Types of trees in Louisiana grow naturally in its subtropical climate.

Types of Trees in Louisiana

So, they will be the perfect addition to your native garden and contribute to the environmental balance on your property.

Our gardening team has listed 9 Louisiana trees to grow in your garden. 

Beautiful Native Louisiana Trees

1. Bald Cypress

Hardy Bald Cypress Tree

  • Cypress trees can survive in all types of soil, even standing water that can stunt the growth of other trees.
  • Many homeowners grow it for its beautiful knees or pneumatophores, which can be incorporated into any landscape design. 
  • Provides shade and food to various native rabbit, bird, and deer species. 
Distinguishing characteristics
  • People call this tree bald because this deciduous conifer sheds all its needles in the fall.
  • Represents an excellent all-year-round ornamental value to your land because of its delicate needles, cones, and beautiful bark. 
  • Before falling off, the feathery jade needles turn to a beautiful shade of copper-gold. This tree measures between 50 and 70 feet tall. 
Care requirements
  • Consider its future massive size, as it might disrupt the view from your patio or around your pool. It’s better to give it enough space to spread. 
  • Amending the soil is essential, but if the soil is too poor, you might need to consider growing another tree on your land. 
  • This tree can grow around water features and should be watered regularly in dry soil. In addition, it should receive full sun to stay in shape. 
Common issues
  • Periods of drought can cause chlorosis, which is the premature yellowing of the leaves. 
  • The cypress beetle attacks this tree and can cause substantial damage. 

The northern and southern species of the Taxodium distichum thrive in Louisiana, making it the state tree and one of the easiest to grow in your garden.

Mulch created from the shavings of this tree will prevent weeds from growing and provide your plants with nutrients. Several dwarf cultivars like Skyward and Peve Minaret are popular backyard choices. 

2. Southern Magnolia

Fragrant Southern Magnolia Tree

  • The leaves and flowering buds treat headaches, stuffy noses, and asthma. 
  • Provides shade or can be planted as a screen. 
  • Fills your outer space with a nice and refreshing fragrance. 
Distinguishing characteristics
  • The leaves are dark green on the top and rusty on the underside. 
  • Known as the bull bay tree, this one requires more maintenance to keep it in excellent health.
Care requirements
  • These trees thrive in rich, fertile, well-draining soil and can tolerate various pH levels. 
  • Mulching can keep the tree healthy, but ensure it doesn’t touch the bark. Too much or too little water can make the leaves turn yellow. 
  • Needs regular mulching to protect the soil from erosion. The shallow root system needs plenty of space, and you should consider regular cleaning as the leaves drop regularly. 
Common issues
  • Bacterial infestations cause leaf spots and blight. 
  • Regular pruning can limit the spread of cankers, which eventually kill the branches. 

The Magnolia Grandiflora is one of the most popular evergreen trees in Louisiana. The tree can have a slow to medium growth habit. It’s relatively easy to grow compared to other flowering trees. 

3. Live Oak

Majestic Live Oak Tree

  • Provides shelter for squirrels and birds. 
  • This tree increases your property’s curb appeal. 
Distinguishing characteristics
  • When mature, this tree can be between 40 and 80 feet tall, but its lateral branches can be twice as wide. This is why it’s one of the most popular Louisiana shade trees. 
  • People usually grow it as a specimen tree or to create an allee on a formal garden or large property. 
  • This particular species is confused with other oak trees, so people usually call it the southern live tree. 
Care requirements
  • Despite being easy to grow, the tree’s massive size can cause some damage as it ruins nearby structures. You can grow it next to white oak or Quercus alba trees if there’s room. 
  • Make sure you always have time to prune it regularly to maintain its shape. Some of these trees can live for up to 1000 years, so this explains the kind of commitment it represents. 
  • This oak tree can survive in various conditions, including wet and highly alkaline soil. It will thrive in full sun but can tolerate some shade. 
Common issues
  • Oak leaf tiers and oak clearwing borers usually attack this tree. 
  • Oak wilt is a fungal infection that can spread from infected to healthy trees. 

The Quercus virginiana is well known for its sprawling branches and massive size. Adequate planning is recommended because this massive tree is known to lift sidewalks and land wherever it’s grown.

Regular pruning is needed to plan how this tree will look, as some individuals are known to live up to 900 years. 

4. Eastern Redbud

Ornamental Eastern Redbud Tree

  • If you don’t have space to grow massive red maple trees in your Louisiana garden, you can grow the  Cercis canadensis tree to add a pop of color. 
  • It’s one of the first trees to flower on your land, and the pink flowers later turn into fruits that provide an all-season interest in your garden. The flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. 
  • This hardy tree can withstand the allelopathic black walnut or Juglans nigra tree. 
Distinguishing characteristics
  • Grows to be 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide. It has heart-shaped leaves and can be 5 inches across. 
  • Pea-like blooms appear in late winter or early spring before other plants start to bloom. 
  • Most homeowners will grow this tree when they don’t have space for massive flowering species like tulip poplar trees. It’s also a good companion tree for pink dogwood or flowering dogwood trees. 
Care requirements
  • Can handle different soil types, including various pH levels. It doesn’t need fertilization as it can absorb nitrogen from the air.
  • If you have massive trees on your property, you can grow the redbud tree in their shade. It pairs well with other native Louisiana trees like green ash.
Common issues
  • Also known as the American redbud or American Judas tree, this tree doesn’t handle transplanting well because the branches can easily break. 
  • Botryosphaeria canker and dieback can affect this tree, but regular pruning can usually solve this issue. 
  • Leaf spot is another cosmetic issue, and it’s usually controlled by spraying a fungicide that contains copper. 

This is one of the popular flowering trees in Louisiana. However, despite its beauty, it’s usually short-lived because of environmental factors and pest attacks.

These trees usually live up to 20 years in optimal conditions, yet their beauty is worth the planting planning. 

5. Winged Elm

Graceful Winged Elm Tree

  • It’s usually grown as a specimen or landscape tree in dry soil where other plants will struggle to grow. 
  • It provides the perfect home for native nesting birds and deer. This is why it’s the most common type of elm trees in Louisiana. It’s also the host for the question mark butterfly. 
Distinguishing characteristics
  • This small deciduous elm has a short, corky bark and a round canopy. 
  • Grows double-serrated dark green leaves, and the foliage turns yellow in the fall. 
  • The green-brown catkins later turn into reddish-winged samaras. The hairs on the samaras are shorter than the ones you can find on American elm or Ulmus americana
Care requirements
  • Although this tree thrives in rich, moist, well-draining soil, it can survive in urban locations and dry soils. 
  • Thrives in full sun but can handle some partial shade. Regular pruning is needed to remove sick branches before diseases spread. 
Common issues
  • Just like other elm trees, this one is prone to Dutch elm disease, which can quickly kill this beautiful tree. It can also suffer from powdery mildew and canker disease. 
  • Elm bark beetles also attack this tree, carrying the spores of Dutch elm disease and feeding on the weakened limbs. 

The Ulmus alata is one of the fast-growing shade trees Louisiana. Also known as the small-leaf elm or witch elm, the soil’s fertility usually plays a huge role in determining the final size of the tree when it matures.

Pruning will help keep the tree in good shape and prevent the growth of multiple trunks. 

6. American Hornbeam

Versatile American Hornbeam Tree

  • Provides shade and shelter for wildlife in the cold season. 
  • The wood is sturdy and very hard, which explains why people call it the ironwood tree. Most people use this wood to make tools. 
  • It’s usually grown as a focal point on your land, and you can pair it with white fringe trees. 
Distinguishing characteristics
  • The bark looks like muscle tissue, which explains its famous nickname. 
  • The dark green foliage of this tree turns to a bright shade of orange in the fall. Once winter comes, the gray bark will contrast beautifully with the surrounding environment. 
  • It reaches a height of 25 feet tall, so it’s a good choice if you don’t have space for big trees.
Care requirements
  • This tree will thrive in well-draining, moist, and fertile soil and the root system will spread under the ground making it one of the sturdiest trees on your land.
  • Can withstand some flooding and needs regular watering in hot climates. 
  • If you have large trees on your land, you can grow the musclewood tree in their shade. 
Common issues
  • This tree is pretty resistant to most common diseases and pests. However, cankers can attack some weak limbs and branches. 
  • Two-lined chestnut borers and maple mealybugs feed on the foliage, but they don’t affect the tree’s health in the long run. 

The Carpinus caroliniana is a member of the birch family and has several nicknames, including water beech, musclewood, and ironwood tree.

The tree doesn’t shed its leaves in the winter, but they look brown and wrinkled. Some trees can live up to 300 years in the right conditions. 

7. Water Oak

Water Loving Water Oak Tree

  • The acorns provide food to ducks and squirrels, and it’s home to various butterflies, moths, and larvae that represent the primary food source for native birds and animals. 
  • It can soak up the excess water in areas that are prone to flooding. 
  • Adds about 24 inches to its height per year. This is why people grow it when they need to add a fast-growing specimen or shade tree to their property. 
Distinguishing characteristics
  • This tree reaches a maximum height of 80 feet tall in optimal conditions. 
  • The fast growth rate makes it less resistant to different pests and diseases that might attack the bark. 
Care requirements
  • According to the name, this tree will grow beautifully next to water features as it’s tolerant of wet soils. It’s one of the widespread types of trees in Louisiana swamps
  • Thrives in different types of soil but prefers acidic soil. Once the tree grows, it can become drought-tolerant. 
  • Grows in full sun and can’t tolerate any shade. 
Common issues
  • Oak wilt usually attacks this tree. Fungal injections can help with this infection. 
  • Insects that attack this tree can hardly cause permanent damage, but they usually attack the way the leaves look. 

If you need to plant a fast-growing oak, this one will be the perfect choice for your garden. It adds about 2 feet to its height every year, but this feature has a lot of disadvantages.

This tree is short-lived compared to other oaks and is prone to several diseases and pests because the branches are rather weak. 

8. Loblolly Pine

Towering Loblolly Pine Tree

  • Homeowners will plant this tree because it grows fast
  • It’s resistant to urban pollution and acts as a carbon sink that amends the soil on your land.
  • The tree is home to various native species like doves, quails, rabbits, and white-tail deer. 
Distinguishing characteristics
  • This is the second most widespread tree in the US and is by no means one of the rare trees in Louisiana. 
  • It has 5 to 8-inch needles, which people usually use to make medicinal tea. However, the needles of the Pinus taeda can be toxic if consumed in large amounts.
  • Due to the tree’s shape, it’s usually called rosemary pine. It grows to a massive size of 90 feet tall and about 35 feet wide. 
Care requirements
  • This pine is tolerant of various soil conditions but thrives in loamy, acidic soil. 
  • Can’t tolerate standing water, so you must adjust your watering schedule according to regional rainfall levels.
Common issues Tip dieback usually affects trees in winter, but it progresses as the temperature rises. This disease is probably caused by various pest infestations and potassium imbalances in the soil. 

The needles can turn yellow if you attempt to change this tree’s location. High concentrations of salt in the soil can also cause this yellowing. 

This massive pine is the king of Louisiana forests and will be a valuable addition to your garden. It’s probably one of the most common trees in Louisiana and can live up to 275 years. It goes through a dormant stage from November to March. 

9. American Basswood

Nutritious American Basswood Tree

  • The nectar-rich flowers attract insects and pollinators. 
  • Rabbits and voles eat the bark, while songbirds feed on the seeds. 
Distinguished characteristics
  • The insects leave a sticky residue called honeydew on various surfaces. 
  • Has deep green heart-shaped leaves that provide excellent shade on your property. 
  • Grows spring or fragrant white or pale yellow flowers. 
Care requirements
  • This tree is native to the lowlands of Louisiana and thrives in moderately well-draining soil.
  • Doesn’t tolerate alkaline soil, but other varieties in the same family can be more tolerant of various pH levels
  • Once established, this tree will survive off regular rainfall. However, it’s not drought-tolerant. It achieves the best flowering in full sun, but it can tolerate some shade. 
Common issues
  • Bark borers and basswood leaf miners usually attack this tree. 
  • Leaf rust is the main reason why this tree might lose its attractive foliage. However, some cultivars are resistant to this disease. 

This tree belongs to a massive family of various shade and specimen trees. It produces sweet sap that attracts insects, which might become a big issue in your outdoor space. These insects create a sweet substance called honeydew, and it affects the aesthetic value of your landscape. It also damages car finishes. 


In Louisiana, several native trees thrive in the warm subtropical climate, so they will represent a valuable addition to your native garden. 

  • Massive trees like pines need ample space and futuristic planning to ensure they have enough room to spread.
  • Some trees, like bald cypresses, change their color in the fall.
  • Flowering trees like magnolias will attract different pollinators to your garden.
  • Most trees thrive in full sun, but some trees, like hornbeams, can tolerate the shade.

This gardening advice gives you multiple options for your native Louisiana garden. 



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