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What Trees Do You Find Most in the Northeast?

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The Northeast of the United States supports a wide variety of soil types. It is known for its wooded areas, beautiful autumns, and bitterly cold winters. With such a variety of soil types, you will also see a variety of trees growing across the land.

Overall, the Northeast experiences a cold and long winter. Winters can last four to five months with a short growing season. All the trees in this ecosystem must be sturdy and cold-hardy. Quick growth rates are mandatory to survive the cold winter especially in the early years.

Both evergreens and deciduous trees thrive in the Northeast. You will see a massive population of evergreens because of the cold winters. They add a pop of color to the snowy landscape.

The Northeast is one of the most populated areas of the United States. This is because the colonists settled there first. With so many people inhabiting the area, you would think there are limited forests.

However, the people of the Northeast protect their forests wholeheartedly. The small mountain ranges are protected by laws and people.

The top five trees on our list grow throughout the entire Northeast. All in all, these trees are not the tallest in the world, but they are hardy. Moreover, these trees support countless birds, animals, and insects throughout all the seasons. They create ample shade and sustenance in the summer and provide shelter in the winter.

Top 5 Trees in the Northeast

  1. Norway Spruce
  2. Northern White Cedar
  3. Northern Red Oak
  4. American Elm
  5. Striped Maple

1. Norway Spruce

What Trees Do You Find Most in the Northeast - Norway Spruce

The Norway Spruce is a magnificent specimen in the Northeast. It grows up to 60 feet and has a spread of 30 feet. Overall, it grows at a medium-fast rate. In good years, the Norway Spruce grows two feet a year. In poor growing seasons, this tree will only grow a foot.

Altogether, the Norway Spruce thrives in the cold environments of the Northeast and cannot succeed in the south. This tree needs full sunlight to achieve its full potential. Being an evergreen, it tolerates drought well. Moreover, as long as the soil is well-drained, the Norway Spruce will grow there.

Norway Spruces grow in the upper half of the United States, but the population is massive in the Northeast. Additionally, they grow in Asia, Canada, and Europe.

The needles are blunted and soft to the touch. All in all, they are short needles that completely cover the branches. While the needles are small, the cones are quite large. The cones are green in the early stages and eventually turn red. They finally turn brown before they fall to the ground.

2. Northern White Cedar

What Trees Do You Find Most in the Northeast - Northern White Cedar

Like the Norway Spruce, the Northern White Cedar is an evergreen. This tree grows to 60 feet in height with a 15-foot spread. On the other hand, the Northern White Cedar grows slowly. In fact, it grows less than a foot a year.

Despite its small size, the Northern White Cedar is related to the Western Red Cedar growing in the Pacific Northwest. The Northern White Cedar is native to the Northeast.

To learn more about the Western Red Cedar, Read More.

To learn more about trees growing in the Pacific Northwest, Read More.

The Northern White Cedar can grow in many climates. This tree extends further into the cold and warm climates further than the Norway Spruce. Overall, they grow in a large forest between Michigan, Canada, and Maine.

Dark red bark covers the Northern White Cedar. It peels in narrow strips and is deeply furrowed. The needles are soft to the touch and grow in a fan shape. Additionally, the cones are very small and resemble seeds instead of cones.  

This tree has many medicinal qualities. It is rich in vitamin C and used in many medicines. Native cultures used the Northern White Cedar for medicines and construction.

3. Northern Red Oak

What Trees Do You Find Most in the Northeast - Northern Red Oak

The Northern Red Oak displays beautiful red leaves in the autumn. Altogether, the Northern Red Oak grows to 75 feet tall with a 45-foot spread. It grows at a fast rate, over 2 feet per year. It is the first deciduous tree on our list; the leaves change in the autumn and fall to the ground in the winter.

Overall, the Northern Red Oak can grow in many soil types if it is well-drained. The leaves grow into a compact crown creating ample shade for any creature below. The Northern Red Oak is native to the United States. You can find it growing in forests from Alabama to Maine. Some portions of Canada support the Northern Red Oak.

The bark is furrowed with shiny stripes down the center. These stripes make it very easy to identify. All in all, the bark is reddish gray. The leaves are large, close to six inches wide. Additionally, they are dark green and smooth. The leaves turn a dark red in autumn making them a stunning sight in the fall colors.

The acorns from the Northern Red Oak need three months below 40 degrees F to germinate.

The Northern Red Oak is a vital tree for timber in North America. It is well established in the Northeast and depended on for high-value lumber. Many animals depend on acorns in the long winter months. Finally, people plant these trees as ornamental pieces for their lovely fall colors.

4. American Elm

What Trees Do You Find Most in the Northeast - American Elm

The American Elm is also native to the Northeast. It easily reaches 100 feet in height. Equally, the trunk grows to a four-foot diameter. It grows quickly and is a deciduous tree species. The canopy is wide, but with some spacing between the leaves and branches.

Altogether, the American Elm is a hardy tree. It thrives in many living conditions. However, it is vulnerable to a tree disease known as the Dutch Elm Disease. This disease is wiping out the populations of Elm trees in the United States. While you can still find the American Elm growing across much of the eastern United States, the population is endangered. Compared to the population of all elm trees in the 1950s, we have less than half of the elms around today.

The dark green leaves of the American Elm cover the branches creating a huge canopy. In the spring, the American Elm produces small purple flowers. Additionally, they produce samaras to help fertilize and spread. The bark is scaly and light brown.

Arborists do not recommend you plant elm trees because of the Dutch Elm Disease. Most people steer away from it for fear of it dying from the disease. However, there was a time our culture highly depended on this tree for wood and rope. It is incredibly difficult to chop. Therefore, iwe rarely use it for firewood.

5. Striped Maple

What Trees Do You Find Most in the Northeast - Striped Maple

The Striped Maple is the last deciduous tree on our list. Unlike the other two deciduous trees on this list, the Striped Maple is small and slow growing. That being said, the Striped Maple grows to 30 feet.

The growth area for the Striped Maple is limited to its native area in the Northeast United States. However, some bunches of Striped Maples extend into the southern parts of the Appalachian Mountains. The territory also stretches into portions of Canada and Michigan.

The bark is green at young ages and turns reddish brown as the tree ages. Moreover, the leaves are large and dark green. The unusual shape helps them stand out with their triangular lobes. In the autumn, the leaves will turn yellow.

Native cultures crafted arrows from the wood of the Striped Maple. Additionally, early farmers used the leaves to supplement their livestock in the long winter months. Otherwise, we do not use the Striped Maple for many applications. It does not have any medicinal or cultural applications.

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