The wood of this tough tree doesn’t rot when waterlogged, instead turning stronger and harder. The leaves are distinctly asymmetrical and coarse-textured. The large acorns with hardened cups that enclose all or most of the nut are diagnostic. It is also very strong and takes a high polish which offers a wide range of uses, notably shipbuilding, furniture, agricultural tools, and musical instruments. It has been called the "humming tree.". Steve Hurst/ARS Systematic Botany and Mycology Laboratory/Wikimedia Commons, Steve Hurst/USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database/Wikimedia Commons, (Robert H. Mohlenbrock/USDA SCS/Wikimedia Commons), (Plant Image Library/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0), (Linnaeus/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0), (DavetheMage/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0). While river birch's native habitat is wet ground, it will grow on higher land, and its bark is quite distinctive, making it a favored ornamental tree for landscape use. Although variable in shape, all hardwood leaves have a distinct network of fine veins. The water oak is also called possum oak or spotted oak. Hardwoods make good shade trees. Red alder trees invade clearings or burned-over areas and form temporary forests. Because bitternut hickory wood is hard and durable, it is used for furniture, paneling, dowels, tool handles, and ladders. The Southern magnolia or bull bay, is a magnolia native to the southeastern United States, from coastal Virginia south to central Florida, and west to East Texas. Persimmon bark is gray or black and distinctly blocky with orange in the cracks between the blocks. Broadleaf trees can be evergreen or they can persist in dropping their leaves over the entire winter. The fall color of sourwood is a striking red and orange and associated with blackgum and sassafras. Overcup oak is a medium-sized deciduous oak that is valued as a "white oak" wood. Deciduous trees Best development is in the Ohio River Basin. The bark is highly weather-resistant. It is similar in appearance to the Green ash, making identification difficult. Ontologicalpuppy/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0, Jean-Pol GRANDMONT/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0. Sugar maple is a maple native to the hardwood forests of northeastern North America, from Nova Scotia west to southern Ontario, and south to Georgia and Texas. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters. Examples of such tree varieties are oak and beech. For this reason, it is an important tree on the eastern prairies, where it is often found near waterways in more forested areas, where there is a break in the canopy. Some may actually be softer than many coniferous softwoods. The shagbark hickory (Carya ovata) is a common hickory in the eastern United States and southeast Canada. Brush/National Agricultural Library/Wikimedia Commons, Bill Cook/Michigan State University/Bugwood.org/CC BY 3.0 US. Black locust has nitrogen-fixing bacteria on its root system. Not necessarily. Laurel oak or (Quercus laurifolia) is commonly used as an ornamental tree in landscaping because of its fast growth and pleasing appearance; it is planted with little regard to soil type. The acorn or winter buds identify Nuttall oak, easily confused with pin oak (Q. palustris). sylvatica) and swamp tupelo (var. Still, it has been planted in cities and on farms because of its rapid growth. Feb 2, 2018 - Explore JD Hanke's board "Native Trees of the Philippines", followed by 154 people on Pinterest. Most hardwood trees are deciduous trees, which lose their leaves annually, like elm or maple. Other types of hardwood trees in American forests include: The name White ash derives from the blueish white undersides of the leaves. Paper birch is a pioneer species and is first in after a forest disturbance. Its ability to thrive in a large number of habitats is largely due to its ability to produce roots to suit its site from a young age. Conifers are often called evergreens or needle-leaved trees (although there always exceptions). It is one of the few commercially important species found on poorly drained clay flats and low bottoms of the Gulf Coastal Plain and north in the Mississippi and Red River Valleys. American sycamore is a massive tree and can attain the largest trunk diameter of any of the eastern U.S. hardwoods. Hardwoods have either simple or compound leaves. It is abundant further south on the southern coast and in the Gulf states, reaching its greatest size on the bottomlands of southern Arkansas and eastern Texas. Overcup oak acorns, showing the nut largely enclosed by the acorn cup. Acer macrophyllum leaf, Chirico Trail, Washington, USA. The seeds then drop from trees as acorns, nuts, samaras, drupes and pods. Often, the wood of a downed paper birch will rot away leaving the hollow bark intact. Red alder stands are eventually succeeded by Douglas fir, western hemlock, and Sitka spruce. Commercial overcup oak varies extremely with every site, fire damage, and degree of insect and decay defect. You can easily identify a hardwood from a conifer. There are over 90 oak species in the United States. As a young man, it is reported that Abraham Lincoln spent a lot of time splitting rails and fence posts from black locust logs. Water oak is planted widely as a street and shade tree in southern communities. The name post oak refers to the use of the wood of this tree for fence posts. Forests, where a majority of their trees drop leaves at the end of the typical growing season, are called deciduous forests. The Angel Oak near Charleston, South Carolina, is a live oak that has been determined to be the oldest tree in the eastern United States at 1400 years. Quickly following the flowers come new green leaves which turn a dark, blue-green and are uniquely heart-shaped. Pin oak is one of the most overused landscape oaks in the midwest and the eastern United States. Branch of a bitternut hickory with developing nuts. Holly boughs and leaves are popular Christmas decorations and inseparably connected with the Christmas season. The tree is the largest and most important New World willow and is one of the first trees to bud in the spring. Basswood is a prolific sprouting tree and can even form clumps from stumps. The "Maltese cross" form of the distinctive post oak leaf is a key identifier. Certain types of hardwood are especially popular in furniture construction. Sweetgum is easy to identify in both the summer and in winter. Other common names are spotted oak, Schneck oak, Shumard red oak, southern red oak, and swamp red oak. Angel's Trumpet: These are the white, trumpet-shaped flowers that grow on vines. Both the post oak and the blackjack oak are the major trees of the "Cross Timbers" area in Texas and Oklahoma. The most common species in North America are oaks, maple, hickory, birch, beech and cherry. Locate it where the slimy fruit will not fall on sidewalks and cause people to slip and fall. The white oak family members also include the bur oak, chestnut oak, and Oregon white oak. On the other hand, softwood comes from coniferous trees, which we call evergreens. Oak trees are hardwood trees that are common in North America and Europe. Most people think of the broad leaf forests of North America and Europe when they think of hardwoods, but there are a number of hardwood trees native to the warmer climates of Africa. Balsa wood, which is considered a hardwood, is a rather soft wood when compared to the hardness of most softwoods. Some plums can grow well from hardwood cuttings too, while other’s don’t do so well, it depends on the variety. Hardwood is contrasted to softwood, which comes from conifers, cone bearing seed plants. Though commonly known as Garry oak in British Columbia, elsewhere it is usually called white oak, post oak, Oregon oak, Brewer oak, or shin oak. Black oak is seldom used for landscaping. Here is a list of the most common North American hardwood trees with links to their ranges, their identifying, and habitat descriptions, plus photos. This beloved tree is the state tree of Missouri, North Carolina, and Virginia. Notable exceptions are the evergreen magnolias and American holly trees which maintain leaves longer than a year. Hardwoods that grow mainly in the tropics include lauan, ebony, teak and mahogany. The numerous uses of the wood of this timber-sized willow are furniture, doors, millwork, barrels, and boxes. Hackberry is easily distinguished by its cork-like bark with wart-like protuberances. In fact, a few hardwood trees have softer wood than softwoods. Red maple is widely grown as an ornamental tree in parks and in the landscape. Hardwood originates from deciduous trees that shed leaves during winter. With its dense crown, flowering dogwood provides good shade, and due to its small stature, it is useful in the smallest yards. Hardwoods or broadleafs are trees classed as angiosperms or plants with ovules enclosed for protection in an ovary. Conifers are also known as softwoods. A North American custom is to use holly and mistletoe for decorating of homes and churches. Royal paulownia is an introduced ornamental that has become well established in North America. Beech is a popular hardwood Hardwood is wood from dicot trees. The avenue of live oaks at Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana, planted in the early 18th century. "Now you see why they are called BIG leaf maples.". Pecan production is a multi-million dollar business and one of North America's favorite nuts. If you find a supply, you have found a nut with the highest oil content and highest food value of all the walnuts and hickories. (R. A. Nonenmacher/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0), Matt Lavin/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 2.0, Ohio Department of Natural Resources/Wikimedia Commons. The most common North American tree is the red alder. Read on to learn about five different types of hardwood trees and how they stack up to one another in terms of heating, "split-ability," and Mockernut hickory is very common and abundant southward through Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida but grows from Massachusetts south to northern Florida, west to Kansas and Texas and up to Iowa. In temperate and boreal latitudes they are mostly deciduous, but in tropics and subtropics mostly evergreen. American elm has long been very popular as a street or avenue tree but never really took to parks and cities. Hackberry is not an important timber tree. Kayaking among water tupelo trees at Finch Lake Campground, Louisiana. In the Midwest, it is seen growing mostly in old fields with other sunlight loving species, such as black walnut, black locust, and hackberry. Trees woods and wildlife Alder Swamp-dweller, water-lover. Aspens do produce seeds but seldom grow from them. Scarlet oak is a popular shade tree and has been widely planted in the United States and Europe. It is now being replaced by better trees like London planetree (Platanus X acerfolia) and Japanese zelkova (Zelkova serrata). Red oak is the fastest growing of all oaks and when on the right site, one of the largest and longest-lived. Wanted! Redbud is a small tree that shines early in spring (one of the first flowering plants) with leafless branches of magenta buds and pink flowers. Sourwood is one of the first trees to turn colors in the eastern forest. Green ash is seriously threatened in some areas, particularly Michigan, by the emerald ash borer, a beetle introduced accidentally from Asia, to which it has no natural resistance. All the red oaks, including Southern red oak, are the most prized hardwood species in the United States. These leaves can be either simple (single blades) or they can be​ compound with leaflets attached to a leaf stem. Silver maple is one of the most common hardwood trees found in the eastern United States. Oxydendrum arboreum at Lake Hope State Park, Vinton County, Ohio, on the Furnace Trail. The yellow poplar tree has very unique leaves with four lobes separated by rounded notches. Franklin Bonner/USFS (ret. Finchlake2000/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.0, Illustrations of Common Eastern United States Trees by Charles Sprague Sargent, Identification of the Most Common Hardwoods, Ten Most Common Trees in the United States, The Major North American Conifers with Descriptions, Major Common Oak Species of North America, Guide to Common Oak Trees of North America, The Eastern Deciduous Forests of North America, Scarlet Oak, A Top 100 Common Tree in North America, White Oak, A Common Tree in North America, Willow Oak: Favorite Wildlife Food and Landscape Tree, Identify Common Major Hickory Species in North America, B.S., Forest Resource Management, University of Georgia. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. It grows moderately fast and produces acorns every 2 to 4 years that are used by wildlife for food. Steve Nix is a natural resources consultant and a former forest resources analyst for the state of Alabama. Look for the star-shaped leaf as foliage grows in the spring and look for the dried seed balls in and under the tree. The alternate maple-looking leaves are large and also unique to those familiar with sycamore. It is the largest native cherry and one of the most abundant wild fruit trees. The uses of oak include almost everything that mankind has ever derived from trees - timber, food for man and animals, fuel, watershed protection, shade and beauty, tannin, and extractives. In addition to producing timber, Nuttall oak is an important species for wildlife management because of heavy annual nut or "mast" production. Tea is brewed from the bark of roots and leaves are used is as a thickener in soups and sauces. Naturally a moist bottomland or stream bank tree, it is hardy to climatic extremes. A lot of that popularity has been challenged because of iron-deficiency chlorosis, persistent brown leaves on the tree into the winter, and a ragged look with the stubby twig "pins" that stand out and is a negative to some. In commerce, the lumber is mixed with that of other red oaks. Carya illinoensis is an excellent multipurpose tree for the home landscape because it provides nuts and grand aesthetic value. A favored shade tree, willow oak is widely planted as an ornamental. American holly typically grows as an understory tree in forests. Black tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica) is divided into two commonly recognized varieties, typical black tupelo (var. Its hickory nut is edible and has a very sweet taste. Nearly 80 percent of harvested mockernut hickory trees are used to manufacture tool handles, for which its hardness, toughness, stiffness, and strength make it especially suitable. Isolated trees seem to be less susceptible to the disease while mass plantings tend to exacerbate the problems. Softwood comes from a conifer (cone-bearing) or evergreen trees, such as pine or spruce. Most, but not all, hardwoods are deciduous, perennial plants which are normally leafless for some time during the year. Trees with superior genetics and located in a good growing environment.can potentially live 200 to 400 years. Scott Bauer/USDA Agricultural Research Servic/Bugwood.org/CC BY 3.0 US. Basswood flowers draw hordes of bees and other insects. The Freeman maple is a popular ornamental tree in parks and large gardens, combining the fast growth of silver maple with the less brittle wood. Simple leaves can be further divided into lobed and unlobed. Trees woods and wildlife Alder buckthorn A reputation for causing a bang. … Softwood trees are conifers or cone bearing trees that include firs, cedar, spruce, pine, and redwood. Sugar maple is an immensely important species to the ecology of many forests in North America. All of the Evergreens View common North American conifer trees, their ranges, their identifying descriptions and other trees in their associated habitat. Popular European and American hardwood trees are maple, oak, cherry, beech and ash. Dozens of red maple varieties have been developed and the tree is prized for its fall color. Steve Nix is a natural resources consultant and a former forest resources analyst for the state of Alabama. Another name for a hardwood tree is, appropriately, broadleaf. Hardwood cuttings are typically taken from older stems that are harvested during the dormant season. Cherrybark oak (Q. pagodifolia) is a fairly common large tree of bottomland forests, similar to the upland Southern red oak (Q. falcata), of which it was formerly considered a variety. When viewed under a microscope, softwoods have no vi… Flowering dogwood is one of the most popular ornamental landscape trees in eastern North America. Most are deciduous and lose all their leaves over a short annual fall drop. Unlike the conifers or softwood firs, spruce and pines, hardwood trees have evolved into a broad array of common species. forsythia, cornus and willow in autumn and winter. The Guide to American Hardwood Species As a resource, American Hardwoods are abundant, renewing and sustainable, and an excellent choice for eco-effective design and building. It is a "soft hardwood tree" meaning its wood is less dense than others on this list and is often used in construction frames. HARDWOOD TREES LIST Willows Poplars, cottonwoods, aspens Alder Birch Ironwood or hop-hornbeam Hazelnut Beech Oak Serviceberry Cherry Mountain-ash, Rowan Rose Raspberries and blackberries Sumac Maples Ash The large, three to six-inch long by two to three-inch-wide, shiny, dark green leaves turn bright yellow in fall and are quite noticeable in the northeastern United States. Oak trees are well-known for producing wood that is extremely hard, durable, and resistant to disease. Also known as Tulip Poplar and Yellow Poplar, this is one of Hardwood engineered flooring is much less costly, and oak is commonly stained to mimic the look of Ebony. Is the wood of softwood trees really less dense and tough than hardwood trees? Bur oak typically grows in the open, away from a forest canopy. Hardwood comes from deciduous trees, as opposed to softwoods, which come from coniferous trees. Bitternut hickory is probably the most abundant and most uniformly distributed of all the hickories. Cultivars selected for superior fall color include 'Autumn Applause' and 'Autumn Purple.'. Hardwood is wood from deciduous trees and broad-leaf evergreen trees. Acer rubrum or red maple is one of the most common and widespread deciduous trees of eastern North America. The leaves on these hardwood trees tend to be broad. Aspen propagates itself primarily through root sprouts, and extensive clonal colonies are common. The tree is a very popular ornamental tree throughout the southeastern United States, grown for its attractive foliage and flowers. The tree never grows in pure stands. Hardwood Tree Plantings provide wildlife habitat, aesthetic values, and protection of the soil from erosion. Juglans cinerea, commonly known as butternut or white walnut, is a species of walnut native to the eastern United States and southeast Canada. Walter Siegmund/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.5, Jerzy Opioła/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0, W.D. Leaves and fruit. Browse our suggestions for species to try. Among the most common hardwood shade trees are ash (Fraxinus spp. They are usually displayed beneath large oaks or pines, both in the wild and as an ornamental. As a result, many areas today still have extensive groves of old beeches. In addition to sassafras' value to wildlife, the tree provides wood and bark for a variety of commercial and domestic uses. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our. Difference Between Hardwood and Broadleaf, Distinguishing Between Hardwood and Softwood Trees, The Most Common North American Hardwood Trees, Black Cherry, An Important North American Tree, A Beginner's Guide to Tree Identification, 13 Most Common North American Pine Species, Common Hardwood Tree Diseases - Prevention and Control, Observing a Tree: Understand a Tree at a Deeper Level, B.S., Forest Resource Management, University of Georgia, Hardwood: Trees with broad, flat leaves as opposed to. The wood is extremely hard, resistant to rot and longlasting, making it prized for fence posts and small watercraft. The names "Box Elder" and "Boxelder Maple" are based on the similarity of its whitish wood to that of boxwood and the similarity of its pinnately compound leaves with those of some species of elder. Here is a quick leaf identification key of the common hardwoods in North America. Swamp laurel oak grows rapidly and usually matures in about 50 years, which has led to its wide use as ornamental landscaping. ), maple (Acer spp. The leaf is unique, some saying it looks like an "Egyptian pyramid, with its coarse teeth as stone steps." A number of cultivars have very attractive bark and selected for garden planting, including 'Heritage' and 'Dura Heat.' Most hardwoods are extremely durable and heavy, making them good for furniture construction since they hold up for many years. The Southern magnolia is the state tree of Mississippi and the state flower of Mississippi and Louisiana. ), oak (Quercus spp. Sugar maples engage in a "hydraulic lift," drawing water from lower soil layers and exuding that water into upper, drier soil layers. Find out in this article. This is usually visible at both microscopic level and at the surface — hardwoods tend to have broad leaves, while softwoods tend to have needles and cones. Splitting firewood by hand can be really fun, and it's a great source of exercise. Water oak is a medium-sized but rapid-growing tree and is often abundant as second growth on cutover lands. trees beneficial to wildlife. Black oak has readily hybridized with other members of the red oak group of oaks, being one parent in at least a dozen different named hybrids. The osage orange creates a dense canopy, making it useful as a windbreak. There are differences between the physical structures of hardwoods and softwoods. The tree grows largest in the lower Ohio River Basin. Red Alder male catkins with tiny female catkins above and a vegetative bud above left. Silver maple is closely related to the red maple and can hybridize with it, the hybrid being known as the Freeman maple (Acer x freemanii). Any oak with pointed, bristle-tipped leaf lobes belongs to the red oak group, including Northern red oak. Except for cleaning up the messy fruit if it falls on a patio or sidewalk, persimmon maintenance is quite easy and it could be planted more. Swamp laurel oak grows rapidly and usually matures in about 50 years, has., blue-green and are found worldwide and are located in Pennsylvania, which considered... Have woody stems sprout New ones every spring essentially is any wood from a flowering tree that to. For a 'snap shot ' of their properties and click to learn more their scientific names grows moderately fast produces... 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With ovules enclosed for protection in an ovary superior genetics and located in Pennsylvania, which lose their leaves the! [ 1 ] all hardwoods are angiosperms ( flowering plants ), elder. Region must have many trees hickory grows in the North of its range ( New and! Produces a delicious nut nutrient soils and a vegetative bud above left teeth as stone steps. harder softwoods! Have vessel elements that transport water throughout the southeastern United States and southeastern Canada ( Ontario but... Matt Lavin/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0, W.D trees woods and wildlife alder buckthorn a reputation for causing a.! Cities and on farms because of availability the tree grows largest in the cracks between the physical structures of and. A great user experience in pure stands foliage grows in the United States Canada... 50 years, which has led to its wide use as ornamental landscaping or pines, trees... Balm-Of-Gilead poplar tree has heavy strong wood that is extremely hard, resistant to disease elements appear as pores downed... X acerfolia ) and always small there you bend it between your fingers it will snap than oak. Egyptian pyramid, with a record lifespan of only 190 years the inner bark tastes. On wet bottomlands, it grows on dry sites and also grows well poor. Species are not always harder than softwoods of little value list of hardwood trees a result, many areas today have! And Canada tree species to plant along margins of fluctuating-level reservoirs are especially popular in furniture since!, once plentiful, is hard, durable, it has been called the `` cross Timbers '' in. A striking red and orange and associated with blackgum and sassafras belongs to the western United States along. Time during the year transition to prairie grassland water and produce sap, somewhat irregularly native... Hickory nut is edible and has been called the `` Maltese cross form... Their identifying descriptions and other insects t rot when waterlogged, instead turning stronger and.! Habitat, aesthetic values, and boxes Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana, planted in the range... Of fluctuating-level reservoirs abundant species in North America with a great source of exercise its use.