State Tree: American Elm
The Bay State, 'We by the sword we
seek peace, but peace only
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Native Trees of Massachusetts
•A-Z by scientific
•A-Z by common
For state A-Z list click state name below.
Massachusetts ecosystems are diverse
and beautiful with hundreds of miles of hiking trails meandering through rolling deciduous and hardwood-conifer forests. Lakes, swamps, rivers, mountains, valleys and more offer a variety of experiences for the nature lover in Massachusetts. While exploring, some of the forest types you may encounter are oak-hardwood and beech-birch-maple, as well as coniferous forests of pitch and eastern white pine in the Atlantic Coastal Pine Barrens and hemlock in the more rugged regions. Visitors to Douglas State Forest will have an
opportunity to see a rare Atlantic White Ceder swampland and may find many more rare species in the Great Plains of Martha's Vineyard. In addition to rare or endangered species, old growth forests estimated over 400 years, may be found throughout the 100,000 acres set aside in Massachusetts' 34 forests. Not only are some of the forests old, but they hold some very large trees. In fact, the sugar maple, northern red oak, and hophornbeam National Champion trees reside in the state.
Adopted in March 1942, American elm trees are large, stately, deciduous trees found in throughout the eastern two-thirds of North America. It is the state tree for both
Massachusetts and North Dakota. Massachusetts chose American Elm as it was the tree species Georgia Washington stood beneath when he assumed command of the Continental Army in 1775.
A rapid growing tree species, American Elms may be 50 feet tall in only 20 years. At maturity, they can reach heights of 150 feet feet; although the current United States National Champion measures 111 feet. The leaves of Ulmus americana are thick, glossy, double-toothed, and change from yellowish when young to dark green when mature. The bark is grey, deeply furrowed, and may be somewhat flaky. Often forked, thick branches arch upward and create an open and wide canopy when open grown.
Massachusetts Native Tree Facts
Forested acres: 3.22 million
Percent of total area forested: 64%
Predominant Forest Type(s): oak-hardwoods, beech-birch-maple, white/red pine-hemlock
Number of National Forests: 0
Number of State Forests: 34
Number of Tree city USA communities: 39
Number of invasive tree species: 27 (see state list for noxious/invasive plants)
Number of prohibited tree species: 11
Insects of Concern: Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Longhorned Beetle, Winter Moth, Hemlock Wooly adelgid
Pathogens of Concern: Dutch Elm Disease
Number or Rare, Threatened or Endangered Species: 12
Number of tree families in our collection: 25
US Forest Service
Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Massachusetts Secretary of State
United States Department Of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Services: PLANTS Database
Additional state resources:
Massachusetts State Parks
University of Massachusetts Amherst: Center for Agriculture, Research and Extension
Massachusetts Native Tree Families and Genera
Useful information while browsing species:
• How to read a botanical name
• How to use our species boxes:
click to enlarge.
-Color denotes a tree that is rare or endangered
Please note: This is not a complete list of all native tree families and species found in Massachusetts. We are constantly working towards a more comprehensive list and will add families and their species as completed.
Follow the links to view species native to Massachusetts. If the genus is not linked, species are listed on the family page.
Toxicodendron, Poison Sumac
Bignoniaceae, Trumpet Creeper
in the future or those which are already rare or declining.
• Endangered- E- native species in danger of extinction through all or part of their native range, or those deemed in danger of
extirpation from Massachusetts.
Tree species with status present in Massachusetts (see related links for full list):
Alnus viridis ssp. crispa- Mountain Alder
Native plant species considered rare in Massachusetts meet one
or more of the following state categories based on biological
research and/or inventory:
• Special Concern- SC- native species documented on the decline or
having such low numbers, which if allowed to continue, may lead to the
species becoming threatened within Massachusetts
• Threatened- T- native species which are likely to become endangered
Massachusetts Endangered or Threatened Tree Species
Looking for a nursery near you?
Check out our nursery listing by county below!
Sorry, we do not currently have any tree nursery listings for this state. We do update these lists, so please check back.
Betula pumelia- Swamp Birch
Crataegus bicknellii- Bicknell's Hawthorn
Ilex montana- Mountain Winterberry
Magnolia virginiana- Sweet Bay Magnolia
Morus rubra- Red Mulberry
Populus heterophylla- Swamp Cottonwood
Sorbus decora- Northern Mountain Ash
Thuja occidentalis- Northern White Cedar, Arborvitae
American Elm, Ulmus americana