Trees native to Oklahoma are extremely important in this region, as they contribute heavily to the economy. Oklahoma is one of the states in America designated as the Center of Plant diversity.

The Finest Landscaping Trees Native to Oklahoma

It is home to over 3,000 Oklahoma native trees and shrubs of different species growing across the state. If you want to grow any of these native trees, we will help you identify and learn a few things about these trees.

List of Trees Native to Oklahoma

1. Bald Cypress

This Oklahoma native is a classic tree found in the southern swamps. This deciduous conifer belongs to the Cupressaceae family, and it is also called the Taxodium Distichum.

Bald Cypress Growing on Wetland

It one that would originate from the Southeastern United States. It is common to find this tree in most public spaces across the state, as it provides excellent shade and beauty. 

– Features

The bald cypress stands out for its russet-red or copper-bronze leaves during fall. By the end of fall, this tree loses all its leaves and it will be all over the ground, as the trunk shows throughout winter. It grows to a height of 70 inches high and 30 inches wide.

– Hardiness

This tree is best suited for USDA zones four to six. This tree is hardy and tough, adapting to a wide range of soil types, wet, dry, salty, swampy, or clay. It prefers full sun, which helps it thrive in stagnant water. 

2. Eastern Redbud 

The Eastern Redbud tree is also known as the Cercis Canadensis, and it is the state tree of Oklahoma. This large deciduous tree is native to Eastern North America but grows across southern Michigan, central and southern Mexico, and east to New Jersey.

Pink Flower Blossoms on Eastern Redbud

It is common to find this tree growing both in the landscape and wild as long as the conditions are met. 

– Features 

Eastern redbud has green spring foliage that turns yellow in the fall. It grows to a height of 15 to 30 feet.

It produces clusters of deeply veined pink to purple flowers in early spring. Also, note that its heart-shaped foliage opens after the blooms have come up. It later produces yellow to green, edible banana-flavored fall fruit.

– Growing Zones 

This tree thrives in hardiness zones four through nine, which is where it will thrive at its best. It grows near to stream banks and bluffs and loves full or partial shaded areas. In addition, it prefers moist, fertile, and well-drained soils.

3. Arizona Cypress

Arizona cypress is a North American species in the cypress family of Cupressaceae. The population of this tree is quite scattered across Oklahoma.

Gray Green Foliage of Arizona Cypress

– Features 

This coniferous evergreen tree grows to a height of 30 to 80 feet, and its trunk reaches 22 inches in its diameter. It has dense foliage ranging from dull gray-green to bright blue-green to yellow. The leaves are scale-like and produced on rounded shoots.

However, upon its maturity, about 24 months after pollination, it produces seed cones that are green at first and mature to gray or gray-brown. As the tree ages, its bark exfoliates, becoming mottled with green and burnt orange patches.

– Growing Conditions 

Arizona cypress thrives in well-drained soils in hot and dry areas. You can grow it in USDA hardiness zones six through nine. 

4. Ponderosa Pine

The ponderosa pine, also known as yellow pine, is native to the mountainous regions of Western North America. It is the most widely grown pine in North America, Nebraska, and Oklahoma to the Pacific Coast as it thrives well in these regions.

Male Cones on a Ponderosa Pine Tree

– Features 

This pine can grow large – under cultivation, reaching up to 60 to 100 inches tall with a spread of 25 to 30 inches.

This tree can reach up to 150 to 230 inches tall in the wild. The leaves are needle-like, five to ten inches long, growing in bundles of three and forming tufts at the end of the branch.

It produces cones that have outwardly curved spines that make them prickly. The young trees have brown-colored bark that is rough textured, while the mature ones are orange-brown with large plates.

– Growing Conditions 

Ponderosa pine grows in a dry climate, as it is a drought tolerant plant. It would grow in a wide variety of soils as long as they are well-drained where water will not be staying on top of the soil.

Its growth rate is determined by soil moisture, texture, and depth. It does better in soils that are medium in texture and able to release moisture easily.

5. Chinese Pistache

Chinese pistache is a tree that will not attract your attention when young, but blossoms into a beautiful specimen when mature.

Vivid Color of Chinese Pistache in Autumn

– Features 

Chinese grows to a height of 30 to 45 inches, with a smaller spread than most Oklahoma trees. It produces bright yellow leaves in autumn that would even become different orange shades and red shades. 

– Growing Conditions

This tree is tolerant of drought, heat, and heavy soils. It grows in full sun and tolerates various soil conditions, including alkaline and even dry soils. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones three to seven.

6. American Smoke Tree

The American smoke tree is a rare species of flowering plant in the Anacardiaceae family. This ornamental tree is native to Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, and Alabama. 

Autumn Leaves of American Smoke Tree

– Features

The American smoke tree is one of the famous small trees with a single trunk that grows up to 40 feet tall in its height and 10 feet wide. It has oval leaves that are sharp-pointed and dark green in color.

On the other hand, it produces panicles of pink-gray or slightly purple flowers in summer. Remember that the foliage turns a brilliant scarlet in the fall and is considered the most intense color on any tree.

– Growing Conditions 

The smoke tree thrives in hardiness zones four through nine. It prefers dry soils that do not get constant moisture. If not watered frequently, it will grow perfectly and live long. Too much water kills this plant as it does not thrive in humid regions.

7. Flowering Dogwood

The flowering dogwood is one of the best flowering trees in Oklahoma in the Cornaceae family. Nonetheless, it is native to Eastern North America and Northern Mexico.

Dogwood Flower Blossoms in Tree

It is an ornamental tree in public and residential places across Oklahoma and even throughout some neighborhoods, because of its flower characteristics.

– Features

The flowering dogwood tree has attractive white flower clusters appearing in the spring, lasting for about two weeks. They have a rich, sweet fragrance and produce plenty of seeds. Its shiny green leaves have tooth-shaped margins and remain green in summer, changing to red in the fall. 

It is distinct, because it can grow to a height of 20 to 30 feet high, not just for its flowering property. The dogwood’s bark is gray-brown and tough to the touch.

– Growing Conditions  

This tree thrives in various soil types, but prefers moist ones with plenty of sun exposure. It is common to grow in woodlands, prairies, gullies, riverbanks, and along streams in Oklahoma.

8. Crepe Myrtle

Crepe myrtle is a genus of about 50 deciduous and evergreen shrubs and trees. It is native to the Indian continent, northern Australia, Southeast Asia, and parts of Oceania.

Pink Flowers of Crepe Myrtle

– Features 

This tree is popular for its colorful and lasting flowers blooming in the bright summer season. They are sinewy, fluted stems with branches that have a mottled look. It sheds leaves throughout the whole year. This tree grows to 100 feet tall, but you can still find medium-sized, multiple-trunked ones, as they would be an amazing feature.

– Growing Conditions

Crepe myrtle is one of the fast growing trees in Oklahoma. It grows in almost any soil – sand, clay, loam. However, it prefers moist, well-drained soil together with full sunlight. It is drought tolerant and tolerates alkaline soils.

9. Loblolly Pine

The loblolly pine is one of the pines native to East Texas, southeastern America, and Florida. It is the second most common species in America after red maple. Loblolly is one of the most common pines of the Oklahoma forests.

Loblolly Pine Against a Blue Sky

– Features 

Loblolly pine is an evergreen tree, growing to 60 to 90 feet tall. Its trunk is straight and thick, growing to a width of two to three feet. The leaves of this tree are slender and needle-like, growing in clusters of three or four. 

The tree’s bark thickens as the tree matures, forming irregular flaky areas that reveal dark chocolate-color brown on the inside. It produces red to yellow male flowers and yellow to purple beautiful flowers in spring time. 

– Growing Conditions

The loblolly, also known as the Pinus Taeda, grows in medium to wet soils under full sun. It can also grow in moist, acidic soils with poor drainage and tolerates alkaline soils. This tree performs best in hot and humid climates and mild winters. It has rapid growth among all pine varieties found.

– Uses 

Loblolly pine is used for plywood, pulp, and general construction. Due to its rapid growth, it is commonly grown for wood value and forest management.

10. American Elm

The American elm is an elm native to eastern North America and naturally growing in central Texas, South Florida, Montana, Alberta, and Oklahoma. It is an extremely hardy tree that withstands winter temperatures and is a very prominent shady tree with an urn shape.

Branches of American Elm Tree

– Features

American elm grows to 60 to 80 feet tall, with a trunk diameter of up to five feet. However, the leaves are alternate, with doubly margins and an unequal base. 

Its bark is ashy gray with flat-topped ridges separated by diamond-shaped fissures. Note that during winter, tiny flowers mature in clusters of three to five. 

– Growing Conditions 

American elm grows in an average and a simple way, without the need of extra care or high maintenance. It thrives in medium moisture, and under the full sun. Nonetheless, it also tolerates partial light shade. On another note, the soils should be moist loamy, and well-drained. 

11. Kentucky Coffee Tree 

The Kentucky coffee tree belongs to the Fabaceae legume family known scientifically as the Glymnocladus Dioicus, and is native to the Midwest, Appalachia, Oklahoma, and New York.

Kentucky Coffee Tree Branches with Fruits

It is a tough species that is tolerant to pollution and drought. It is an excellent tree for golf courses and parks and grows as an ornamental or street tree in Oklahoma. 

– Features

This tree stands tall in all seasons, growing up to 60 feet tall throughout its lifetime. It has unique ascending branches that form a narrow crown.

It is believed no two branches are the same in the tree. Not only that, but it has few branches when young, mature into a majestic and beautiful tree with large seed pods.

– Growing Conditions 

The Kentucky coffee tree grows in hardiness zones three to eight. It is heat and drought-tolerant yet loamy soils in addition, it does great when it is placed in alkaline soils.

12. Shumard Oak

Shumard oak is one of the largest oak species in the red oak group. It is a member of the hardwood trees in Oklahoma, and it is known as the Quercus Shumardii. It is closely related to the Texas red oak, Chisos red oak, and Nuttall’s red oak.

Autumn Leaves of Shumard Oak Tree

– Features

It is a large deciduous tree in the red oak group with a pyramidal shape when young and gets an open and a rounded crown at maturity. Furthermore, it grows to about 70 feet tall and 40 feet wide in this state. The leaves are lobed, attaining a nice red fall color.

– Growing Conditions

This tree thrives in USDA five through nine and is tolerant to urban conditions like dry soil, drought, and air pollution. It grows relatively fast and tolerates short-term wind and flooding. Plant it in full sun to use as a shade tree in a yard or street tree.


The above comprehensive list of trees native to Oklahoma will greatly help you if you decide to add some trees to your yard.

Here are some points to consider when choosing the right tree to grow:

  • You can get the trees of Oklahoma book to help you identify more trees that you can add to your lawn. 
  • It is essential to decide a tree that is rapidly growing, like loblolly pine, crepe myrtle, or Shumard oak.
  • If you are interested in growing small trees native to Oklahoma, go ahead and grow them without being intimated by the large ones. 
  • All these trees require easy growing conditions to thrive, making it easy for beginners and seasoned gardeners. 
  • Remember always to check the condition of your soil and compare it with the tree’s requirements to see if it matches. 

Having discussed all these trees that you can grow in your garden in Oklahoma, you can choose to best suit your garden.

Also, consider the tree size before planting to ensure it has ample growing space. Finally, be patient with the growth of your tree, as it takes a few years to see it reach a certain size.


Rate this post
Evergreen Seeds