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Common Trees of Atlanta

Maple

There are over 128 species of Maple trees. They range in color and can be red, yellow, orange, or green. The Maple leaf is on the Canadian flag. They can grow more than 120 feet tall and have a life span of almost 80-100 years if properly cared for.

River Birch

Is a native of the Southeastern United States and occurs naturally along riverbeds and lake shores. Prince Maximilian of Austria once called it “the most beautiful of trees.” It can grow 50-90 feet and it’s leaves turn yellow in the Fall. In the Spring and Winter, River Birch produce flowers and in the Summer they produce small green cones.

Hickory

Hickory trees can grow up to 100 ft in height and 25 ft in diameter! They are hardwood trees in the Walnut family and are often used for crafting furniture. It is a deciduous tree with colorful leaves in the fall.

Deodar Cedar

This evergreen tree is pyramidal when young and flat topped as it ages. It can reach up to 70 feet high and 40 feet across. Deodar Cedar is a native of the Himalayas and in it’s natural environment has been known to grow as tall as 250 feet. The name “Deodar” is derived from Sanskrit and means “timber of the gods”.

Eastern Redbud

A flowering tree, these beautiful pink blossoms appear in April. The trees reddish-purple leaves change color year round from yellow to green. The Eastern Redbud is a native to North America and was a favorite of George Washington who wrote in his diary about transplanting seedlings of the tree from a nearby forest.

Flowering Dogwood

The Dogwood tree grows an average of 20-25 feet tall. The wood was used in the 19th century to make weaving shuttles for textile mills, to treat malaria and make scarlet fabric dye.

Holly

Most people think of a bush or shrub when they think of Holly trees, but Holly’s can grow up to 60 feet tall! They are often used in Holiday decorations, but are also used to make piano keys and violin pegs. They are a natural food source for many birds, deer, and wild turkey.

Magnolia

There are over 210 species of Magnolia. They can live for up to 100 years and Magnolia trees have been on this planet nearly 95 million years!

Crabapple

When Autumn sets in, Crabapple trees change color giving them the name “jewels of the landscape”. They are related to apple trees and are in the rose family.

Sourwood

Sourwood trees can grow up to 30 feet tall and 20 feet across. Bees make a delicious and hard to find honey from the blossoms on this tree. The Sourwood tree is native to North America and unless it is planted is not found anywhere else in the world.

White Pine

The White Pine is referred to as “the monarch of the forest”. When the first settlers arrived in in North America they were greeted by these trees which they used for the Royal Navy’s masts. The Royal Navy reserved the choicest pines causing resentment that predates the Revolutionary War, the first flag of the revolution used a White Pine as its emblem.

Loblolly Pine

This once important lumber tree is fragrant and a native of the East Coast. It’s name “Loblolly” means “a depression” because it was commonly found in river bottoms.

White Oak

This Oak can grow up to 80 feet tall. It is possibly one of the most important of the Oak family. It is found in nearly every state and is the state tree of Connecticut, Illinois, and Maryland. A silhouette of it’s leaf is the symbol for the Nature Conservancy. It’s wood is used in wine and whiskey casks.

Red Oak

This shade tree has found a lot of favor being transplanted in Europe. It is believed that the first transplant of a Red Oak was in Bishop Compton’s garden in England in the 17th century. By 1924, there were over 450 acres in Baden, Germany.

Pin Oak

The Pin Oak has a unique growth pattern. Its top branches grow up, the middle horizontal, and the lower branches sweep towards the ground. The acorns of the Pin Oak are important staples in the diet of turkey, deer, and ducks.

Water Oak

This Native North American, can withstand swampy, wet soil conditions. The Water Oak is a large tree and because of it’s size was used to build many of the first homes in the U.S.

Baldcypress

The Baldcypress is a native of swamp lands but in the right conditions can thrive in drier soil. This tree has inspired poets with its melancholy and mysterious appearance, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow describes the tree in his poem “Evangeline”.

Elm

The Elm tree blooms in the summer and is a drought tolerant tree. It is a favorite to line streets because it is very low maintenance.

Leyland Cypress

This evergreen grows in a column shape. The Leyland Cypress is a natural hybrid of a Monterey Cypress and an Alaskan Cedar, crossbred by Mr. Naylor in 1888. It is a resilient tree, growing even in high salt content – where other trees will not.

Cryptomeria

This conifer, or cone-bearing evergreen, is a native of China and Japan. Cryptomeria is in the cypress family, but is often referred to as a “Japanese Cedar”.

Sweetgum

This native to the Southeast is one of only six trees in its genus. The first historical reference to the Sweetgum tree was written by Don Bernal Diaz del Castillo, who accompanied Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortes in the conquest of Mexico. He witnessed a ceremony between Cortes and Montezuma where they both drank an amber liquid extracted from the Sweetgum tree.

Tulip Poplar

The Tulip Poplar, or Tuliptree, is the state tree of Kentucky and Indiana. This tree was planted by George Washington at Mount Vernon and they are now 140 feet tall.

Japanese Maple

This is a favorite of many exotic tree lovers and is a beautiful ornamental tree. It it’s native land, the Japanese Maple is sometimes referred to as “momiji” which has two meanings, “baby’s hands” and “becomes crimson leaves”.

Crepe Myrtle

These incredibly resilient trees are native to China and Korea. The Crepe Myrtle thrives in warm climates making it a favorite of the southern states, and is often called the “Lilac of the South”.