Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

List of Native Trees for Use Along Roadsides in Illinois.

"Corridors for Tomorrow Project" by Kenneth R. Robertson

EVERGREEN TREES

Scientific Name

Common Name

Natural Habitat in Illinois1

Regions Where Native in Illinois2

Pollination3

Fruit Type4

Wildlife Attracted5

Special Features6

Establishment & Problems6

Adaptability & Growth Rate6

Juniperus virginiana

eastern redcedar

bluffs; rocky outcrops; old fields; dry woods; moist woods

N, C, S

dioecious; wind

fleshy, dark blue berry-like cones, 1/4" in diameter, with several seeds

songbirds, small and game mammals; high value; nesting cover

pyramidal shape; fine, scale-like leaves; exfoliating bark; 40-50' tall

transplants easily, B & B; can be mass planted for windbreaks; host for cedar apple and cedar hawthorn rusts

very adaptable from very dry to moist soils; don't plant near apples and hawthorns; medium growth rate

Pinus strobus

eastern white pine

moist woods

N, c, s

monoecious; wind

cones, 6-8" long, winged seeds

songbirds, game birds, small mammals; high value

pyramidal shape with horizontal layers; fine texture; 50-80' tall

transplants easily; white pine blister rust, white pine weevil; don't plant near Ribes species

best on moist, well-drained soils but adaptable to dry soil; intolerant of air pollution and salt spray; fast growing

 

DECIDUOUS SMALL TREES

Scientific Name

Common Name

Natural Habitat in Illinois1

Regions Where Native in Illinois2

Pollination3

Fruit Type4

Wildlife Attracted5

Special Features6

Establishment & Problems6

Adaptability & Growth Rate6

Aesculus pavia

see "Shrubs" table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amelanchier arborea(Amelanchier canadensis of some authors)

downy serviceberry, juneberry, shadbush, servicetree

wooded slopes; open rocky woods; edge of cliffs

N, C, S

flowers perfect; long-tongued bees (6), short-tongued bees (27), other Hymenoptera (1), Diptera (17)

fleshy pomes, purple- maroon, 1/4-1/3" in diameter

songbirds, gamebirds, small and game mammals; high value in early summer

beautiful form; white flowers; red fall color; smooth gray bark

transplants fairly easily, B & B; several rusts, fire blight, minor insect pests

needs well to moderately drained, moist soil; medium growth rate

Aralia spinosa

devil's-walking stick, Hercules' club

rich woods; edges of streams and woods

n, c, S

flowers perfect or polygamous; insects, probably many Diptera and Hymenoptera

fleshy, black drupes, 1/4" in diameter, with several small stones, produced in great quantity

songbirds, small and game mammals; high value

unusual habit with spiny, coarse stems and very large leaves; huge clusters of white flowers; produces suckers

transplants easily, BR; no serious diseases or insect pests

very adaptable to poor conditions; thrives with neglect; use with caution where people present due to spines; fast growing

Asimina triloba

pawpaw

low woods; wooded slopes; along streams

N, C, S

flowers perfect; Diptera (8)

fleshy, large, yellow berries, 2-5" long, with few seeds

wild turkey, game mammals; low value for others

unusual flowers; yellow fall color; root suckers, form colonies

somewhat difficult, transplant small trees B & B or container in early spring; few pests

best in moist soil; medium growth rate

Carpinus caroliniana

American hornbeam, blue-beech, musclewood

moist woods; ravines; rocky slopes along streams

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

small nuts, 1/3" long, covered by larger green bracts, the cluster 1" long

songbirds, gamebirds, small mammals; minor importance

smooth, gray bark; showy fruit clusters; yellow or orange fall color

somewhat difficult, transplant small trees B & B or container in early spring; minor diseases, none serious

best in moist soil, but can tolerate drier conditions; slow growing

Cercis canadensis

eastern redbud

rich woods; edges of woods; along streams; rocky openings; often withCornus florida

N, C, S

flowers perfect; long-tongued bees (22), short-tongued bees (19), Diptera (4), Lepidoptera (5)

brown, flat pods, 2-3" long, persisting through winter

generally unused by wildlife

flowers in early spring; yellow fall color

transplants well B & B; cankers,Verticilliumwilt

suitable for many soil conditions, except poorly drained, clay; medium growth rate

Cornus alternifolia

alternate-leaved dogwood, Pagoda dogwood

rich woods; wooded slopes and bluffs

N, C, S

flowers perfect; insects, probably Diptera and Hymenoptera

dark blue drupes, 1/4-1/3" in diameter, on red pedicels

upland gamebirds, songbirds, mammals; very important in late summer; nesting cover

beautiful horizontally layered habit; white flowers; maroon fall color

transplants easily B & B, slow to reestablish; many minor fungal diseases and insect pests, rarely serious

best in moist, acid to neutral soils; growth rate initially slow, becoming medium

Cornus drummondii

see "Shrubs" table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cornus florida

flowering dogwood

woods; wooded slopes; ravines; along bluffs; edges of prairies

C, S

flowers perfect; long-tongued bees (3), short-tongued bees (15), other Hymenoptera (2), Diptera (7)

fleshy red drupes, ovoid, 1/3" long, 3-4 in a cluster

wild turkey, bobwhite, songbirds; very high value in fall

showy white flower clusters; red fruits; red fall color

somewhat difficult to transplant, B & B in early spring; many potential diseases and pests, but trees generally do well anyway

prefers moist, well-drained acid soil; sensitive to pollutants; avoid strong drying summer and winter winds; growth rate initially slow, becoming medium

Crataegus crus-galli

cockspur hawthorn

wooded slopes; thickets; rocky areas; hill prairies

N, C, S

flowers perfect; long-tongued bees (9), short-tongued bees (26), other Hymenoptera (10), Diptera (23), Lepidoptera (3), Coleoptera (4)

fleshy, deep red pomes, 3/8-1/2" in diameter

upland game birds, songbirds; not relished, mostly late winter emergency food; good nesting cover

attractive flowers and fruits; glossy leaves

B & B in early spring as a small tree; cedar hawthorn rust and other rusts, fireblight

does well in poor, dry soil and city conditions; don't use where people are present due to thorns, thornless cultivar available; slow to medium growth rate

Crataegus mollis

downy hawthorn, red haw

moist woods; thickets; woodland borders

N, C, S

flowers perfect; long-tongued bees (4), short-tongued bees (28), other Hymenoptera (4), Diptera (30), Coleoptera (6)

fleshy, dull red pomes, 1/2-1" in diameter

see C. crus-galli above

attractive flowers and fruits

rather difficult to transplant, B & B in early spring; cedar hawthorn rust and other rusts, fireblight

does well in poor, dry soil; don't use where people are present due to thorns; slow growing

Crataegus phaenopyrum

Washington hawthorn

open woods; woodland borders; thickets

n, C, S

flowers perfect; insects

fleshy, bright red, glossy pomes, 1/4" in diameter, abundant

see C. crus-galli above

attractive flowers and fruits; lustrous dark green foliage turning orange to purple in fall

transplants well B & B in early spring or late autumn; cedar hawthorn rust and other rusts, fireblight

does well in poor, dry soil; don't use where people are present due to thorns; fast growing

Hamamelis virginiana

common witchhazel

moist woodlands; ravines

N, C, S

flowers perfect; insects

capsules, 1/2" long, maturing 1 year after flowering

upland game birds, fox squirrel; limited value

fragrant yellow flowers in fall; yellow fall color

rather difficult to transplant, B & B or container in early spring; no serious problems

avoid dry soils; somewhat tolerant of city conditions; medium growth rate

Ilex decidua

possomhaw, swamp holly, winterberry

bottomland woods; bases of bluffs; shaded cliffs

C, S

dioecious; insects

fleshy drupes, red, 1/4-1/3" in diameter, with several small pits; need a few male plants for fruit set

wild turkey, bobwhite, songbirds; high value

red fruits persist through winter on bare gray branches; forms thickets

transplants easily, B & B; no serious problems

adapts to open conditions with dry soil; slow to medium growth rate

Malus coronaria

sweet crab apple

woods; edges of fields; edges of prairies

N, C, S

flowers perfect; insects

fleshy, yellow-green pomes, fragrant, waxy, 1-1 1/2" in diameter

bobwhite, pheasant, songbirds; high value; nesting cover

large pink flowers before leaves unfold; forms thickets

transplants easily B & B; cedar apple rust, apple scab, fire blight

adaptable to dry soils; don't plant near junipers; medium growth rate

Malus ioensis

prairie or Iowa crab apple

edges of prairies and woodlands; rocky hillsides; fields

N, C, s

flowers perfect; insects

fleshy, yellow-green pomes, fragrant, waxy, 1-1 1/2" in diameter

see M. coronariaabove

large pink flowers before leaves unfold; forms thickets; host to cedar apple rust; susceptible to apple scab & fire blight

transplants easily B & B; cedar apple rust, apple scab, fire blight

adaptable to dry soils; don't plant near junipers; medium growth rate

Ostrya virginiana

Eastern hophornbeam, ironwood

dry soil on rocky slopes; upland woods

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

nutlets, 1/4-1/3" long, enclosed in a hop-like sac, the cluster 1- 1 1/2" long

songbirds, small mammals; limited value

beautiful habit; ornamental fruit pods; yellow fall color

difficult to transplant, slow to recover, B & B or container as small tree in early spring; no serious problems

sensitive to salt spray; best planted in moist soils, although tolerates dry conditions when established; slow growing

Prunus americana

see "Shrubs" table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ptelea trifoliata

common hop tree, wafer-ash, stinking-ash

low woods in ravines; rocky open woods; hill prairies; limestone cliffs

N, C, S

flowers polygamous; long-tongued bees (5), short-tongued bees (28), other Hymenoptera (14), Diptera (19), Lepidoptera (2)

flat, round samaras, yellow-green, 2/3-1" in diameter, produced in clusters

songbirds, upland ground birds, small mammals; intermediate value; nesting cover

glossy foliage; conspicuous fruits; tendency to sucker

transplants easily; no serious problems

adaptable to dry soil, full sun to shade; slow to medium growth rate

Rhus copallina

see "Shrubs" table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhus glabra

see "Shrubs" table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhus typhina

see "Shrubs" table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salix interior

sandbar willow

along streams; sandbars; bottomlands

N, C, S

dioecious; insects

capsules,1/2-3/4" long, produced in catkins, seeds with a ring of silky hairs

songbirds, game mammals; nesting cover; seeds used to line bird nests

fine textured, narrow foliage

transplants easily, BR or B & B; many bacterial and fungal diseases and insect pests

one of several native willows to consider planting in wet areas; fast growing

Viburnum lentago

nannyberry, sheepberry

moist woods; borders of streams; wooded slopes; uplands

N, C, S

flowers perfect; probably many Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, and Lepidoptera

fleshy drupes, red turning blue-black, oval, 1/2" in diameter; produced in clusters on red pedicels

upland gamebirds, songbirds, small and game mammals; high value in winter

creamy white flowers; fruit display; suckers to form thickets

transplants easily, B & B; no serious problems

very adaptable from moist to dry soils and shade to full sun; medium growth rate

Viburnum prunifolium

blackhaw, nannyberry

rocky upland woods; bluffs; upper slopes of ravines; edges of woods

N, C, S

flowers perfect; long-tongued bees (11), short-tongued bees (27), other Hymenoptera (2), Diptera (36), Lepidoptera (7)

fleshy drupes, red turning blue-black oval, 1/2" in diameter, produced in clusters on red pedicels

see V. lentagoabove

creamy white flowers; fall color often red; appearance similar to hawthorns (Crataegus)

transplants easily B & B; no serious problems

very adaptable from moist to dry soils and shade to full sun; slow to medium growth rate

 

DECIDUOUS MEDIUM-SIZED TREES

Scientific Name

Common Name

Natural Habitat in Illinois1

Regions Where Native in Illinois2

Pollination3

Fruit Type4

Wildlife Attracted5

Special Features6

Establishment & Problems6

Adaptability & Growth Rate6

Acer rubrum

red maple

swamps; low woods; uplands, slopes; bluff tops

N, C, S

flowers polygamous; primarily wind

samaras, 3/4-1" long

songbirds, bobwhite small and game mammals; high value in early summer

often outstanding fall color; smooth gray bark

transplants easily BR or B & B in larger sizes; minor insect pests

adaptable to different soil types, but does best in moist conditions; medium to fast growth rate

Aesculus glabra

Ohio buckeye

moist woods, bottomland woods,

N, C, S

flowers perfect; insects, especially Hymenoptera

leathery, prickly capsule enclosing 1-3 nut-like seeds, each 1-1 1/2" in diameter

squirrels; low value; poisonous to humans

greenish-yellow flowers in late spring; unusual palmately compound leaves

moderately difficult to transplant, B & B; leaf blotch, minor fungal diseases and insect pests

best in moist soils; develops leaf scorch in windy, hot, droughty conditions; medium growth rate

Diospyros virginiana

common persimmon

dry woods; rich bottomlands; edges of fields; fence rows

n, C, S

flowers polygamous, often dioecious; long-tongued bees (6), short-tongued bees (2), Lepidoptera (1)

fleshy berries, 1-1 1/2" in diameter, dull orange

songbirds, gamebirds, small and game mammals; valuable winter food

checked bark; yellow to reddish purple fall color; forms thickets

difficult to transplant, B & B as small tree in early spring; no major problems

very adaptable to dry, infertile soils; tolerant of city conditions; slow to medium growth rate

Morus rubra

red mulberry

edge of woodlands; lowland to upland woods; thickets

N, C, S

dioecious; wind

fleshy, clusters resembling blackberries, 1" long, composed of tiny drupes, red turning purple

songbirds, gamebirds, game and small mammals; high value in summer

glossy leaves; broad spreading habit; wildlife spread fruits widely and species becomes weedy

transplants easily BR or B & B; many bacterial and fungal diseases and insect pests

very adaptable to city conditions and poor soil, but best in moist soil; fast growing

Populus tremuloides

quaking aspen

woods; along streams; sandy areas

N, C

dioecious; wind, long-tongued bees (1)

capsules 1/4-1/3" long, produced in catkins, seeds with a tuft of silky hairs

songbirds, pheasant; limited value

leaves flutter in the breeze; yellow fall color; pale gray bark; suckers to form colonies

transplants easily, BR or B & B; many disease and insect pest problems

indifferent to most soil conditions; salt tolerant; fast growing

Prunus virginiana

common chokecherry

rich woods; thickets; sandy soil; lakeshores; dunes; dry exposed rocky cliffs

N, C, s

flowers perfect; long-tongued bees (14), short-tongued bees (26), other Hymenoptera (3), Diptera (23), Lepidoptera (7), Coleoptera (3)

fleshy drupes, red turning purple-black, 1/3" in diameter, abundant in hanging clusters

upland gamebirds, songbirds, small and game mammals; high value

white flowers in long racemes; suckers form colonies

transplants easily B & B; host to many pests, but trees still grow well

does well in moist to dry soils; salt tolerant; especially suitable to northern Illinois; medium growth rate

Quercus marilandica

blackjack oak

dry rocky uplands; sandy areas

C, S

monoecious; wind

acorns 3/4-1" long, maturing in 2 seasons

upland gamebirds, large songbirds, small and game mammals; high value

scrubby tree with interesting coarse winter silhouette

difficult to transplant; B & B in early spring; some fungal diseases, none serious

adapted to dry, poor soils; slow growing

Quercus phellos

willow oak

along streams; around lakes and ponds

S

monoecious; wind

acorns 1/2 " long, maturing in 2 seasons

upland gamebirds, large songbirds, small and game mammals; high value

narrow, willow-like leaves; excellent dense oval crown

easier to transplant than most oaks, B & B when dormant; no serious problems

prefers moist soils, but adaptable to very poor conditions; medium growth rate

Quercus stellata

post oak

dry, rocky upland woods; dry bluffs; flatwoods

n, C, S

monoecious; wind

acorns 1/2-1" long, maturing in 1 season

upland gamebirds, large songbirds, small and game mammals; high value

picturesque twisted limbs, coarse texture; brown leaves persist through winter

somewhat difficult to transplant, B & B in early spring; no serious problems

adapted to dry, poor soils; slow growing

Salix amygdaloides

peachleaf willow

edges of streams and ponds; low woods

N, C, S

dioeicous; long-tongued bees (7), short-tongued bees (27), Diptera (7)

capsules 1/4-1/3" long, produced in 1" long catkins; seeds hairy

large and small mammals feed on leaves, shoots and bark; moderate value

peach-like leaves; branches somewhat weeping

readily transplanted BR or B & B; many fungal and bacterial diseases and insect pests; weak wooded

can tolerate wet to dry soil, does well in poor compacted soil; fast growing

Sassafras albidum

sassafras

dry cliffs; wooded slopes; dry soils at edges of woods and prairies; sandy soil; old fields

N, C, S

dioecious; long-tongued bees (1), short-tongued bees (26), other Hymenoptera (12), Diptera (57), Lepidoptera (1), Coleoptera (3), Hemiptera (1)

fleshy drupes, 1/2" long, oval, blue-black on red stalks; produced in every 2-3 years

songbirds, gamebirds; high value

 

magnificant fall color; small yellowish flowers in spring 

very difficult to transplant, B & B or container in early spring; few problems

best in moist soil, will tolerate dry soil when established; some chlorosis in high pH soils; medium to fast growth rate

Ulmus alata

winged elm, cork elm, wahoo

rocky upland woods; bluffs; ravine bottoms; along streams

c, S

perfect; wind

samaras, 1/4-1/3" long

minor use by birds, small and game mammals

winged stems; habit reminiscent of a small American elm

transplants easily, B & B; some individual trees susceptible to powdery mildew

adaptable to moist or dry soils

 

DECIDUOUS LARGE TREES

Scientific Name

Common Name

Natural Habitat in Illinois1

Regions Where Native in Illinois2

Pollination3

Fruit Type4

Wildlife Attracted5

Special Features6

Establishment & Problems6

Adaptability & Growth Rate6

Acer saccharinum

silver, soft, or white maple

low and bottomland woods; margins of ponds and lakes

N, C, S

polygamous; wind; long-tongued bees (1)

samaras, 1 1/2-3" long

songbirds, upland game birds, small mammals; high value in early summer

fine-textured leaves that are silver below; very rapid rate of growth

transplants easily BR or B & B; many fungal, bacterial, and insect problems; weak wooded

adaptable to moist or dry soils; fast growing

Acer saccharum

sugar, hard, or rock maple

moist upland woods; along rivers and streams

N, C, S

dioecious; wind

samaras, 1 1/4-1 1/2" long

songbirds, upland game birds, small and game mammals; high value in early fall

outstanding fall color, variable from tree to tree

transplant B & B; leaf scorch in droughts, numerous potential pests, but rarely serious

prefers somewhat moist soil; not very tolerant of compacted soil, salt or air pollution; slow growing

Betula nigra

river or red birch

bottomland woods

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

tiny winged nutlets produced within woody cone-like structures, 1-1 1/2" long

songbirds, gamebirds, small mammals; moderate value

young bark flaking and peeling, light to bright cinnamon brown

transplants easily B & B; leaf chlorosis in high pH soils; few pests

best suited to moist soils, but adapts to dry conditions; medium to fast growth rate

Carya cordiformis

bitternut hickory

bottomland woods, swamps, stream banks

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

3/4-1 1/2" long, roundish, 4-ridged; husk splitting to release 1 nut; nut smooth, round,, laterally flattened, kernel bitter

songbirds, woodpeckers, upland game birds, squirrels, other small mammals; moderate value

yellow-brown fall color

transplant B & B in spring, easier than other hickories to move; no major disease or pest problems

best in moist soils; slow to medium growth rate

Carya illinoensis

pecan

low, shaded woods of floodplains and river valleys

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

1 1/4-2" long, oblong, with 4 narrow wings; husk splitting to release 1 nut; kernel sweet

see C. cordiformisabove, but higher value due to sweet kernel

glossy, narrow leaflets; can develop into beautiful shade tree

difficult to transplant, B & B in early spring; no major disease or pest problems

best in moist soils; plants planted in north should come from sources in northern part of range; slow to medium growth rate

Carya ovata

shagbark or shellbark hickory

dry upland woods and slopes; moist valleys

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

1 1/4-2 1/2" long, round, 4-angled; husk splitting to release 1 nut; kernel sweet

see C. cordiformisabove, but higher value due to sweet kernel

picturesque habit; striking shaggy bark; yellow-brown fall color

difficult to transplant, B & B in early spring; leaf blotch, anthracnose, hickory bark beetle

best in moist soils, but adaptable to many soil conditions; slow growing

Carya tomentosa

mockernut or white hickory

dry upland woods and ridges

n, C, S

monoecious; wind

1 1/2-2" long, round, 4-angled; husk splitting to release 1 nut; kernel sweet

see C. cordiformisabove, but higher value due to sweet kernel

picturesque habit; yellow-brown fall color

difficult to transplant, B & B in early spring; no major problems

best in moist soils, but adaptable to many soil conditions; slow growing

Catalpa speciosa

Northern or Western catalpa

bottomland woods; floodplains

n, c, S

flowers perfect; insects, especially Hymenoptera

narrow capsules, 8-20" long and 1/2" in diameter; seeds winged, extremely numerous

low value

beautiful large white flowers in upright clusters; fruits persist through winter

transplant B & B in spring; minor diseases in insect pests; weak wooded

adaptable to wet or dry soils, tolerates high alkalinity; medium to fast growth rate

Celtis occidentalis

hackberry

rich woods; river valleys; upland slopes and bluffs

N, C, S

perfect; wind

fleshy drupes, orange-red becoming purple-black 3/8" in diameter

songbirds, woodpeckers, upland game birds, game mammals; fairly high value

good shade or street tree; light gray bark with corky ridges and warty projections; yellow fall color

transplants easily BR or B & B in larger sizes; witches broom and galls frequent, several other pests, but seldom serious

tolerates many soil conditions, moderately wet to very dry; withstands city conditions; medium to fast growth rate

Fagus grandifolia

American beech

bottomlands; rich, moist soils; wooded slopes

n, c, S

monoecious; wind

prickly burs 1/2-3/4" long, enclosing usually 2 nuts, each 3-angled and 5/8-7/8" long

songbirds, woodpeckers, upland game birds, small and game mammals; high value

beautiful shape, nearly as broad as tall; smooth gray bark; slow growing and long-lived, plant for future generations

B & B in spring; several pests and diseases, but rarely serious

best in moist, well-drained soils; not suited to wet or compacted soils; slow growing

Fraxinus americana

white ash

bottomland forests

N, C, S

dioecious; wind

samaras 1-2 1/2" long, hanging in clusters; some cultivars are nonfruiting male trees

songbirds, yellow-bellied sapsucker, upland game birds and mammals; fairly high value

large shade tree; leaves dark gloss green in summer, turning yellow to maroon in fall; some cultivars selected for fall color

transplants easily B & B; suseptible to many disease and insect problems but vigorously growing trees generally trouble-free

best in moist, well-drained soil, but drought tolerant; medium growth rate

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

green ash

rich bottomland forests

N, C, S

dioecious; wind

samaras 1-2 1/2" long, hanging in clusters; some cultivars are nonfruiting male trees

see F. americanaabove

large shade tree; leaves dark glossy green in summer; fall color variable, usually yellow

transplants easily, B & B; same problems asF. americanaabove

exceptionally adaptable to soil conditions, drought and salt tolerant; fast growing

Gleditsia triacanthos

common honeylocust

river floodplains; upland forests

N, C, S

monoecious; insects

flat, twisted pods 6-18" long and 1-1 1/2" wide, persisting through winter; most cultivars are nonfruiting male trees

small and game mammals; game birds; minor value

fine textured foliage, does not kill out grass underneath; trunks with massive clusters of thorns; cultivars lack thorns

transplants easily, BR or B & B; a great many disease, insect problems, maybe a result of overplanting this species

extremely adaptable; plant with caution due to diseases and pests; fast growing

Gymnocladus dioicus

Kentucky coffeetree

rich bottomlands; ravines; moist lower slopes

N, C, S

monoecious to dioecious; long-tongued bees (3), Lepidoptera (1)

thick large pods 4-7" long and 2" wide, persistent through winter

minor use

picturesque coarse habit; persistent pods; large bipinnately compound leaves; flowers fragrant, inconspicuous

transplant B & B; no serious problems

best in moist soils, but very adaptable to dry soils and city conditions; salt tolerant; medium growth rate

Juglans nigra

black walnut

bottomland and floodplain woods

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

round drupes, 1 1/2-2 1/2" in diameter, with a thin green husk enclosing a single large nut

songbirds, woodpeckers, game mammals; high value

large shade tree for open areas; valuable wood

somewhat difficult to transplant, B & B in early spring; caterpillars can defoliate trees; roots produce a chemical toxic to some other plants

best in deep, rich moist soils;Juglans cinerea, butternut, is similar but more tolerant of dry soils; growth fast on good sites

Liquidambar styraciflua

sweetgum, redgum

bottomland and floodplain woods; ravines

n, C, S

monoecious; wind

small capsules clustered into a woody round structure 1-1 1/2" in diameter, persistent through winter

songbirds, upland gamebirds, yellow-bellied sapsucker game mammals; minor value

superb fall color with shades of yellow-purple-red; beautiful shape

somewhat difficult to transplant, B & B in early spring; slow to reestablish; several pests, none usually serious

best in deep moist soil; some chlorosis in high pH soils; medium to fast growth rate

Liriodendron tulipifera

yellow-poplar, tuliptree, tulip-magnolia, tulip-poplar

rich woodlands; ravines

C, S

perfect; insects

cone-like, 2-3" long, separating into many samaras

songbirds, bobwhite yellow-bellied sapsucker, small mammals; intermediate value

orange and green flowers; large shade tree, plant where size is not a problem; golden yellow fall color

transplants easily B & B in early spring; many diseases and insects, especially aphids, but trees generally do well

best suited to moist, well-drained soils, not tolerant of drought or compacted soils; fast growing

Magnolia acuminata

cucumber tree or magnolia

moist woods; along streams

c, S

perfect; insects, especially Coleoptera

follicles in a woody cone-or cucumber-like structure, 2-3" long; seeds hanging from a thread, covered with a fleshy red aril

songbirds; low value because seeds not produced in quantity each year

good shade tree for large areas; excellent habit

transplant B & B in early spring; few problems

best in moist, deep soil; not tolerant of excessive wet or dry conditons or pollution; medium to fast growth rate

Nyssa sylvatica

black tupelo, blackgum

bottomland woods; dry ridges

n, C, S

dioecious; insects

fleshy drupes, 3/8-1/2" long, ellipsoid, blue-black

songbirds, upland gamebirds, woodpeckers, game mammals; high value

glorious brilliant yellow to orange and scarlet fall color

difficult to transplant, B & B in early spring; no serious problems

best in moist soil but adapts to dry; does not tolerate high pH soils; slow to medium growth rate

Platanus occidentalis

American sycamore or planetree, buttonwood, buttonball-tree

bottomlands woods; floodplains; along streams; around lakes and ponds

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

many nutlets in a bristly ball, 1-1 1/4" in diameter

purple finch, goldfinch, rodents; minor value

mottled bark with darker outer layer peeling to expose light inner bark; large shade tree with a thick trunk

transplants easily BR or B & B; anthracnose in moist cool springs, many other diseases and pests

adaptable to many soil conditions; tolerates city conditions; medium to fast growth rate

Populus deltoides

Eastern cottonwood

bottomland woods; along streams

N, C, S

dioecious; mostly wind, long-tongued bees (1)

capsules 3/8" long, produced in catkins, seeds with a tuft of silky hairs

songbirds, yellow-bellied sapsucker; fairly high value

large shade tree for use in areas with lots of space; because of weak wood plant away from buildings and roads

transplants easily BR or B & B; susceptible to many diseases and insect pests; weak wooded

adaptable from wet to dry soils and low to high pH; tolerates city conditions, salt spray; be aware of limitations before using; fast growing

Prunus serotina

black cherry

moist woods; edge of woods; roadsides; fence rows

N, C, S

perfect; long-tongued bees (7), short tongued bees (23), other Hymenoptera (2), Diptera (29), Lepidoptera (2), Coleoptera (1)

fleshy drupes, red turning black, 1/3" in diameter, abundant in hanging clusters

songbirds, upland gamebirds, woodpeckers, small and game mammals; high value in late summer

white flowers in long racemes; yellow to red fall color; wildlife spread fruits widely and plants become weedy

somewhat difficult to transplant, B & B in early spring or late fall; host to many pests, but trees thrive anyway

very adaptable, does well in moist to dry soils; moderately fast growth rate

Quercus alba

white oak

mesic woods; wooded slopes; dry upland woods

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

acorns 1/2-1" long, maturing in 1 season

game birds, small and game mammals; high value

state tree of Illinois; picturesque habit when grown in open; large shade tree; fall color often wine red

difficult to transplant, B & B in early spring; many potential pests and diseases, such as oak wilt, but none usually serious

best in moist soil but tolerates dry conditions; salt tolerant; sensitive to soil compaction and grade changes; slow to medium initial growth rate, becoming very slow

Quercus bicolor

swamp white oak

bottomland woods

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

acorns 1/2-1" long, maturing in 1 season

see Q. alba

large shade tree

fairly easy to transplant, B & B in early spring; few disease or pest problems; chlorosis in high pH soils

best in moist soil but adaptable; tolerates drought; growth rate medium, becoming slow

Quercus imbricaria

shingle oak

upland woods; dry exposed sandstone cliffs; moist soils along streams

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

acorns 1/2-3/4" long, maturing in 2 seasons

see Q. alba

simple, entire, lanceolate leaves; yellow to russet fall color; leaves persist through winter

fairly easy to transplant, B & B in early spring; same problems asQ. alba

best in moist soil but adaptable to dry soils; pH adaptable; slow to medium growth rate

Quercus macrocarpa

bur oak

dry ridges to bottomland woods

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

acorns 3/4-2" long, maturing in 1 season

see Q. alba

large shade tree for spacious areas; coarse interesting habit

transplant asQ. alba; few problems

adaptable to many soil conditions; prefers high pH; tolerates city conditions; slow growing

Quercus muehlenbergii

chinquapin oak, yellow chestnut oak

dry limestone cliffs; upland woods

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

acorns 1/2-1" long, maturing in 1 season

see Q. alba

handsome habit; fall color variable, yellow to orange or brown

transplant asQ. alba; few problems

best in moist well-drained soils, but adaptable to poor dry soils; prefers high pH; initial growth rate medium, becoming slow

Quercus palustris

pin oak

mesic soil; floodplain woods; along streams; flatwoods; edges of ponds and swamps

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

acorns 1/2" long, maturing in 2 seasons

see Q. alba

attractive pyramidal habit with pendulous lower branches; fall color scarlet, russet, or bronze

transplants easily B & B; few diseases and pests; chlorosis in high pH soils

best in moist to wet, well-drained soils; tolerant of city conditions; don't plant in high pH soils; medium to fast growth rate

Quercus rubra (Q. borealis)

northern red oak

rich, upland woods; along river banks; on well drained slopes

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

acorns 1/2-1" long, maturing in 2 seasons

see Q. alba

excellent shade tree; fall color russet to scarlet

transplants easily B & B in spring; oak wilt, few other serious problems; chlorosis in high pH soils

best in well-drained, moist soil; tolerant of city conditions, salt, and air pollutions; medium to fast growth rate

Quercus shumardii

Shumard oak

bottomland woods; stream banks; limestone ridges

n, C, S

monoecious; wind

acorns 5/8-1" long, maturing in 2 seasons

see Q. alba

pyramidal habit; fall color russet to red

transplants easily B & B in spring; few problems

adaptable to wet or dry soils; drought tolerant; growth rate medium

Quercus velutina

black oak

upland woods; rocky ridges; sandy soil; savannahs

N, C, S

monoecious; wind

acorns 1/2-3/4" long, maturing in 2 seasons

see Q. alba

can have an unkempt appearance due to dead branches; fall color dull red

transplant asQ. alba; very susceptible to oak wilt, few other problems

prefers moist, well-drained acid soils, but adaptable to very dry conditions; medium growth rate

Robinia pseudoacacia

black locust

woodlands; thickets; roadsides

n, c, S

perfect; long-tongued bees (7), Lepidoptera (3)

flat pods 2-4" long

little used by wildlife

fragrant and showy white flowers; produces suckers forming colonies; nitrogen fixing; spreads into adjacent areas

transplants easily BR or B & B; locust borers a major problem, other minor diseases and pests

very adaptable to most soil types, except those very wet; thrives in poor conditions; tolerates salt & drought; fast growing

Salix nigra

black willow

wet ground; frequently along rivers and streams

N, C, S

dioecious; long-tongued bees (14), short-tongued bees (43), other Hymenoptera (3), Diptera (32), Lepidoptera (2), Coleoptera (3)

capsules, 3/16" long, produced in catkins, seeds with a ring of silky hairs

evening and pine grosbeaks; moderate value

largest North American willow

transplants easily BR or B & B; many diseases and insect pests

grows in almost any soil, wet to dry; growth very fast

Taxodium distichum

bald cypress

swamps and low, wet woods

c, S

monoecious; wind

round cones 1" in diameter

little used by wildlife

deciduous conifer with delicate foliage; attractive pyramidal habit; fall color russet; reddish brown fibrous bark in winter

transplants readily B & B in spring; few diseases or pests; chlorosis in high pH soils

native to southern swamps, but adaptable to dry conditons; salt tolerant; plant in acid soils; medium growth rate

Tilia americana

American basswood, or linden

moist woodlands; ravines; upland woods

N, C, S

perfect; long-tongued bees (2), short-tongued bees (11), other Hymenoptera (3), Diptera (11), Lepidoptera (1), Coleoptera (1)

nut-like, 1/2" in diameter, several in a cluster below a large bract

small and game mammals; low value

fragrant and showy cream flowers; large shade tree for spacious areas

transplants easily B & B in spring; host to many diseases and pests, but not often serious

best in moist, deep soils, but adaptable to rather dry conditions; sensitive to air pollution, drought, and compacted soils; medium growth rate

 

Click here for published references consulted for this project.

1 Information on natural habitat based primarily on: Elias (1989); Fernald (1950); Little (1980); Miller & Tehon (1929); Mohlenbrock (1986).

2 Information on region based primarily on: Mohlenbrock & Ladd (1978); Mohlenbrock (1986); "n" = north of Interstate 80; "c" = central, between Interstate 80 and Interstate 64; "s" = south of Interstate 64. A capital letter indicates that the species is native to that region while a lower case letter indicates that the species can be cultivated in the region although it is not native there.

3 Information on pollinators mostly from Robertson (1929) supplemented by personal observations. Perfect flowers = flowers have both male & female parts; monoecious= separate male and female flowers on the same plant; dioecious = separate male and female flowers on different plants; polygamous =a mix of perfect and/or male and female flowers on the same plant. The numbers in parentheses refer to the number of species reported visiting this species by Robertson (1929)

4 Information on fruit primarily based on: Dirr (1990); Elias (1989); Fernald (1950); Little (1980); Rehder (1940).

5 Information on wildlife primarily based on: DeGraaf & Witman (1979); Ehrlich et al. (1988); Elias (1989); Gill & Healy (1974); Hightshoe (1988); Martin et al. (1951).

6 Information on Special, Establishment & Problems, and Adaptability & Growth Rate based primarily on: Dirr (1990); Flint (1983); Hightshoe (1988); Walker & Giles (1985); Yiesla & Giles (1992). B & B = balled & burlapped; BR = bare root. NOTE: The information on disease and insect pests can be viewed two different ways. In traditional landscape approaches, such problems are considered deleterious and attempts are made to use species with few diseases and pests and to control them with pesticides. However, in the context of Corridors for Tomorrow, native pathogenic organisms are part of the original biodiversity of Illinois, and hence their continued presence in the state could be encouraged.



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