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Big Leaf Maple
Acer macrophyllum

Mid to large size deciduous tree. Fast-growing. Large, spreading canopy. 5-lobe leaves, 5-10" across. Yellow-orange in autumn. Beautiful dangling yellow flowers clusters. "Winged" seeds. Important food source for local critters.

Where Found  Widespread. Found on dry to moist soils.

Notes  Beautiful spread canopy. Flowers are one of first signs of Spring. Excellent overstory tree for sites that can accommodate branches and roots. Used as street trees a century ago for luxury homes and public buildings.


Incense Cedar
Calocedrus decurrens

Large conifer. No true leaf or needle, but connected waxy "scales". Scales are "fluted." Branching is more erect than in western red cedar. Bark has gently twisting vertical strips.

Where Found  Widespread. Found in low- to mid-elevation conifer and mixed forests.

Notes  One of four cedars in Pacific Northwest (Port-Orford, western red, yellow). Good overstory plant. Often available in 2-5 gallon containers. Consider also western red cedar.


Cascara
Rhamnus purshiana

Small-size deciduous tree to 25'. Oval, ribbed leaves 3-4". Upright, spreading growth. Smooth gray bark, fissures w/ age. Clusters of white flowers, with edible thumb-nail size red-blue-black berries.

Where Found  Dry to wet soils and full sun to shade. Found in mixed conifer-deciduous forest at low to middle elevations.

Notes  Due to its smaller size, an ideal tree for many urban sites, narrow park strips, close to houses, etc. Berries are very important to resident and migratory birds.


Oregon Ash
Fraxinus latifolia

Mid-size deciduous tree to 45-65'. Soft, green leaves composed of 5-7 leaflets. Male and female flowers on separate plants (female flowers lead to winged seeds). Upright, spreading growth. Smooth gray bark, fissures w/ age.

Where Found  Widespread. Found in moist to average soils at lower elevations, valley floor, riparian zones. Tolerates standing water.

Notes  An excellent, versatile tree for home, commercial and rural sites, and park strips. Can be overstory or understory plant. Soft green leaves provide good shade, while permitting air flow.
             


Oregon White Oak
Quercus garryana

Beautiful, slow growing mid to large size deciduous tree with "charming" character. Branched, upright growth. Rounded, multi-lobed 3-4" leaves, shiny dark green. Edible 1" acorns. Great "tree swing" tree.

Where Found  Drier grasslands, rocky slopes and also on rich, well drained soils. Full to partial sun. Lower elevations.

Notes  Disappearing due to fire suppression. We need to plant more! Acorns valuable to squirrels and other wildlife.


Quaking Aspen
Populus tremuloides

Mid-size deciduous tree to 40-60'. Beautiful rounded 1-2" pale-green leaves that shimmer in the wind. Branched, narrow growth. Silvery-white bark.

Where Found  Moist to average soils, often in streamside areas and rocky slopes. Grow in clusters. Full to partial sun.

Notes  Best planted in small groups (2-5) to capture "quaking" leaf affect. Tolerates full sun. Can serve as overstory tree.


Red Alder
Alnus rubra

Mid-size deciduous tree to 40'-65'. Upright, spaced branches. White to grayish bark. Glossy green leaves 2-5", cerrated oval shape, yellow in Fall. Flowers include catkins. New growth appears red.

Where Found  Widespread. Found in moist to average soils at low and mid elevations. Often near streams (less hydrophilic than Cottonwood or Willow).

Notes  An excellent, versatile tree for home, commercial and rural sites, and park strips. Can be overstory or understory plant. Fixes nitrogen-improves soil.


Douglas Fir
Pseudotsuga menziesii

Large, common conifer. Fast-growing. Needles 1-2" spaced around branch. Cones 2-4" with "mouse-tails." Bark deeply furrowed with age. Our most common conifer and often a Christmas tree.

Where Found  Widespread on dry to moist soils. Low to mid elevations. Does not tolerate shade well.

Notes  Important tree for nesting birds and other critters. Good overstory tree if space permits. An outdoor Christmas tree?
             

Also Consider:

Black Hawthorne, Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar

 

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