flickr

Native to North America, these small, shrubby trees are known for their branching form, delicate white flowers, and small juicy berries. They can be found throughout America and Canada, and several native species grow prolifically in Maryland.

Most serviceberry species and cultivars provide a number of benefits for your landscape. Their fruits can be eaten fresh and made into jams and jellies, and in spring they produce prolific white flowers, both of which attract local wildlife and pollinators.

Their yellow and red foliage provide fall appeal, and their grey bark is attractive in winter, making it an excellent specimen plant with year-round interest.

Most serviceberry species are unfussy and easy to grow and can tolerate a variety of soil conditions. However, for best results, you should grow your serviceberry trees in moist, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH, in an area with plenty of sun.

Other Common Names: Juneberry, Saskatoon, Shadblow

Growing Zones: 2-8

Average Size at Maturity: 20-30 feet tall, with a 20-foot spread

Varieties Native To Maryland: Downy, Canadian, Running, Allegheny, Spring Glory

Flowering Season: Mid to late Spring

Available at: Nature Hills

6. Yellow Buckeye (Aesculus Flava)

Yellow Buckeye tree
Image by Dan Keck via Flickr

Native to the elevated forests and floodplains of the Eastern United States, the yellow buckeye is primarily found in the Appalachian mountains, in the west and north-west of the state. The more elevated they are, the larger they will grow.

The yellow buckeye is recognizable for its clusters of unique yellow flowers that bloom in spring, its attractive palm-shaped leaves, and its dense foliage which makes it an effective shade tree.

They also yield fruits that consist of a smooth husk and large brown seeds. According to the University of Kentucky’s Department of Horticulture, these seeds are poisonous to humans but can be detoxified via a prolonged roasting process.

If you’re considering planting yellow buckeye on your property, choose a spot with full sun and rich, moist, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH. It should be planted deep and given plenty of room to accommodate its large taproot.

Other Common Names: Sweet Buckeye, Big Buckeye, Common Buckeye

Growing Zones: 4-8

Average Size at Maturity: 40-80 feet tall, 25-35 feet wide

Flowering Season: Late Spring

Available at: Nature Hills

7. Locust Tree (Fabaceae)

black locust tree
Image by Melissa McMasters via Flickr

There are two locust trees that are native to Maryland – the black locust, and the honey locust, both of which belong to the fabaceae family. While the former is native to the southeast, and the latter to the central east, both meet in the middle of Maryland, with the black locust being found mostly in the Appalachian region.

Though they have their differences, these two leguminous trees also share some happy similarities. They both bloom at roughly the same time, from the middle to the end of spring, and are both hardy from zone 3 through to zone 8. However, honey locust trees tend to grow larger, and black locusts are far more adaptable to varying soil conditions.

Black locust trees are drought resistant and can grow in many soil types, including poor quality soil, though it does prefer well-draining soil. Honey locusts, on the other hand, need moist, rich soil, and without it, the trees are more likely to fall victim to pests and disease.

Growing Zones: 3 to 8

Average Size at Maturity: 30-80 feet tall

Varieties Native To Maryland: Black, Honey

Fruiting/Flowering Season: Mid to late Spring

Available at: Nature Hills

8. American Beech (Fagus Grandifolia)

American Beech Tree
Image by Katja Schulz via Flickr

The native American beech can be found in every county of Maryland, making it a good choice for MD gardeners regardless of location. It is a large, majestic tree with a remarkably large, spreading crown and glossy green leaves in spring.

In fall its leaves turn bronze and gold, and its silver-gray bark gives it some winter appeal. It is often grown for shade and shelter due to its widespread crown and makes an admirable specimen plant. Its sweet fall fruits have a tenancy to attract local wildlife.

If you are planning to plant an American beech, it should be planted in a location with deep soil and plenty of space, as these trees can sometimes grow as large as 100 feet tall. It should be planted with a stake to protect it from wind, as young trees can be vulnerable. Plant in moist, rich, well-draining soil with an acidic pH, in sun or partial shade.

Other Common Names: White Beech, Ridge Beech, Beechnut Tree

Growing Zones: 3-9

Average Size at Maturity: 50-70 feet tall, with a 40-60 foot spread

Flowering Season: Early Spring

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

9. Tuliptree (Liriodendron Tulipifera)

tuliptree
Image by Jim Brickett via Flickr

This stunning native tree is a guaranteed showstopper in any MD landscape, particularly in spring when it yields its large and unique green, yellow, and orange flowers. Part of the Magnolia family, the tuliptree is commonly found throughout the hardwood forests of Maryland and can grow well over 100 feet tall and live as long as 400 years.

No surprise that these large trees with their well-balanced crowns make an effective shade tree, as well as a good street tree for walkways and driveways. Its flowers, as well as offering significant ornamental value, attract various pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds in spring.

Like many natives, the tuliptree is a sturdy and adaptable tree able to thrive in varying soil types, from sandy and loamy soil to clay, and it can be grown in soil with pH levels that vary from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. It can be planted in full sun or partial shade.

Other Common Names: Tulip Poplar, Whitewood, Fiddle-tree, Yellow Poplar

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 60-120 feet tall, with a 30-50 foot spread

Flowering Season: Spring

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

10. American Arborvitae (Thuja Occidentalis)

American Arborvitae
Image by F.D. Richards via Flickr

The American arborvitae is a low-maintenance, easy-growing evergreen tree that is part of the cypress (Cupressaceae) family, and grows natively through the eastern and north-central parts of the US. It grows in a dense, pyramidal shape that makes it useful as a neat accent tree, a specimen tree, or as natural fencing around a property.

Its foliage appears as a deep green and blue-green in spring and summer, before fading to a muted brown or yellow-green in fall and summer. In fall these trees also produce small, fragrant cones that attract local wildlife.

These trees should be planted in moist, well-draining soil with an acidic pH in a location with plenty of sun, preferably a minimum of 6-8 hours of full sunlight to ensure optimal growth. American arborvitae also needs deep and frequent watering for the first year of life to help establish it, and should only be pruned in early spring or summer.

Other Common Names: Eastern Arborvitae, Northern White Cedar, Arborvitae, New Brunswick Cedar

Growing Zones: 3-7

Average Size at Maturity: 25-40 feet tall, with a 5-10 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Cones ripen in the Fall

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

11. American Hornbeam (Carpinus Caroliniana)

american hornbeam
Image by Katja Schulz via Flickr

A commonly seen native of Maryland, the American hornbeam can be found throughout the state and particularly in woodland and on woodland edges, according to the University of Maryland Extension.

It is an important tree for native Maryland wildlife, providing nutrients and sustenance to white-tailed deer, beavers, turkeys, squirrels, and various native birds. It also provides shelter to many of these animals.

The American hornbeam is also known as “musclewood” due to its smooth, sinewy, blue-grey bark. From spring through to summer these trees yield green catkins and later on winged nutlets. They are a highly adaptable species that can tolerate both overly dry and overly wet conditions and are resistant to many pests and diseases.

Ideally, these trees should be planted in moist, fertile, well-draining soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. Though they can tolerate full sun, as an understory tree they will thrive in partial to full shade.

Other Common Names: Musclewood, Blue Beech, Water Beech

Growing Zones: 3-9

Average Size at Maturity: 20-30 feet tall, with a similar spread

Flowering Season: Mid Spring to early Summer

Available at: Nature Hills

12. Hickory (Carya)

hickory
Image by liz west via Flickr

Humble hickory trees, with their beautiful fall foliage, can be found throughout Maryland. In fact, there are 5 varieties of hickory trees that are native to the state. If you are eager to grow native hickories on your property, it’s important to be aware of the needs and growing conditions of each tree – as some prefer specific parts of the MD geography.

For example, the shagbark hickory prefers the more mountainous regions of the state, and the bitternut resides in the midland counties, and in moist woodlands and bottomlands. The pignut, on the other hand, will thrive almost anywhere.

Most hickory trees prefer to be planted in moist, loamy, well-draining soil, with a neutral to slightly acidic pH. Choose a location with full sun, and plenty of space for the hickory long, thick taproot to grow fully. You can encourage this with deep watering in its first year of growth.

Growing Zones: 4-8

Average Size at Maturity: 60-80 feet tall, with a 30-40 foot spread

Varieties Native To Maryland: Shagbark, Butternut, Pignut, Shellbark, Mockernut

Fruiting Season: Fall

Available at: Nature Hills

13. Eastern Redbud (Cercis Canadensis)

eastern redbud
Image by F Delventhal via Flickr

The eastern redbud can be found scattered mainly through the mountainous regions, coastal plains, and Piedmont plateau region of MD. It is a native deciduous tree that can grow everywhere in Maryland with the exception of certain counties, and it grows mostly at the edges of forests, amongst woodlands, and along riverbanks.

These trees are small, neat, and pleasing to the eye, making them a convenient specimen plant for residential landscaping. This is particularly true in spring when the eastern redbud is almost entirely covered with bright pink flowers that attract various pollinators.

Eastern redbuds can tolerate varying soil types and simply needs moist, moderately fertile, and well-draining soil. The latter point is the most important. They grow in full sun to partial shade and do not need to be fertilized due to hydrogen fixation, which allows them to draw nitrogen through the air.

Other Common Names: American Redbud, American Judas Tree

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 20-30 feet tall, with a 15-30 foot spread

Flowering Season: Mid to Late Spring

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

14. Common Hackberry (Celtis Occidentalis)

hackberry tree
Image by mogollon_1 via Flickr

The large and broad native hackberry is mostly found along riverbanks and streams due to its preference for moist and fertile soil. They are tolerant of varying climates, being cold hardy to as low as USDA growing zone 2 and as high as zone 9. In winter, their dark purple fruits give sustenance to various birds and mammals.

Hackberry trees are useful to grow as windbreaks, near water features, and as beautification for public infrastructures such as highways, parks, and boulevards. They should be planted away from pavement and septic systems to avoid disruption from their invasive root system.

Plant your hackberry trees in moist, fertile soil, but you do not need to be fussy about soil quality. Hackberries are hardy and adaptable trees that grow easily without interference and can thrive in soil that is acidic, alkaline, sandy, loamy, clay, etc. It grows best in full sun and can tolerate partial shade.

Other Common Names: Sugar Hackberry, Sugarberry, Beaverwood, Nettle Tree, American Hackberry

Growing Zones: 2-9

Average Size at Maturity: 40-60 feet tall, with a 25-45 foot spread

Fruiting Season: Late Winter

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

15. Catalpa (Catalpa sp.)

catalpa tree
Image by sfbaywalk via Flickr

Both the northern and southern Catalpa are native to Maryland, taking their names from the pronunciation of the word “catawba”, which is in turn taken from the Creek Indian tribal language used to describe the fragrant white blossoms these trees yield in late spring and summer.

Though they are two different species, they share many characteristics. They are both relatively tolerant of drought and flooding, and tolerate a variety of soil conditions. They also look very similar, from their large bright green leaves and thick foliage to their white flowers and brown seed pods.

But they also vary widely. Most noticeably, the northern catalpa is much larger, so domestic gardeners often favor its southern counterpart for use as a landscape tree. The northern catalpa is also hardier and grows large leaves and flowers, whereas the southern tends to grow more blossoms that are both white and lavender-purple.

Other Common Names: Bean Tree, Cigar Tree

Growing Zones: 4-8 (Northern), 5-9 (Southern)

Average Size at Maturity: 40-70 feet tall, with a 20-50 foot spread (Northern), 30-40 feet tall, with a similar spread

Varieties Native To Maryland: Northern, Southern

Flowering Season: Late Spring to early Summer

Available at: Nature Hills

16. White Fringe Tree (Chionanthus Virginica)

white fringe tree
Image by bobistraveling via Flickr

This next tree is native to the southeastern United States, growing wild from New Jersey to Florida. It is part of the olive or Oleaceae family, and though the female trees do grow small, olive-like fruits in late summer, this tree is best known for its showy display of delicate white flowers. These unique flowers are long and thin and give the appearance of lace, ribbon, or “fringe” that covers the tree, hence the name.

Because of its elaborate blossoms, it makes a truly excellent ornamental species. These trees tend to grow wild in very moist areas, such as riverlands, so consider growing your white fringe tree near a water feature if possible.

White fringe trees should be planted in moist, acidic, soil. Otherwise, it is highly adaptable so you don’t need to be too fussy about soil types. It can grow in full sun or partial shade, but full sun will encourage more flower production.

Other Common Names: Fringe Tree, Old Man’s Beard, Grancy Greybeard

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 feet tall, with a 10-15 foot spread

Flowering Season: Late Spring

Available at: Nature Hills

17. Flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida)

Flowering Dogwood Cornus florida - inflorescence VS leaves - GA Red Mtn State Park 2021-04-06
Image by Lyrae Willis for Tree Vitalize

A smaller native to Maryland, the flowering dogwood is an understory tree typically found in forests or on the edges of wooded areas. It is prized amongst gardeners as an ornamental tree due to its abundant, show-stopping spring flowers, bright red/purple fall fruits, and neat, uniform size. The blossoms of the flowering dogwood can be white, pink, red, or a combination of these colors.

Flowering dogwood trees can be somewhat picky, so it’s important that you provide the right growing conditions to give it the best chance of thriving. For example, they can struggle with hot, dry climates, full sun, air pollution, or poor drainage. Choosing a disease-resistant cultivar such as a Cherokee Brave or Weaver’s White can help.

These dogwood trees should be grown in rich, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic pH. Considering their habit as an understory tree, they should be grown in partial shade. While these trees can grow in full sun it may make them more vulnerable to heat stress and borers.

Other Common Names: American Dogwood, Florida Dogwood, White Cornel, False Boxwood, White Dogwood, Indian Arrowwood

Growing Zones: 5 to 9

Average Size at Maturity: 15-30 feet tall, with a 15-25 foot spread

Flowering Season: Spring

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

18. Pine (Pinus)

pine trees
Image by Koolshooters via Pexels

As with many parts of eastern and northeastern America, pine trees can be found throughout Maryland, and a handful of these pine trees are native to the state. While native pine trees can be a useful addition to many landscapes, it is important to understand which native pines will thrive on your property, and which won’t.

For example, the eastern white pine is only native to the western part of the state and certain areas in the north. Alternatively, the Loblolly pine is common through the southern coastal plains of MD but grows rarely north of Queen Anne’s county. It is vital that you understand which native pine is most compatible with your growing zone, landscape type, and soil conditions.

Several types of pine trees are commonly used as windbreaks and, depending on the species, ornamental plants. Commercially, they are commonly grown and sold in western countries as Christmas trees.

Growing Zones: 2-8

Average Size at Maturity: 50-80 feet tall, with a 50-60 foot spread

Varieties Native To Maryland: Red, Pitch, Shortleaf, Eastern White, Loblolly, Pond

Fruiting/Flowering Season: Fall

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

19. Hawthorn (Crataegus)

hawthorn tree
Image by John Johnston via Flickr

Found throughout eastern North America, sturdy and compact hawthorn trees are a popular ornamental and specimen plant for smaller landscapes in these regions. Hawthorns are desirable for their white and pink spring blossoms, rosehip-like fruits of varying colors, and showy fall foliage.

The cockspur and green hawthorn species are the most prolific of hawthorns native to MD, though the green hawthorn is primarily found along the coastal plains of the state. Hawthorn’s are remarkably tolerant to different soil types, and able to grow in virtually any soil type with any pH level.

This is in sharp contrast to the genus’ susceptibility to pests and disease – keep this in mind when growing native hawthorns, as you may want to choose a grafted hawthorn or cultivar to bypass pest management issues.

Otherwise, the best choice of soil is moist and well-draining, though this will not have any major effect on the growth of your hawthorn tree.

Other Common Names: White Thorn, White Hawthorn, Hawthorne

Growing Zones: 3-9

Average Size at Maturity: 15-50 feet tall, with a 5-20 foot spread

Varieties Native To Maryland: Cockspur, Green

Flowering Season: Mid to Late Spring

Available at: Nature Hills

20. White Ash (Fraxinus Americana)

white ash tree
Image by Virens (Latin for greening) via Flickr

Though there are multiple ash trees that are native to Maryland, including the widespread green ash and the crooked black ash, by far the most common found in MD is the white ash. These long-growing and long-lived trees are admirable for their significant height, branching crown, and impressive fall foliage which ranges from red to purple. Its seeds also provide sustenance to many MD bird species.

Unsurprising given their large crown, white ash is mostly grown as shade trees, and sometimes street trees due to their tolerance of air pollution and other urban conditions. They are largely low-maintenance, with the exception of infection from fast-spreading emerald ash borer, which these trees are susceptible to. The appearance of this pest could make a white ash tree very expensive and time-consuming to treat.

White ash likes to be grown in moist, deep, fertile soil and will tolerate a variety of pH levels. Plant in a location with full sun.

Growing Zones: 3-9

Average Size at Maturity: 60-80 feet tall, with similar spread

Flowering Season: Mid to late Spring

21. Tupelo Tree (Nyssa Sylvatica)

swamp tupelo tree
Image by Chris M Morris via Flickr

Native to the north-eastern US, the tupelo is mainly found in moist forested areas in MD. In domestic landscaping, it is commonly used as a shade tree or a street tree, and to aid erosion control.

Some gardeners use the tupelo as an ornamental species, due to its dark green, glossy oval leaves, and handsome fall foliage which can vary from a deep red to orange and yellow. It also attracts plenty of local wildlife that feeds on its berries and twigs, including raccoons, turkeys, squirrels, and white-tailed deer.

Grow your tupelo in deep, moist, well-draining soil with an acidic pH, in a location with either full sun or partial shade. Your tupelo will not tolerate alkaline soil or air pollution, so it is not a good choice for urban landscapes.

Other Common Names: Blackgum, Sourgum, Black Tupelo, Nyssa Pepperidge

Growing Zones: 3-9

Average Size at Maturity: 30-50 feet tall, with a 20-30 foot spread

Fruiting/Flowering Season: Mid to Late Spring

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

22. Oak (Quercus)

Red Oak Tree
Image by denisbin via Flickr

The mighty oak is an iconic tree featured in the MD landscape, so much so that one of its native species, the white oak, is actually the official state tree of Maryland! Along with the white oak, the state has five native oak species including the black, red, scarlet, and pin oak.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, these native oak species play an important role in local ecosystems, as they act as a food source for birds and mammals who feed on their acorns, leaves, and twigs. They provide shelter from the elements for birds and squirrels who raise their young in oak hollows and branches.

With their dense, symmetrical crowns most oak trees make excellent shade trees, as long as you have space on your property to accommodate them. Most oaks are highly adaptable, being able to grow in loamy, sandy soil and dense, clay soil, and alkaline or acidic soil. They are resistant to drought, salt, and strong winds.

Growing Zones: Varies by species, but most will grow between zones 3-9

Average Size at Maturity: 40-80 feet tall, with similar spread

Varieties Native To Maryland: White, Black, Scarlet, Red, Pin

Fruiting Season: Acorns ripen in Fall

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

23. Sassafras (Sassafras Albidum)

sassafras tree
Image by Dan Keck via Flickr

Very common throughout the US, the native Sassafras can be found all over the eastern United States. In Maryland, these hardy deciduous trees can be spotted in abandoned fields and roadsides, and amongst dense thickets throughout the state.

The sassafras is a useful and desirable tree for a number of reasons. Its tiny, fragrant yellow flowers, unique-shaped leaves, and showy red, yellow, and orange fall foliage make it a good choice as an ornamental native, and it can also be used on restoration sites. Its fruits are also a valuable food source for local wildlife, and its leaves can be used to make candies and jellies.

Sassafras trees are very low-maintenance, with little need for pruning or fertilizer, and able to grow in full sun and partial shade. They like loamy, fertile, well-draining soil, and though they are largely unfussy trees, above all they should not be planted in soggy soil with poor drainage.

Other Common Names: White Sassafras, Red Sassafras, Silky Sassafras

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 30-60 feet tall, with a 25-40 foot spread

Flowering Season: Mid to late Spring

Available at: Nature Hills

24. American Sycamore (Platanus Occidentalis)

american sycamore
Image by Katja Schultz via Flickr

One of the largest native species growing in MD, the stately sycamore can be found in every county in the state. It is easily identified by both its enormous height and its smooth, peeling bark that is a pale brown on the outside and white on the inside. It is most commonly found growing along streams and rivers.

These enormous trees make excellent specimen plants and shade trees due to their size and densely woven branches. It can also be planted as a street tree, as it is tolerant of air pollution. One of the most important things to consider when choosing an American sycamore for your property is space. These trees need plenty of room to grow and spread otherwise their roots can damage buildings, sidewalks, and sewage systems.

Grow your sycamore in moist, well-draining soil – these trees are not fussy about soil type or pH levels. They prefer full sun to encourage optimal growth.

Other Common Names: American Planetree, Buttonwood, Occidental Plane, Western Planetree, Water Beech

Growing Zones: 4-9

Average Size at Maturity: 75-100 feet tall, with a similar spread

Fruiting Season: Fall

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

25. Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis)

eastern hemlock
Image by Malcolm Manners via Flickr

Native to eastern North America, all the way from Nova Scotia to Maryland, the eastern hemlock is a gorgeous evergreen that can thrive in a variety of climates. It is mostly found in the mountainous regions of MD, in shaded valleys. Despite the ‘hemlock’ in its name, no part of this tree is poisonous.

These trees can grow both pyramidal and conical in shape, and when multiple plants are grown together they can form an effective wind, noise, and privacy screen. They require minimal pruning to retain a neat and uniform shape, and are not messy, adding ornamental appeal to your property.

Eastern hemlock should be grown in moist, loamy, well-draining soil with an acidic pH in a location with either full sun or partial shade – these trees can thrive under either condition. Apply a balanced fertilizer once a year, starting a few months after planting to ensure the roots have been established.

Other Common Names: Canadian Hemlock, Eastern Hemlock-Spruce

Growing Zones: 3-7

Average Size at Maturity: 35-45 feet tall, with a 20-25 foot spread

Flowering Season: Cones ripen in the Fall

Available at: Nature Hills & Fast-Growing-Trees

These Native Trees Will Thrive On Your MD Property

While you can be fairly confident that these native trees will be accustomed to the climate of Maryland, it is worth checking the growing zones of each species just in case. The Maryland climate falls between zones 5b and 8a, and some trees will grow better in one zone compared to another.

Keep in mind that not all species and/or cultivars of these trees grow natively in MD or will even be suitable for the Maryland climate, so do your due diligence when choosing the trees you wish to plant.

With enough care and understanding of appropriate growing conditions, you can have your very own “wild” native MD garden in no time at all!

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