Types of trees in Maine are gorgeous forest trees because the state itself has more than 80 percent of its land forested. There’s a good reason why these tree types should capture your attention.

Types of Trees in Maine PlantAmerica

Maine is one of the most attractive sites to get lost in. But before you do this, it’s important to know the common tree species in the region. This post will take you through the native and non-native Maine trees.

List of Types of Trees in Maine

1. Eastern White Pine

Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus of the Pinus genus) is a common tree of the Pinaceae family in the State of Maine and has been an important symbol for individuals for thousands of years. For this reason, Maine is often referred to as the “Pine Tree State.” 

– Growth Requirements

White pine is found throughout eastern North America, which means that this pine tree grows well where the climate is cool and humid. The tree isn’t quite selective in terms of soil since it performs well in different types of soils. Compared to other tree species, white pine has a faster growth rate.

Eastern White Pine Plant America

– Features

Eastern white pine can reach 150 feet high and about three feet or more in diameter when provided with the right environment to thrive. Due to its huge size and straight truck, the tree is often a preferred source of lumber for building.

Traditionally, white pine has been used as a Christmas tree in most homes because of its conical shape and soft needles. This might make it confusing to distinguish this tree from other similar trees.

White pines are characterized by their bundles of long and soft needles. They have blue-green needles and are often in clusters of five. These features make them different from jack and red pines since their needles grow in groups of two.

– Animal’s Haven

Pinus strobus species are valuable to Maine’s wildlife since the seeds and shoots are eaten by small mammals and birds. Porcupines, hares, and beavers also love the inner bark. These pines are also homes to chickadees, woodpeckers, mourning doves, and nuthatches.

2. Red Maple

Red maple is also known as the Acer rubrum. It is a common deciduous tree in Maine. 

– Numerous Species

While there are other species of maple trees in Maine, including sugar maple, silver maple, mountain maple, Norway maple, and boxelder maple, the red maple is the most abundant specie. The state’s long rainy seasons and cold winters provide an ideal environment for the red specie to grow.

– Features 

The red maple has radiant, fiery-red autumn foliage, which is why it’s named the “red maple.” This tree is native to the eastern United States, but it’s also planted in the Pacific Northwest. 

Red Maple Tree Plant America

– Growth Conditions

The red maple is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 3-9. Apart from the maple’s brilliant red foliage, the tree will add color to your environment throughout the year.

Its adaptable root systems also make it a great choice since it can adapt to various growing conditions. The tree will grow well in shady to full-sun environments, as it will gain its beautiful colors. 

On the other hand, you must note that it can also do well in moist to dry soils. Red maple has long lateral roots and short taproots that easily soak up water. So, the tree won’t have any issues finding water, even in dry locations.

– Uses

Red maple has many uses. Its wood is mostly deformed, but when it’s straight, it’s used to make inexpensive wooden furniture and wooden flooring. Maple wood also produces other items like wooden boxes, musical instruments, hangers, and clothespins. 

3. Balsam Fir

Balsam fir or the Abies balsamea, is another common tree in the Maine landscape. 

– Specifications

While Maine State might be called the Pine Tree State, it doesn’t mean that pines are the most common trees in the area. Interestingly, balsam fir is the most prevalent tree specie in the region, and this is why they are very specific to the region. Abies balsamea is just everywhere; you wouldn’t miss it after every few miles.

– Features

It’s identified by its unique balsam fir needles or leaves, which are flat and measure about one-half to an inch long.

Balsam Fir Tree Plant America

Once mature, the needles are shiny and dark green on the top and are characterized by parallel stripes on the undersides. The Fir is a fast-growing tree that matures right from a tender age.

– Uses

It has many uses, and its products are shipped throughout the United States. The main economic value of the tree is that it’s normally used as a Christmas tree.

Its aromatic foliage also makes it a great choice for making balsam pillows. Balsam fir resin has, over the years, been used in optics, medicine, and microscopy. However, some of its applications have been replaced by synthetics.

4. Basswood

If you’ve walked around Maine, you must have noticed Basswood which is also known as the Tilia americana tree. Other common names are Linden or American basswood.

– Features

It’s a deciduous tree that can be distinguished by its heart-shaped pale-green leaves that have serrated edges.

Basswood Leaves Plant America

– Blooming Time

Basswood normally flowers in June; However, the flowering dates often vary since they can bloom earlier in late May. When the basswood’s leaves are small, they are sweet and delightful. 

– Uses

Tilia americana’s leaves can be a good addition to your salad mix when looking for wild edibles. Other uses of this tree include making furniture, molding, carvings, and more.

5. Eastern Hemlock

Canadian or Eastern hemlocks scientifically this tree is known as the Tsuga canadensis, are evergreen trees native to eastern North America. These trees are also called hemlock spruce and are common in Maine. 

– Features

The eastern hemlock is conical or pyramidal. It has two-toned green needles, which give them a smooth texture.

– Growth Requirements

These native trees tolerate shade and will leave a little mess in your garden which is their fallen leaves that they would have as they thrive.

Eastern Hemlock Tree Plant America

The best time to plant the eastern hemlock is in the early spring time which is in March to April. In terms of sun requirements, the trees do well in partial or full sun.

For optimal growth, plant the eastern hemlocks in spring or summer and ensure it’s well watered. If you’re planting hemlocks as specimen trees, you only need to prune dead branches. On the other hand, trim new growth formations in spring if you’re growing it as a hedge plant.

– Decorative Ideas

It’s worth noting that the eastern hemlock isn’t just fine trees, as there are various forms of these trees. For instance, you can trim some to form visually appealing hedges. Others are creeping forms, which makes them ideal for ground covers. Weeping forms will beautify any garden.

6. Yellow Birch

The yellow birch is also known as the Betula alleghaniensis, and it stands out from other types of trees in Maine with its dramatic coloring. 

– Characteristics

As you would plant this tree during spring, and you’ll enjoy the vibrant yellow color it brings to your outdoor spaces in fall. When it’s young, the tree has a deep yellowish-brown bark that will change color as it matures. At some point, the bark will change color to a silvery gray and go even to a shade of deep red-brown color.

Yellow Birch Tree Plant America

– Growth Requirements

Due to its extensive canopy, it is important to choose a suitable location to plant this tree. It performs well in full sun and well-drained soil. Water the yellow birch only during prolonged drought periods.

To maintain their healthy growth, prune the trees periodically. Unlike other trees, you don’t need to fertilize the yellow birch after its roots are well established. Note that some additional care is required in areas prone to diseases and insects since the yellow birch is easily affected.

7. Tamarack Larch

The tamarack larch is called the Larix laricina in some places, and it can easily be confused with the yellow birch because of its golden color. 

– Features

Larix laricina is a tall coniferous tree with bright green deciduous needles that turn gold in fall. It’s also called the American larch, hackmatack, or black larch.

Tamarack Larch Plant America

This tree is valued because of its distinctive pyramidal growth. When it’s young, it has bluish-green deciduous foliage. The leaves turn light green in spring before becoming bright gold in the fall. Its gold branches and rough gray bark give any landscape an absorbing look and feel.

– Growth Requirements

Tamarack larch requires minimal maintenance to grow. While it tolerates pruning, it normally looks attractive without pruning. This tree is perfect for your landscape if you’re looking for shade or a vertical accent.

Plant the tamarack larch in full sun to part shade. It performs well in moderate to wet conditions. In some cases, it can survive even in standing water. Furthermore, it’s not choosy on soil, since it can do well in various soil types; nonetheless, it works best in acidic soils, because the roots would grow perfectly in acidic soil.

8. Mountain Ash

The mountain ash or the Sorbus americana tree is a handsome, deciduous, ornamental tree that suits small to average gardens. There are two natives of this tree in Maine, including the snowy or Northern mountain ash or Sorbus decora, and Sorbus americana.

– Features

It grows to about 30 feet tall. It’s a slow grower and often considered a short-lived specie. The mountain ash has berry-like fruits which occur in large clusters.

Mountain Ash Tree Plant America

It will grow well in moist areas but can also survive rocky hillsides. It requires full sun to grow optimally.

– Growth Requirement

Sorbus americana requires little care once it’s established. However, they might require occasional watering during prolonged drought. This tree is found throughout Maine, especially along the coast or mountainous regions. 

9. American Sycamore

The American sycamore is native to North America and often found in Southwestern Maine and southern Michigan. 

– Characteristics

It belongs to the Platanaceae family and is often adored for its fast growth. The tree is normally used for residential landscaping or as a street tree.

American Sycamore Plant America

– Benefits

Sycamore has many other uses in commercial forestry. It’s used to build furniture, musical instruments, and butcher blocks, and this is why it is a tree that has its benefits along.

– Location

The tree only performs well in the eastern area of North America, where it receives ample rainfall. Other types, like the Mexican sycamore and the California sycamore, do well in the western half of America.

Unlike other resistant types of trees in Maine, the American sycamore’s main challenge is pests and diseases. Additional care is required to protect this tree against common pests and diseases affecting trees in the region.

10. Bigtooth Aspen

Bigtooth aspen is scientifically known as the Populus grandidentata. This gorgeous tree is another fast-growing tree in Maine, and it can grow to about 65 feet in a period of 20 years. 

– Features

The tree has dark green leaves that turn yellow to gold or red in fall.

Bigtooth Aspen Bush Plant America

With these bright colors in your garden, these trees create a dramatic feel in your garden. Besides, certain species are known to have a sweet fragrance in spring.

– Growth Requirements

Bigtooth aspen trees are easygoing since they can establish well in various soils. Plant these trees where they can get full sun for six hours or more daily. You must note that it needs frequent watering is required when it’s still young. However, it’s sensitive to water logging, so you should be careful not to overwater it. 

11. Red Spruce

Red spruce (Picea rubens), also called yellow spruce, eastern spruce or West Virginia spruce, is another type of tree in Maine from the pine family. These trees are a good choice if you’re looking for evergreens to plant in your garden or indoor spaces.

Red Spruce Plant America

– Specifics

It’s a slow grower that is highly adaptable. Red spruce serves well as a Christmas tree since a smaller tree is easily trimmed to fit your indoor settings.

– Growth Requirements

This tree works best when grown in cool and moist climates. Due to its high adaptability, even in slightly dry areas, red spruce requires little maintenance. It can survive under partial shade, but it’s best planted in areas where it can get full sun for more than six hours.

12. American Elm

Add a nostalgic feel to your exterior spaces with the American elm. 

– Origins and Location

Elm trees are native to Asia, Europe, and North America. These trees make exceptional park and street trees. They can also be used as specimen trees in residential environments.

American Elm Tree Plant America

– Characteristics

It’s a classic shade tree that is common in Maine. Once mature, the American elm will serve your landscape for years, providing you with cooling shade and unparalleled beauty.

– Growth Requirements

Elms are disease-resistant and this is one of its benefits, because you wouldn’t have to worry so much about its health and will grow in hardy zone 3. Grow young elms in well-watered soils and reduce competition from nearby plants. Add compost during spring to hasten its growth.

13. Northern White Cedar

The white Cedar trees grow well in Maine’s harsh winters. The northern white cedar, or the Thuja occidentalis, is an exciting addition to your backyard if you’re searching for evergreen trees. These trees will leave a statement in your garden with their green foliage and unique structures.

– Growth Requirements

Plant these trees under full sun to help them develop green foliage.

Northern White Cedar Plant America

While they can survive under partial shade, the foliage will develop slowly and only become thin. The white cider works best in loamy soils.

These trees also appreciate humid environments with moisture in the air. However, watering once a week will still provide the required water to grow. Keep the soil wet and strive to ensure it’s not waterlogged. Nonetheless, consider covering the base of the tree with mulch to prevent the soil from drying in the sun.

14. Sassafras

Sassafras or the Sassafras albidum, is native to North America and can grow up to 60 feet tall and 40 feet wide. 

– Features

This tree is beautiful when planted as a standalone tree. It comes with appealing foliage from spring to fall. Leaves turn bright yellow to orange in autumn. These vibrant colors will indeed transform your landscape.

Sassafras Leaves Plant America

Initially, sassafras leaves are bright green, but this changes in autumn as the foliage turns to shades of yellow-red, orange-pink, and scarlet-purple.

– Benefits

Apart from sassafras’s aesthetics, it’s known for its medicinal value. In fact, most people enjoy sassafras tea made from its roots, and it is used because of the healing properties that the tree provides. 

– Growth Requirements

Sassafras loves acidic soil. It grows best in sand or well-drained clay soil. However, it can also survive in rocky surroundings. The tree prefers well-draining water conditions but can also grow in drought. Occasional watering is required to help it establish its roots.

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