When you think of what Oregon is known for, do trees come to your mind? We hope so! Oregon hardiness zones are expansive and range from 4B to 9B, which means that a lot of different varieties of trees can grow throughout the state. Additionally, with almost half of Oregon’s 61 million acres of land being forested, you are sure to see a wide array of beautiful trees. These trees aren’t just found in the forest, though, as many Oregon residents choose to beautify their homes by planting trees in their yards, both front and back. There are a lot of trees growing in Oregon. Here are some trees Oregon is known for.
Since 1936, the Douglas fir has been the official state tree, making it the most popular tree you will find in the state, especially in western Oregon. These trees received their name from David Douglas, who was a Scottish botanist from the 19th century who identified plants in Oregon.
At full maturity, these trees can reach heights of 100 to 325 feet, and their trunks can measure up to 15 feet in diameter. They thrive in areas of full sun and need a lot of space to grow. The needles on these trees are about one-inch long, soft, flat, and blue-green in color. Douglas fir trees are particularly recognizable, as they have blunt-shaped cones that are three to four inches long and have three-point bracts.
The western hemlock may be the state tree of Washington, but it’s commonly found throughout Oregon too. Some of these trees have lived for 1,200 years.
This is a large evergreen tree that can grow anywhere from 160 to 230 feet tall, with its trunk reaching a width of nine feet. The needles on these trees are about a half to one inch long and are also blue-green in color. They grow thin cones with rounded scales that are about one to three inches long. The branch tips on western hemlock trees tend to hang downward.
If you’re in Forest Park in Oregon, the tree you will see the most is the bigleaf maple, as it makes up almost 50 percent of the canopy. Whereas these trees don’t live for a thousand years like the western hemlock, they can live to around 300 years old.
These trees aren’t as tall as others, standing at 40 to 100 feet tall, but they are the largest of all the maple trees. They are wide trees, though, as their leaves range from 4 to 10 inches wide. The leaves are green and sometimes have ferns or moss hanging from them.
Most commonly found in eastern Oregon, as it is drier, is the ponderosa pine. These trees have adapted so they can survive even in areas known for low-intensity ground fires. They can live up to about 200 years. What sets the ponderosa pine apart from other pine trees is its distinct scaly bark.
There are five different subspecies of the ponderosa pine, and the needles vary depending on the species. All of these trees tend to grow anywhere between 60 to 100 feet tall and 25 to 30 feet wide.
Black cottonwood trees are members of the willow tree family. They are the tallest of all the broadleaf trees found in western North America.
At maturity, black cottonwood trees can reach a height of 100 feet tall and have a trunk that’s 6 feet wide. It has a rough, dark-colored bark that makes it stand out. The leaves growing on the branches are heart-shaped. In the spring, these trees produce catkins that are one to three inches long. In the summer, they grow fuzzy fruit that falls from the trees.
Mostly found along streams west of the Cascades and in other wet areas are red alder trees. It’s also a smaller tree, growing anywhere from 50 to 100 feet tall. The branches are quite spreading but are thin. They’re covered in alternating long leaves that are dark green and have pointed tips. On the underside of the leaves, there are fine, soft hairs.
Like the black cottonwood, in the spring, red alder trees bear green-yellow catkins. In the winter, white lichen tends to grow on the bark, especially as the tree gets older.
Oregon White Oak
If you’re interested in an Oregon tree that helps shelter local wildlife, this is the tree for you, as Oregon white oak trees are home to more than 200 species of native wildlife. These trees are also slow-growing and tend to grow in areas that are too dry or too exposed for other trees to be able to survive.
They stand anywhere from 50 to 90 feet tall and have a diameter half that size. The leaves on these trees are three to six inches long and have a width of two to five inches. Each side of the leaf has seven to nine lobes. They also grow catkins during the springtime.
The Sitka spruce is the third-tallest growing tree in the world, averaging heights of 125 to 180 feet tall and a diameter of 3 to 5 feet. These trees helped put the Pacific Northwest on the map, as they were used throughout history in the logging industry. Presently, they’re still used for lumber and crafting.
The Sitka spruce tree is conically shaped, with branches that reach out horizontally. The needles on these trees range from light green to blueish-green. They are prickly and stiff, and small cones can be found dangling from the branches.
As you can see, there are many trees that Oregon is known for. We hope you come to visit our lovely state and see these trees for yourself one day. When you do, here is a guide for you on how to identify Oregon’s most common trees. We don’t want you missing out on this beauty. And when you do come to Oregon (or better yet, if you move here!) we hope you choose Mr. Tree Services for all your tree needs.