Trees generally thrive in specific environments. In the US, for instance, certain trees are indigenous to certain states, and therefore, are designated state trees. A state tree is usually linked to the history of the named state, its uses, or how important the timber industry is to the state’s economy, as reported by the U.S. National Arboretum. For instance, the state of Delaware designated the American Holly its state tree in 1939 because at that time, Delaware was the leading exporter of holly Christmas wreaths in the US. The rapid agricultural and industrial expansion in the 1800s and early 1900s also compelled most states to adopt state trees to promote environmental conservation. States also choose their emblems depending on factors such as their natural treasures, cultural heritage, landmarks, as well as the attributes of the symbol.
Here are 50 interesting facts about state trees across the US.
1. Longleaf pine — Alabama
Of all the eastern pine tree species, the longleaf pine has the longest needle-like leaves that grow up to 18 inches long.
2. Coast Redwood — California
This is among the tallest living trees in the whole world, growing up to 380 feet high and 29.2 feet wide at the trunk.
3. Sabal Palm — Florida
Also known as the Cabbage Palm, this tree mostly grows in the coastal regions.
4. Red Pine — Minnesota
This tree is commonly used as the Christmas tree mainly due to its ability to retain needles for a long time.
5. Blue Palo Verde — Arizona
This tree has a green bark where most of the photosynthesis occurs.
6. Plains Cottonwood — Wyoming
This tree finds its name from the fact that its seeds are surrounded by cotton-like hairs.
7. Southern Live Oak — Georgia
Its branches grow upward before changing the direction to grow downward, touching the ground in some instances. The branches eventually change the direction to grow upward again.
8. Pecan — Texas
The pecan tree has softwood that is mostly used in making floors and furniture.
9. Pine — North Carolina
There are 100 species of pine trees, growing up to anywhere from 4 feet to 150 feet.
10. White Oak — Connecticut
This tree produces acorns, which were used as food by native Americans.
11. Northern Red Oak — New Jersey
Its leaves produce a beautiful russet-red to bright red colors in the fall, and its acorns are great treats for pets.
12. Piñon Pine — New Mexico
This tree produces yellow-green needles that can remain on it for up to 8 or 9 years.
13. Sabal Palm — South Carolina
The trunk of this tree was used to construct the walls of the South Carolina fort in 1776.
14. Sugar Maple — New York
This tree is highly adaptable, and therefore, it can grow in most parts of the U.S., except the southern Pacific Coast and the Gulf Coast.
15. Western Hemlock — Washington
Due to its high tannin content, Native Americans used the bark of this tree as a cleansing solution and tanning agent.
16. Sitka Spruce — Alaska
This is the third tallest conifer species in the world, and can grow up to 300 feet tall.
17. Colorado Blue Spruce — Colorado
This tree was discovered in 1862 on top of Pike Peak in Colorado, and was named by C.C. Parry, a botanist, due to its silver-blue color.
18. Bur Oak — Iowa
Of all the oaks, this tree is the most resistant to fire and drought, and cold. It also grows faster and lives longer than other oak species.
19. Ohio Buckeye — Ohio
This tree produces nuts that resemble the color and shape of deer’s eyes, and that’s why it’s called Buckeye.
20. White Oak — Illinois
This is the tallest among the oak species, and it grows up to 150 feet.
21. Tulip Tree — Indiana
The flowers of this tree resemble tulips, and that’s where its name originates.
22. Eastern Cottonwood — Kansas
While the bark of this tree is usually used as food for horses, humans can also include its sweet sprouts and inner bark in their diets.
23. Tulip Tree — Kentucky
One of the unique characteristics of the Tulip tree is that it has a straight bark.
24. White Oak — Maryland
Although many pests attack the White Oak, wood borers cause the most economic damage since they invade the lumber and cause defects when the tree is still standing.
25. Southern Magnolia — Mississippi
The scent produced by one Southern Magnolia is strong enough to perfume a whole garden.