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5 Favorite Deciduous Trees of the Pacific Northwest Coast

The Pacific Northwest coast is filled with beautiful deciduous trees. But do you know what a deciduous tree is? You have likely seen them all around you and may even have some in your yard. These trees have leaves that fall off once they reach maturity, which is typical during the fall months. They then grow beautiful blooms during the spring months.

Deciduous trees are a popular choice of trees that many people plant in their yards. If you’re looking to do just that, here are five deciduous trees of the Pacific Northwest that you should consider.

1. Red Alder

Red alder trees, sometimes called the Oregon alder, have long, dark-green leaves with saw-like corners. The bark on these trees is light-grey and smooth. At maturity, they reach heights of 40 to 50 feet tall. One reason that it’s a good choice is that it’s a low-maintenance tree. They are commonly found along streams west of the Cascades and in other wet areas and are tolerant of many soil moisture types.

These trees can grow anywhere from 50 to 100 feet tall. The branches are thin but spreading. On the underside of the leaves, there are fine, soft hairs that grow. Red alder trees also bear green-yellow catkins. During the winter, white lichen grows on the bark. This growth becomes even more common as the tree gets older.

2. White Oak

If you are looking for a deciduous tree that can live for centuries, the white oak tree is the longest-lived deciduous oak tree in the United States. At maturity, they reach 50 to 80 feet tall and can have widths of the same amount. Each year, they can grow anywhere from 12 inches to 24 inches. As they age, white oak trees become more sensitive to construction disturbances.

The trunks of these trees are short and stocky, so to counter this, their limbs are horizontal and massive. White oak trees produce acorns, which are enjoyed by hoofed browsers, rodents, and birds. Deer are also attracted to white oak trees, and the leaf buds that grow attract several bird species, including owls, chickadees, and woodpeckers. White oak trees should be planted in soil that is moist and deep. It’s tolerant of wet soil.

3. Black Cottonwood

Black cottonwood trees are the tallest of all the broadleaf trees found in the Pacific Northwest. They are part of the willow family and can grow up to 100 feet tall, with a trunk around 6 feet wide. The bark on these trees echoes the name of the trees, as it is rough and dark-colored, helping it stand out. The tree has a conical shape and is very eye-catching due to how upright it stands.

The leaves on these trees are also unique, as they grow in a heart shape. During the spring, black cottonwood trees produce catkins anywhere from one to three inches long. During the summer, they grow fuzzy fruit that falls off the trees. They grow best in moist soils and open areas.

4. Oregon Crabapple

Oregon crabapple trees are deciduous trees that can grow fruit based on the variety that you choose. If you want a fruit-bearing tree, it’s a great choice. If you don’t wish to have a fruit-bearing tree, it’s still a great choice. The variety that doesn’t grow fruit is the Pacific crabapple, also known as the western crabapple. Oregon crabapple trees typically reach about 36 feet tall, making them a good choice for medium-sized yards. They also tend to grow slowly.

These trees bloom during the spring and summer months, turning from white to pink. These blossoms and those of the fruit give the tree a pretty fragrance. The smell and the fruit will attract local wildlife. The fruit is gone by the fall months, but the leaves become a yellow to orange color. Oregon crabapple trees can grow well in moist soil, such as in moist woods and at the edge of wetlands.

5. Pacific Dogwood

Native to Oregon, the Pacific dogwood tree is a very popular choice of tree to plant. Not only do they bloom beautiful pinkish-white flowers, but they also grow orange or red berries. They have a bitter taste but are enjoyed as a source of food for birds. Pacific dogwood trees bloom during the spring season but can also have a second bloom during the fall.
These trees are great to plant if you have a smaller yard, as they can grow up to 30 feet tall and 25 feet wide.

Additionally, they have a long life span and are easy to grow once planted. They’re also great for your Pacific Northwest coast yard, as they have a high tolerance to flooding.

Need Assistance?

As you can see, there are many great deciduous trees on the Pacific Northwest coast. Whether you want to go hiking and admire them in their natural locations or bring their beauty to your home by planting one in your yard, any of the five tree trees mentioned are favorites.

If you want to plant a deciduous tree in your yard, we recommend using a professional arborist to help you. Not only will that guarantee that the tree is properly planted, but we will also come to your home and assess the conditions of your yard. If you are still unsure which of the above deciduous trees you would like to plant, we can provide you with a recommendation of which would complement your yard the best.

At Vernon Imel, we have been serving the northwest coast for over 20 years, so you can say we know a thing or two about the favorite deciduous trees of the Pacific Northwest. Please contact us today.