Did you know that there are more than 25 species of trees native to Washington State? This makes choosing one of these trees a great and easy option to plant in your Washington State yard. Choosing a tree that’s native to the area can help ease the burden of maintenance, as you’re planting it in the correct climate conditions to help the tree grow its highest and healthiest. You will also have the luxury of knowing that your local arborists have dealt with these types of trees before so they know exactly what to do to keep yours healthy.
We don’t expect you to plant all 25+ trees native to Washington State in your yard, but here are five great options you might want to consider.
1. Western Hemlock
The western hemlock is the official tree of Washington State. It’s also the largest of the hemlock trees, so make sure your yard is large enough to home western hemlock before you commit to planting it. They can grow up to 200 feet tall and have a trunk with a width of up to four feet. These trees are found mostly on moist sites, meaning coastal areas as well as lowland and mountain areas.
The needles on western hemlock trees are short and flat. They have rounded tips and two white lines on the underside of them. In contrast to the tree’s height, they grow really small cones, not even an inch long. The bark of these trees is thin with a red interior. The tops can sometimes have a bit of a droopy look.
2. Red Alder
If you’re looking for a tree that grows fast, look no further than the red alder. These trees can grow up to 1 meter every year until they reach the age of 20. They typically reach from 40 to 80 feet in height, so if your yard isn’t quite large enough to home 100-foot trees, the red alder is the perfect option for you. They grow best in coastal and lowland areas.
Rather than having needles, these trees have leaves that are oval-shaped and about three to six inches in length. They’re shiny green and have pointed tips and serrated edges. Red alder trees also grow cones, but they’re only about one inch in length.
3. Douglas Fir
The Douglas fir may be the state tree of Oregon, but it’s native to Washington too! You’re likely familiar with it, as it’s a favorite tree for Christmas trees. These trees are more versatile about where they can thrive, and can be grown in diverse areas, but they’re extremely common in coastal and lowland areas. Douglas fir trees are a family consisting of six different species of tree. They range in height and width, but they can grow as tall as 300 feet and as wide as 13 feet, but there are smaller varieties for you to choose from.
These trees add a nice color to your yard, as their needles are yellow-green in color. They produce cones that can be up to four inches in length. The tops of the trees stand tall, and on more mature trees, the bark is deeply furrowed.
4. Western Red Cedar
Western red cedar trees usually grow in moist areas, but one unique thing about them is that they also can grow in the shade of other trees. They are commonly found in coastal, lowland, mountain, and eastside areas of Washington State. The tallest of these trees can reach up to 200 feet, but typically, they grow to about 120 to 150 feet tall. An additional perk of these trees is that their wood is resistant to rot, making them easier to take care of than other trees.
The needles on these trees are tiny and flat and grow in tight, alternating pairs. They produce very small cones that are less than one inch long. The bark of these trees is stringy and can be pulled off in long strips.
5. Ponderosa Pine
Are you looking to add a native pine tree to your yard? Look no further than the ponderosa pine. These trees can grow about 90 to 150 feet tall. They also attract small animals, such as birds and squirrels, to your yard, as they’re a valuable food source for these types of animals. Ponderosa pine trees grow well in soil that is dry.
These trees are also decorative, with long needles about 5 to 10 inches in length. They are yellow-green in color and come in bundles of three. They grow cones that are about three to six inches long, and the cones are rounded with a sharp tip. For more mature trees, the bark is typically an orange-brown color with deep furrows and ridges that are scaly and flat.
If you’re looking to plant trees native to Washington State in your yard, these five types are great options for you to start looking into. Additionally, choosing a tree that is native to the Pacific Northwest in general is a good idea if you want more trees to choose from.
As we’ve mentioned, a couple of these trees grow to great heights. It’s important to make sure you have a yard big enough for them before you begin planting. It’s also important to talk with a professional arborist about any size restraints you may have in your yard so they can help guide you to a different variety of the tree that may not grow as tall.
At Mr. Tree, we’re happy to talk with you, find out more about your yard size and your lifestyle and help you choose a tree that will complement both. Give us a call today and we can give you a personalized recommendation as for trees native to Washington State will work best in your yard.