Pennsylvania is full of sprawling forests that are home to some truly beautiful trees! You probably even see these in your own yard and don’t even know it. Here are some of the most common trees of Pennsylvania.
What are the most common trees in Pennsylvania?
- Eastern Hemlock. These giant evergreens are actually the Pennsylvania state tree! They can grow tall and strong, making it a favored wood for construction.
- Sugar Maple. Also called “rock maple” for its hard wood, this common timber tree is found throughout Pennsylvania. The sap is tapped for maple syrup production. Yum!
- Eastern Red cedar. This evergreen is a type of juniper tree. The wood is used chiefly for fence posts and moth-proof chests. Most birds favor the small blue or purple fruits.
- Sumac or “Tree of Heaven”. This tree is originally from China and was first planted in the US near Philadelphia. The rapid growth of root sprouts makes it almost impossible to eradicate.
- Eastern White Pine. These large, common pines are the original “Penn’s Woods” tree! It is one of the most valuable timber trees, and often planted for ornamental purposes in open spaces.
- Black or “Swamp” Ash. This tree loves cool swamps, wet woods and bottomlands throughout Pennsylvania. This medium-sized tree is favored for its uniform, upright growth.
- Sweet or “Cherry” or “Black” Birch. Birch trees are pretty easy to spot thanks to their unique, often peeling bark. The fermented sap can be used to make birch beer!
- Flowering Dogwood. These are known for their large, beautiful flowers that can come in different shades of white, pink, and purple. This native tree grows a low spreading crown.
- Sycamore. Often used for shade and timber, these trees can grow very tall quickly. Sycamore trees are identified by their fan-shaped leaves and their round ball-like seed pods.
- Hawthorns. These hearty natives are perfect shady summer trees with their broad leaves. In spring, they have an odd-smelling white flower but can also grow edible red berries.
- White Oak. A common and dominant forest tree throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The acorn these produce is often essential to its surrounding wildlife.
- Black Cherry. This tree grows throughout the state and is known for the hard, reddish-brown wood for quality furniture and interior trim. Most animals will eat its fruit.
- Buckeyes. Three species of the genus Aesculus are found in PA. They leave behind large, brown nuts often called “horse chestnuts.”
- Black Willow. The largest of PA’s native willows, often found on streambanks and in wetlands throughout the state. These trees often have widespread and twisting roots.
- American Beech. This tree grows beechnuts are very important food for wildlife. Beeches are important timber trees and used heavily for shade, especially on golf courses!
We didn’t want to stop there! While those are the most common trees of Pennsylvania there are dozens of trees you will likely see in a walk in the woods.
- Norway Maple
- Red Maple
- Striped Maple
- Silver Maple
- Box Elder
- Red Pine
- Scots Pine
- Table Mountain Pine
- Virginia Pine
- Pitch Pine
- Yellow Birch
- Paper Birch
- Bitternut Hickory
- Mockernut Hickory
- Pignut Hickory
- Shagbark Hickory
- Shellbark or “Kingnut” Hickory
- Butternut Hickory
- Black Oak
- Northern Red Oak
- Pin Oak
- Scarlet Oak
- Chestnut Oak