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The Most Common North American Hardwood Trees

Common North American Broadleaf Trees and Their Habitat


31. Maple, Silver

Silver Maple
R. Merrilees, Illustrator
Silver maple is a weak tree but often introduced in the landscape to the dismay of many who plant it. It can be saved for planting in wet areas or where nothing else will thrive. The maple is also aggressive, growing into septic tank drain fields and into broken water and sewer pipes. Silver maple is closely related to the red maple, and can hybridise with it, the hybrid being known as the Freeman maple (Acer x freemanii). 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. The tree has very little value as a forest product.

32. Maple, Sugar

Sugar Maple
R. Merrilees, Illustrator
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. Sugar maple is an immensely important species to the ecology of many forests in North America. Sugar maples engage in hydraulic lift, drawing water from lower soil layers and exuding that water into upper, drier soil layers. This not only benefits the tree itself but also many other plants growing around it. Sugar Maple is the major source of sap for making maple syrup and prized for furniture and flooring.

33. Oak, Black

R. Merrilees, Illustrator
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. This single species' compatibility is fairly uncommon in the [i]Quercus[/i] genus group. Black oak is seldom used for landscaping. The inner bark of the black oak contains a yellow pigment called quercitron, which was sold commercially in Europe until the 1940s.

34. Oak, Bur

R. Merrilees, Illustrator
The bur oak, (Quercus macrocarpa), sometimes spelled burr oak, is a species of oak in the white oak group. Bur Oak typically grows in the open, away from forest canopy. 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. It is an excellent landscaping tree.

35. Oak, Cherrybark

Southern Red Oak
R. Merrilees, Illustrator
Cherrybark oak (Q. pagodifolia) is fairly common large tree of bottomland forests, similar to the upland Southern red oak (Q. falcata), of which it was formerly considered a variety. The cherrybark tree has heavy strong wood that makes it an excellent timber tree for furniture and interior finish. It is a commercially desirable tree and managed for various forest products.

36. Oak, Laurel

R. Merrilees, Illustrator
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 Latin laurifolia means laurel-leaved or having leaves like a laurel. Swamp laurel oak grows rapidly and usually matures in about 50 years which has led to its wide use as an ornamental.

37. Oak, Live

R. Merrilees, Illustrator
Live oak is a symbolic tree of the Deep South. Quercus virginiana has a squat and leaning form with a large diameter tapering trunk. 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. Live oak is the state tree of Georgia.

38. Oak, Oregon White

R. Merrilees, Illustrator
Oregon white oak is the only native oak in British Columbia and Washington and the principal one in Oregon. 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. Its scientific name was chosen by David Douglas to honor Nicholas Garry, secretary and later deputy governor of the Hudson Bay Company, 1822-35.

39. Oak, Overcup

R. Merrilees, Illustrator
Overcup oak is a medium-sized deciduous oak that is valued as a "white oak" wood. Commercial overcup oak varies extremely with site, fire damage, and degree of insect and decay defect. It is a quite ordinary oak with a unique acorn. The large acorns with hardened cups that enclose all or most of the nut are diagnostic.

40. Oak, Pin

R. Merrilees, Illustrator
Pin oak is one of the most overused landscape oak in the midwest and eastern United States. The oak is popular due to an attractive pyramidal shape and straight, dominant trunk, even on older specimens and availability. 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.
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