Native Tree List

NR Tree Service

Native Tree List

Trees for use as street, boulevard and/or park trees in Wisconsin.

Stephen McCarthy, RLA.

The following is a list of deciduous native trees and varieties, hybrids, and cultivars of native species appropriate for use as street, boulevard and/or park trees in Wisconsin. In other areas of the Midwest, the list would be slightly modified to include species native to that region.

While there may be difficult urban situations that require the selection of a nonnative species, the following recommended planting list emphasizes native species in order to retain our indigenous regional landscape character in public landscapes and the selection of nonnative ornamental plants is recommended as the exception rather that the rule. In that sense, this list differs considerably from the norm of almost all urban forestry programs today which rely heavily on the use of ornamental nonnative species. The results of this practice frequently include: 1) the introduction of invasive species, 2) an arbitrary and visually chaotic assembly of trees along our streetscapes and in our parks, 3) species that are out of sync with the seasonal time clock of our region resulting in late season leaf cleanup problems for municipalities, and 4) as mentioned above, the loss of regional landscape character. There is a considerable range of choices for the urban forester and landscape architect within this recommended list of native species suitable for varying street conditions.

Trees with a double asterisk can be used on primary streets and roadways where urban conditions are often most difficult. Park trees are indicated *P. Care should always be taken when selecting trees to make sure the tree is appropriate for the site and existing conditions.

NOTE: Fraxinus species – Ash, to date a valuable street tree and choice for difficult urban conditions, are not included in this list due to the recent outbreak of Emerald Ash Borer.

Recommended Street and Park Trees for Wisconsin.

  • Acer x freemanii – **‘Autumn Blaze’, ‘Marmo’, **‘Celebration’, **‘Sienna’,**’Armstrong’, ’Autumn Flame’, ‘Matador’, ‘Scarlet Sentinel’
  • Acer nigrum – Black Maple, ‘Green Column’
  • Acer rubrum – Red Maple, ** ‘Red Sunset’, ‘Kirkpatrick’, ‘Northwood’, ‘October Glory’, ‘Morgan’, ‘Bowhall‘, ‘Columnare’, ‘Schlesinger’, ‘Silhoutte’, ‘Tilford’, ‘Wagner’, Karpick, Scarlet Sentinel, **‘Redpointe’, *’Sun Valley,’ ‘Burgundy Belle’, ‘Brandywine’, ‘Autumn Radiance’, ‘Autumn Spire’, Scarlett Jewell, ‘Northfire’, ‘Sun Valley’
  • Acer saccharinum – Silver Maple, *‘Improved’ Silver Maple, ‘Skinneri’, *‘Silver Queen’, Cut-leaved Silver Maple, ‘Silver Cloud’
  • Acer saccharum – Sugar Maple, ‘Legacy’, **‘Green Mountain’, ‘Green Column’ ‘Commemoration’, ‘Coleman’, ‘Flaxmill Majesty’, ‘Monumental’ ‘Bonfire’, ‘Majesty’, ‘Goldspire’, **’Crescendo’, ’Fall Fiesta’, ‘Unity’
  • Amelanchier spp. – Serviceberry, ‘Downy, ‘Cumulus’  (under wires or where a smaller tree is desired), ‘Majestic’, ‘Autumn Brilliance’ *P,  ‘Robin Hill’, ‘Princess Diana’ *P
  • Betula nigra – River Birch, ‘Heritage’, ‘Summer Cascade’
  • Betula papyrifera – Paper birch, ‘renci’, ‘Renaissance Reflection Birch’, ‘varens’, ‘Prairie Dream Paper Birch’
  • Carpinus caroliniana – Musclewood *P
  • Carya ovata – Shagbark Hickory *P
  • Celtis occidentalis – **Common Hackberry, **‘Windy City’ **‘Prairie Pride’
  • Crataegus crus-galli – Cockspur Hawthorn *P, ‘Inermis’, Thornless Cockspur Hawthorn, ‘Cruzam’, Crusader Hawthorn *P
  • Crataegus mollis – Downy Hawthorn *P
  • Crataegus prunifolia – Plumleaf Hawthorn *P
  • Crataegus punctata – Dotted Hawthorn *P
  • Fagus grandiflora – American Beech*P
  • Gymnocladus dioicus – **Kentucky Coffeetree, **‘Prairie Titan; **‘Stately Manor’
  • Juglans nigra – Black Walnut *P
  • Nyssa sylvatica – Black Gum
  • Ostrya Virginiana – **Ironwood
  • Populus dentatum – Bigtooth Aspen *P
  • Populus tremuloides – Trembling Aspen *P
  • Populus deltoides – Cottonwood, **’Souixland’
  • Prunus serotina – Black Cherry *P
  • Quercus bicolor – **Swamp White Oak
  • Quercus ellipsoidalis – Northern Pin Oak, ‘Majestic skies’
  • Quercus macrocarpa – **Bur Oak
  • Quercus muehlenbergii – Chinkapin Oak
  • Quercus rubra – Red Oak
  • Tilia americana – American Linden, **’American Sentry’, **’Boulevard’, **’Legend’, **’Redmond’
  • Ulmus americana – **‘New Harmony’, **‘Princeton, ‘Valley Forge’

Non-Native trees that are not invasive and are recommended for urban streetscapes.

Trees on this list typically do not hold their leaves late into November and December, which would make fall cleanup for municipalities difficult.  These trees are not intended for Park use since native species will tolerate urban park conditions and should be at the top of a plant selection list to preserve our regional character.

  • Aesculus hippocastanum – Horse Chestnut, ‘Baumanii’
  • Aesculus x carnea –  Ruby Red Horse chestnut, ‘Briottii’, ‘Fort McNair’
  • Aesculus glabra – Ohio Buckeye
  • Crataegus phaeynopyrum – Washington Hawthorn
  • Gingko biloba – Gingko
  • Gleditsia triacanthos – Thornless Honeylocust, **’Skyline’, **’Shademaster’, **’Imperial’, **’Moraine’
  • Liriodendron tulipifera – Tulip Tree

    Native Evergreens for Park and Parkway

  • Juniperus virginiana – Eastern Red Cedar, ‘Hillii’, Hills Dundee Juniper, ‘Canartii’, Canaert Juniper
  • Larix laricina – American Larch, Tamarack
  • Picea glauca – White Spruce
  • Pinus strobus – White Pine
  • Pinus resinosa – Red Pine
  • Thuja occidentalis – American Arborvitae, Nigra, Dark Green Arborvitae
  • Tsuga canadensis – Eastern Hemlock (northern WI)