Tree Notes is about trees -- especially native trees, trees for wildlife, and trees in history.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Native trees for dry, steep sites

Native trees that will grow on dry hillsides

These native trees will tolerate sites with excessive drainage -- hillsides, banks, or slopes, and extremely coarse soils. They will also tolerate droughty conditions, though most of them would like to have a little water sometimes. The common name of each tree is linked to its page in the USDA Plants Database.

Betula populifolia -- Gray birch (tolerates wet to dry conditions)
Carya tomentosa -- Mockernut hickory (prefers some moisture, tolerates dry)
Cotinus americanus -- American smoketree (prefers moist, tolerates dry)
Crataegus crusgali -- Cockspur hawthorn (prefers moist, tolerates dry)
Crataegus mollis -- Downy hawthorn (prefers moist, tolerates dry)
Crataegus nitida -- Glossy hawthorn (prefers moist, tolerates dry)
Crataegus phaenopyrum -- Washington hawthorn (prefers moist, tolerates dry)
Crataegus punctata -- Frosted (or dotted) hawthorn (prefers moist, tolerates dry)
Fraxinus quadrangulata -- Blue ash (tolerates wet to dry conditions)
Juniperus virginiana -- Eastern redcedar (tolerates wet to dry conditions)
Liridendron tulipifera -- Tuliptree or yellow poplar (prefers some moisture, tolerates dry)
Maclura pomifera -- Osage orange or hedgeapple (prefers moist, tolerates dry)
Pinus banksiana -- Jack pine (prefers some moisture, tolerates dry)
Pinus ponderosa -- Ponderosa pine (average to dry conditions)
Pinus rigida -- Pitch pine (average to dry conditions)
Populus deltoides -- Cottonwood or eastern poplar (tolerates wet to dry)
Prunus americana -- American wild plum (prefers some moisture, tolerates dry)
Prunus pennsylvanica -- Pin cherry (tolerates wet to dry)
Quercus marilandica -- Blackjack oak (dry)
Quercus muhlenbergi -- Chinkapin oak (dry)
Quercus velutina -- Black oak (prefers some moisture, tolerates dry)
Rhus species -- Various sumacs (prefer some moisture, tolerate dry)
Robinia pseudoacacia -- Black locust (prefers some moisture, tolerates dry)
Sassafras albidum -- Sassafras (tolerates wet to dry)

2 comments -- please add yours:

Anonymous said...

Wow - for a 'non-arborist' as you label yourself, you are truly knowledgeable! I am from half a world away - India, to be precise - and can see fall colors only in pictures. Your site came up as I was trying to understand Dennis the Menace's favorite drink - root beer! What does sassafras taste like? woody?lemony/sharp? How DOES one describe a taste?

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your insight!

Click any label...

advice (45) alder trees (1) Arbor Day (1) ash trees (11) Atlantic white cedar (1) atmosphere (2) autumn (1) bald cypress trees (8) bark (8) bayberry trees (1) beech trees (8) big trees (11) birch trees (2) black cherry trees (1) black locust trees (2) black walnut trees (7) Bradford pear trees (2) buckeye trees (2) butternut trees (1) catalpa trees (4) cherry trees (2) chestnut trees (1) Christmas trees (1) copyright (1) corkwood (1) crabapple trees (1) dogwood trees (6) drought (2) Eastern redbud trees (5) Eastern redcedar (5) ecosystem (6) education (5) elm trees (4) emerald ash borer (11) Empress tree (2) fast growing trees (7) festivals and carnivals (2) fir trees (1) firewood (6) foliage (11) forest (14) forest fires (1) forestry (7) freebies (2) ginkgo trees (1) hackberry trees (4) hawthorn trees (3) hemlock trees (1) hickory trees (11) historic trees (9) history (42) holly trees (1) honeylocust trees (2) hophornbean trees (1) hoptree (1) hornbeam trees (2) internet (3) invasive (13) juniper trees (5) Kentucky coffeetree (2) landscaping (3) larch trees (1) linden trees (1) logging (4) maple trees (10) mimosa trees (3) mistakes (14) narrow trees (1) native fruit (9) native trees (16) oak trees (38) old growth forests (5) ornamental trees (6) osage orange (5) pawpaw trees (1) pecan trees (1) persimmon tree (3) pine trees (9) poems (5) poison-sumac (1) poplar trees (10) prehistoric trees (3) quizzes etc. (1) rhododendron trees (1) sassafras trees (3) serviceberry trees (2) Silver maple trees (2) small trees (4) spring (7) spruce trees (4) statistics (2) sumac trees (4) sweetgum trees (4) sycamore trees (10) tall trees (5) tree cavities (1) tree identification (8) Tree of heaven (2) tree planting (11) tree problems (40) tree removal (2) tree roots (5) trees for problem spots (7) tuliptrees (tulip poplar) (2) urban forest (7) viburnum trees (1) wetlands (5) wild plum trees (4) wildlife trees (27) willow trees (6) witchhazel trees (1) woodworking (2) yellowwood trees (1) yew trees (1)

Enrich your life with the study of trees.

"The power to recognize trees at a glance without examining their leaves or flowers or fruit as they are seen, for example, from the car-window during a railroad journey, can only be acquired by studying them as they grow under all possible conditions over wide areas of territory. Such an attainment may not have much practical value, but once acquired it gives to the possessor a good deal of pleasure which is denied to less fortunate travelers."

Charles Sprague Sargent (1841-1927)

Print references I frequently consult

Benvie, Sam. Encyclopedia of North American Trees. Buffalo, NY: Firefly, 2000.

Brockman, C. Frank. Trees of North America: A Guide to Field Identification. Ed. Herbert S. Zim. New York: Golden, 1986.

Cliburn, Jerry, and Ginny Clomps. A Key to Missouri Trees in Winter: An Identification Guide. Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri, 1980.

Collingwood, G. H., Warren David Brush, and Devereux Butcher. Knowing Your Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1978.

Dirr, Michael. Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs: an Illustrated Encyclopedia. Portland, Or.: Timber, 1997.

Elias, Thomas S. The Complete Trees of North America; Field Guide and Natural History. New York: Book Division, Times Mirror Magazines, 1980.

Grimm, William Carey. The Book of Trees;. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole, 1962.

Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America: a Planting Design Manual for Environmental Designers. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1988.

Little, Elbert L. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees. New York: Chanticleer, 1996.

Martin, Alexander C., Herbert S. Zim, and Arnold L. Nelson. American Wildlife and Plants. New York: McGraw Hill, 1951.

Mitchell, Alan F., and David More. The Trees of North America. New York, NY: Facts On File Publications, 1987.

Randall, Charles E. Enjoying Our Trees. Washington: American Forestry Association, 1969.

Settergren, Carl D., and R. E. McDermott. Trees of Missouri. Columbia: University Extension, 1995.

Sternberg, Guy, and James W. Wilson. Native Trees for North American Landscapes: from the Atlantic to the Rockies. Portland: Timber, 2004.

Wharton, Mary E., and Roger W. Barbour. Trees and Shrubs of Kentucky. Lexington: University of Kentucky, 1973.

Wyman, Donald. Trees for American Gardens. New York: Macmillan, 1965.

Photos and text copyright © 2006-2010 by Genevieve L. Netz. All rights reserved. Do not republish without written permission. My e-mail address is