Wisconsin native trees are some of the most unique in America. It does not come as a surprise since Wisconsin is native to some of the most diverse ecosystems.

Discovering the Diversity of Wisconsin Native Trees

Here, you will find some of the smallest mosses to giant oaks and plants. But, if you are looking to explore or plant some native trees in Wisconsin, read on for a complete guide.

List of Wisconsin Native Trees

1. Chokecherry

A close relative of the black cherry is the deciduous chokecherry, which is botanically known as Prunus Virginiana. It is indigenous to the southern half of Canada. In landscapes and forests across Wisconsin, choke cherry can be found.

The Wild Fruit Tree for Gardeners

Especially in stabilized dunes, bluff slopes, and woods close to Lake Michigan. In denser forests, you can find it growing beneath bigger trees as an understory tree.

– Features

This native tree has a rounded-oval growth pattern and grows to a height of around 20 feet. The tree blooms profusely with sweet white flowers in the spring. Pollinators like bees and butterflies are drawn to flowers.

In the summer, the blossoms develop into dark purple or crimson berries, and these tresses would occasionally produce them in large quantities. Few people like them because of how harsh they taste. But many birds and mammals find them a vital food source.

– Growth Requirements

The chokecherry is versatile and grows quickly. It thrives on sandy, clayey, and loamy soils, they are quite resilient to dry soils, although it can withstand various levels of soil wetness, meaning they would go through it even though they appreciate moist soils. Additionally, it will thrive in both direct sunlight and light shade.

2. Hackberry

Despite being widespread in North America among other native trees, hackberry receives little attention.

Adaptable Tree for Urban Landscaping

But these trees native to southeast Wisconsin make a remarkable and dependable canopy tree. Most of Wisconsin’s forests support this tree, except for the northern hardwoods.

 – Features

The tree has branches that arch and a wide crown. The leaves resemble spearheads in form. They have little teeth on the edges and are two to four inches long by one to two inches wide.

In the spring, leaves are a light green color; then, as they mature, they turn bright green. The foliage takes on a gentle light-yellow hue in the fall.

This tree has a diameter of 1/3 inch and are petite and delicious. The drupes mature in the middle of the fall, turning a dark purple. Even though they are edible, only a few people try to eat them. Instead, they draw robins and mockingbirds, which are wintertime birds.

– Benefits

The hackberry makes a great landscaping tree for people who live in locations with high winds or pollutants. It can also withstand heat and salt from the roads. Because it tolerates most situations, it is a fantastic tree for people who need more skill or time to devote to it, like white pine and crabapple trees.

– Growth Requirements

This beautiful tree would grow in zones three to nine, as it would tolerate both full sun and even partial shades as well. Note that you must keep it in clay-like soils, where the texture is loamy, where the acidity of the soil is between 6.6 to almost 8.0.

3. Hill’s Oak

Hill’s oak is one of wisconsin trees that flourishes in areas with arid, acidic, and deficient soil. In Wisconsin, you can find it growing in a variety of sandy locations as well as in prairie woods. Hill’s oak has an oval shape and grows slowly and almost moderate.

Unique Characteristics of Hills Oak

The huge shade tree has deep sinuses and glossy green leaves. The leaves take on a vivid and appealing red hue in the fall.

– Features

This big tree looks magnificent on a lawn or wide field, where it can easily spread among other native trees. Hill’s oak should ideally be planted in areas with sandy, well-drained soil. Otherwise, it won’t exert any effort.

– Growth Requirements

Red oak, bur oak, and sugar maple, which have similar characteristics but prefer moister soils, are excellent alternatives to it. The tree requires lots of space to grow and direct sunlight. You won’t have much issue planting one even though nurseries are hard to come by because it transfers well.

4. Kentucky Coffee Tree

The little brown fruits that grow from the seedpods give the Kentucky Coffee wisconsin native tree its name. They resemble coffee beans when they are fully mature and dried.

An Underrated Landscape Plant

According to legend, the seeds were once roasted and used to make a hot beverage by Native Americans and early colonial immigrants. However, because the raw seedpods are poisonous, no fauna consumes them.

– Features

The tree’s short native range in Wisconsin is restricted to a few sporadic locations in the state’s south. Kentucky Coffee trees are frequently used in parks, golf courses, and expansive landscaping areas.

The tree’s bark is rugged and dark brown with rounded edges. Its leaves are compound, which means that each leaf has several leaflets. Each leaf has a maximum length of 36 inches. The tree is one of Maryland native trees, which also counts among native trees Massachusetts and native Oregon trees. 

In the spring and summer, they have a lovely blue-green hue. The fall color is less striking than the other places on our list among other native trees. Foliage changes to a light golden hue. The Kentucky coffee tree’s lofty, regal stature appeals to people.

Additionally, it blooms in the spring with tiny clusters of obscure pale green flowers. However, they have a wonderful rose-like aroma.

– Growth Requirements

Kentucky Coffee tree requires little maintenance because they can thrive in various soil types, however in order to see them grow, the soil must be rich in organic material. It does, however, handle dry soil better than very wet soil. It grows slowly and has a lifespan of between 100 and 150 years.

5. Pin Cherry

Fruit and flowering called the pin cherry can grow quickly, you can even find called as Prunus Pensylvanica. Although you can find it all over Wisconsin, it is more prevalent along roadsides and abandoned fields.

Ornamental Tree for Small Spaces

The head of the pin cherry is spherical, and its growth habit is slender. The foliage changes to a lovely bright yellow in the fall.

– Characteristics of the Flowers

Pin cherries bloom in May and have gorgeous, fragrant white blooms. The flowers are found in little clusters of five to seven distinct blossoms. Bees and butterflies are drawn to the flowers. The delicate white blossoms develop into drupes with a diameter of one quarter of an inch.

– Produced Berries

It has sour flesh and light red skin. They don’t taste great when eaten raw, so cooking them or using them in jams and jellies is preferable. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center claims pin cherries are incredibly significant to animals.

The fruit of this wisconsin native is consumed by 25 different species of animals and birds. Deer also browse the greenery there. The bark of the pin cherry is beautiful and features side-to-side orange horizontal lines. Reddish-brown, papery layers cover the bark.

– Growth Requirements

The tree gives the area a lovely silhouette and texture in the winter. Pin cherry requires soil on the drier side and full sun exposure. It thrives in well-drained, rocky, or sandy soil like most wisconsin native trees and shrubs. Note that it can tolerate a variety of moisture levels through the soil.

6. Shagbark Hickory

As its name suggests, the shagbark hickory has one of the most intriguing barks of any tree. Throughout the year, the bark develops a peeling and platy appearance and is one of the rare Wisconsin trees.

Iconic Tree for Forest and Backyard

The eastern side of the US is home to several shagbark hickory native trees. Only the lower half of Wisconsin is part of its natural range.

– Benefits

The shagbark hickory bears an abundance of tasty nuts, much like its relative pecan tree. Chipmunks, ducks, foxes, black bears, quails, and many other types of wildlife love nuts as a food source.

– Placements

It can be messy if the nuts fall to the ground in the fall. Making the tree a poor choice for urban areas and counts as one of the invasive trees in wisconsin. It performs best on a field or lawn where it can spread its canopy.

– Growth Requirements

Although it takes a long time to establish itself, shagbark hickory does not require much maintenance. The tree benefits from the moist, rich soil and full light. However, it will also thrive in some shade of sunlight.

7. Showy Mountain Ash

Throughout the year, showy mountain ash gives something intriguing.

A Beautiful and Hardy Tree

The little tree turns into a distinctive decorative tree.

– Features

It has eye-catching white flowers that bloom in the late spring to early summer. The tree produces substantial clusters of eye-catching, bright red fruit throughout the summer that last through the winter. However, in the fall, its bluish-green leaves become yellow.

– Placement

Eastern Canada and isolated areas of the United States are home to colorful mountain ash. You can find it in Wisconsin in isolated areas near wetlands, upland woods, bluffs, and shorelines among trees native to southeast wisconsin.

– Growth Requirements

Cool conditions are ideal for the tree’s growth. It cannot tolerate heat, drought, or pollution, hence it is not found in urban areas. It is simple to grow in the right conditions. The tree thrives in full sun and well-draining soil.

8. Sugar Maple

Wisconsin’s state tree, the sugar maple or the Acer Saccharum, is one of the most prevalent in its forested areas.

The King of Fall Colors

But it’s also a remarkable tree for a landscape. Its sweet and syrupy sap is whence it derives its name.

– Features

The tree’s stunning leaves are its main selling point. In the fall, they change from medium to dark green to burnt orange, yellow, or red hue.

Sugar maple is a popular shade tree due to its elongated shape and substantial crown. In yards all around the state, you can find them. In the spring, mature wisconsin native trees bloom with tiny, greenish-yellow blooms. These flowers develop into winged seeds with two wings, which can be a little messy when they fall in autumn.

Squirrels enjoy eating this tree most among other wisconsin native trees. They adore eating leaves, twigs, buds, and seeds, and this is why it is beneficial if you wish to have these visitors.

– Growth Requirements

Give the tree plenty of space if you decide to grow one. It dislikes being in small spaces. However, it is not as fussy about sun exposure and can thrive in either full sun or light shade. Although sugar maple has a definite preference for moist soil, it can tolerate modest amounts of drought, unlike some other wisconsin trees. Acidic to mildly alkaline and well-drained soil are both possible.

9. American Beech

Many of the Eastern United States is home to the American beech. It is indigenous to the area of Wisconsin that faces Lake Michigan.

A Majestic and Long Lived Tree

Along stream banks and riverbanks, the tree is widespread.  This tree is also one of the native vermont trees, native kansas trees, and pennsylvania native trees.

– Features

The oval-shaped American beech has a thick and widely-spreading canopy. Simple leaves have sharp teeth on the margins and are three to six inches long. The overall hue of the leaves changes to a golden bronze. These trees have a diameter of between 1/2 and 1 inch.

– Producing Fruit

Mature wisconsin native trees produce tasty, firm, brown beechnuts every fall. However, you must wait almost 40 years before a crop can yield. Few people mind the delay because the fruit is bitter. These produced nuts are much more beloved by birds and small mammals like chipmunks and squirrels.

– Growth Requirements

American beech grows between 12 and 24 inches annually, a slow to moderate growth, as it will endure for many years. The American beech struggles with the landscape under the hot sun. It thrives in an area with rich, acidic soil that contains lots of organic debris.

They require the proper circumstances to grow, but generally, beech wisconsin native trees may grow anywhere and need full sun to partial shade, but they thrive in moist, well-draining soil that is somewhat acidic.

They may adapt to variations of this, but for them to succeed, the ground must have good drainage so that water would not accumulate at the roots.

10. Balsam Fir

An indigenous evergreen tree is the balsam fir among the Wisconsin native evergreen trees. It grows in the northern hardwood forests and counts as one of the hardwood trees in Wisconsin.

A Classic Christmas Tree and More

Due to its pyramidal shape, this particular species of fir tree creates a beautiful Christmas tree, this is because it develops a dense, symmetrical, and thin crown.

– Features

The wisconsin native tree is pyramidal in shape and bears to one-inch-long, glossy, and dark green needles. Another factor making it a top-selling Christmas tree is the fragrant and warm scent of the hands.

Balsam fir cones range from two to four inches and begin purple. As they mature, they become resinous and gray-brown. This tree is a popular specimen tree among landscape designers in colder regions. But it also works well as a windbreak and screen.

– Growth Requirements

The tree performs best in acidic, cool, moist, and well-drained soils. Heat is not tolerated by it, hence, in northern Wisconsin, this tree is a better option for landscapers, becaus of the cold climate.

Balsam fir trees can be propagated through cuttings, albeit it might be challenging, because many of them would degenerate. You may, however, bend the odds in your favor and, ideally, end up with a thriving cutting by being conscious of a few factors.

First off, cuttings from shorter, younger trees have a higher chance of taking root. Pick a branch from the tree’s lower half when taking cuttings in the spring or summer.

11. Bigtooth Aspen

Bigtooth aspen can be found in woods all around Wisconsin. Particularly, the prairie woods in the southwest are a little dryer along with pagoda dogwood.

Unique and Fast Growing Tree

They can survive in a variety of soil types and climates, at the same time they may even be stumbling around on difficult terrain.

– Features

The lower surface of its serrated leaves is white, and the upper surface is dark green. The leaves take on a lovely golden-yellow hue in the fall. Compared to its well-known cousin, the quaking aspen, the leaves are bigger and have larger teeth. In the wind, its leaves likewise tremble.

Bigtooth aspens that are younger have smooth, olive-green bark, which after 30 to 40 years, would start turning gray, become thick, tough, and develop distinct grooves. This variety of aspen, is a deciduous species, has a narrow, columnar form. It works well as a windbreak or privacy screen.

– Growth Requirements

It is best to choose a location where this tree can have lots of room to grow if you desire to include it in your landscaping. Additionally, the area must receive direct sunlight throughout the day. This type of aspen tree would grow quickly, but when it is on drier sites, the tree thrives significantly more. Consider planting quaking aspen if your soil is soggier.

12. Black Cherry

The huge deciduous black cherry tree is a natural species in all parts of Wisconsin. Its native habitat stretches from southeast Canada to Central America’s high-altitude regions.

Valuable Tree for Timber and Wildlife

It grows in lowland, upland, and streamside forests.

– Features

In the spring, black cherries bloom in white. The racemes, three to six inches long, are covered in masses of the five-petaled flowers. The blossoms have a lovely perfume that is hard to overlook.

On the other hand, the black pea-sized fruits reach maturity in late summer. It has a bitter-sweet flavor. That ho into preserves, jams, and jellies. The local fruit is an important food source for numerous birds and small mammals.

– Growth Requirements

Due to their size, black cherries make excellent shade trees. They make great Wisconsin native trees for homes and parks. During the summer, its leaves are a glossy green color. The beautiful foliage turns yellow to scarlet in the fall.

At least four to five hours of direct sunlight each day are necessary for this quickly developing tree to thrive. It strongly favors soil that is acidic, wet, and well-drained. But can also withstand arid environments, alkaline piles of earth, and even road salt, due to its resilient characteristic in this aspect.

13. Black Walnut

Black walnut, a native of southern Wisconsin, is one of the most important and useful trees. Its edible nuts are the most useful part.

A Tree with Many Uses

Both people and wildlife hold them in high regard. The tree’s wood is also highly valued for its durability.

– Uses

This tree is a superb decorative choice, which means that you can find enormous of these trees in parks and even in some expansive gardens across the world. The growth form of the slow-growing black walnut is spherical and oval.

It develops a substantial canopy with robust branches. It is a fantastic shade tree because of these qualities and has dark green foliage. As for the bark, furniture, floors, paddles, and coffins are examples of typical usage.

– Growth Requirements

Choose a broad, open, and sunny space if you want to grow this tree. You’ll need to exercise patience because this tree grows slowly. Black walnut requires lots of room for its thick, sturdy branches to spread. The location should have organically rich, wet soils for the greatest outcomes. Even though the tree can survive in dry soil, its growth will be considerably slower.

14. Swamp White Oak

Swampy and low-lying locations are where you’ll find swamp white oak, as the name implies.

Tough Tree for Wet Sites

In particular, in damp bottomlands and near riverbanks.

– Characteristics

Due to its longevity and attractiveness, this natural tree is a common street and shade tree. It can live for beyond 300 years and only grows slowly.

– Features

The curve of swamp white oak is appealingly rounded. Its deciduous, dark green, three to seven-inch leaves have a leathery texture. The foliage changes color in the fall to yellow, bronze, and red-purple.

– Growth Requirements

The swamp white oak prefers at least six hours of daily, direct, unobstructed sunlight. It favors acidic, moist, and wet soil. On another note, it can tolerate drought despite its common name and preference.


With such a diverse variety, it is easy to get lost in Wisconsin’s flora.

  • Each one of the Wisconsin native trees fulfilling a particular purpose, from providing shade, and fruit to serving as an ornamental variety in your garden.
  • With the right care, irrigation, and sunlight provision, your yard will soon thrive.
  • These trees will not only add aesthetic value to your outdoors but provide a calm that nature always brings.

You can choose which one to plant and get from Wisconsin native trees for sale.

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