If you’ve just moved into a new home with trees on the property or are having issues with a specific tree in your yard, knowing the species can help you in properly caring for and maintaining them. Maryland is home to many native tree species, with 20 of them making up over 75% of the trees you’ll find in our state’s forests. Take a look at the distinct characteristics of each to help you determine which tree species you have in your yard.
These trees have two leaves that connect at the same point. Maples are most easily recognized by their ‘helicopter’ seeds, which have wings that spin as they fall from branches.
- Sugar Maple: As the name suggests, this tree is a source for maple syrup and has leaves that are green on both top and bottom.
- Red Maple: Identifiable by their bright red leaves in the fall, red maple trees are yard-favorite among Maryland homeowners.
- Silver Maple: These maple trees have bi-colored leaves that are green on top and silvery-white below.
These trees bear acorns and have leaf edges that form in recognizable lobes
- Chestnut Oak: This variety of oak tree has dark, jagged bark and leaves with rounded teeth along the edges.
- White Oak: Identified by its white-grey bark, this oak has leaves with round, bristle-free lobes.
- Black Oak: Shiny-topped leaves with yellowy undersides and acorns with a fringe along the cap are characteristics of this oak tree.
- Northern Red Oak: Found primarily in Western Maryland, this red oak has leaves that contain several bristle-tipped lobes and bears acorns with caps only covering 1/4th of the top.
- Southern Red Oak: Found near the Chesapeake Bay’s coastal plains, this oak tree has leaves that contain three bristle-tipped lobes and have an S-shaped vein running through the middle.
These evergreen trees have needle-like foliage and bear cones as fruit.
- Eastern Hemlock: Commonly found in Western Maryland, the eastern hemlock has fine, dark green foliage that grows in flat, single needles and light brown cones with rounded scales.
- Eastern White Pine: Known for its height and sharp-pointed cones, this variety of pine tree has needles that grow in clusters of five.
- Virginia Pine: This pine can be identified by its small cones and its needles that grow in pairs.
- Loblolly Pine: This tree has needles grow in clusters of three and bears cones with sharp prickles that curve outwards.
Miscellaneous Maryland Trees
These trees have non-categorical characteristics that make them unique to their species.
- White Ash: Feather-like leaves that divide into 5-7 smaller leaflets
- Sycamore: Big, 5-lobed leaves that have a hairy texture underneath
- Beech: Straight-veined leaves with points at the end and smooth, light grey bark
- Hickory: Green nuts that turn brown in the fall and leaves that are subdivided into 5-7 large leaflets
- Sweet Gum: Small balls of fruit and 5-lobed, saw-toothed leaves that turn purple and red in the fall
- Blackgum: Black or dark purple fruit and smooth-edged leaves that taper to a narrow tip
- Tulip Tree: Yellow-green, tulip-like flowers with flat, 4-lobed leaves, also referred to as tulip poplar or yellow poplar.
- Sassafras: 3-lobed, mitten-shaped, or oval leaves that have a spicy odor when torn or cut
Need Expert Help with a Tree in Your Yard?
Taking proper care of your trees is key to maintaining a beautiful property and keeping both your home and family safe. Whether you need tree removal and stump grinding services or regular tree pruning in Maryland, Nelson Tree Specialist is here for you. As professional arborists, we specialize in all things trees and would be happy to provide further assistance in identifying and maintaining trees on your property. Give us a call today to get started.