25 Types of Trees in California (With Pictures)

California might be famous for its beach locations and farmland, but the point out also offers an extraordinary number of forests and mountain ranges. If you have ever puzzled what varieties of trees make their home in this state, you have occur to the appropriate spot. In this write-up, you are going to find information about twenty five sorts of trees in California. We cover each deciduous and evergreen trees, broken up by classification.

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The 25 Types of Trees in California

Deciduous Trees

1. Blue Oak

Blue Oak Tree
Image Credit: Bachy, Pixabay
Scientific name: Quercus douglasii
Height: 45-60 feet
Growth Rate: Very slow

Blue oak is a hardy, sluggish-developing tree found primarily on wooded hills in California, from Los Angeles to the north of San Francisco. They do not call for considerably water and grow very best in dry soil, making it possible for them to prosper in the state’s climate. The oak’s blue-eco-friendly leaves do not alter coloration in autumn but do fall off. If the summer season has been especially dry, the blue oak may lose its leaves faster. It generates acorns about one inch in size.

2. Valley Oak

Valley Oak Tree_Sundy Photography_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Sundry, Photography
Scientific name: Quercus lobata
Height: 50-80 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate to fast

This tree is the greatest oak species located in North The united states. The valley oak grows swiftly in a selection of distinct soils. It is drought-tolerant and generates intricate tangled branch patterns, generating it one particular of the most pretty trees in California. The leaves flip yellow in the fall ahead of dropping. As its name suggests, this tree prefers valley spots fairly than higher elevations. Valley oaks provide as a habitat and meals supply for regional wildlife.

3. California Buckeye

buckeye tree
Image Credit: Pixabay
Scientific name: Aeculus californica
Height: 30-50 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate

This medium-sized tree produces sweet-smelling white flowers, which draw in nearby California pollinator species. It is the only buckeye species native to the state. The California buckeye has reduced h2o demands and loses its leaves early in the summer time, making it possible for it to use even considerably less liquid. The tree grows brown fruit 2-3 inches in dimension that ought to not be eaten. The bouquets of the tree are also harmful to honeybees. California buckeyes are positioned in most locations of the condition.

4. California Sycamore

California Sycamore
Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay
Scientific name: Platanus racemosa
Height: 50-80 feet
Growth Rate: Fast

The California sycamore is located primarily in wetland and river regions, and it is a tall tree that can grow as significantly as 3 toes each 12 months. Sycamores are properly-known for their grey and white peeling bark. The trees are most widespread from the Mexican border to the north of Sacramento. California sycamores require far more water than numerous native trees, which is why they are primarily identified in wetter habitats. When they’ve developed large enough, the trees can tolerate drier circumstances but do very best if watered at least as soon as per 7 days.

5. Western Redbud

Eastern Redbud Tree_Sergey and Marina Pyataev_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Sergey and Marina Pyataev, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Cercis occidentalis
Height: 15-20 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate to fast

The Western redbud is a beautiful ornamental tree showcasing gorgeous pink-purple flowers that are between the earliest spring bloomers. This tree is easy to expand, with minimal h2o requirements. In the wild, it prefers sloping elevations in the hills and mountains. Western redbuds are most widespread in the northern portion of the state because they call for cooler temperatures to thrive. In the fall, the leaves flip vibrant gold ahead of falling.

6. California White Alder

California White Alder
Image Credit: VancouverLami, Pixabay
Scientific name: Alnus rhombifolia
Height: 49-82 feet
Growth Rate: Fast

The California white alder is identified throughout the state, from San Diego up previous the northern border. It can develop at numerous altitudes but prefers moist soils this sort of as creek beds or river financial institutions. The tree generates environmentally friendly and white flowers, which mature into a fruit that seems to be like tiny pine cones. In the spring, the California white alder produces large amounts of pollen, which is unlucky for allergy sufferers in the state. The tree’s substantial roots technique can wreak havoc on pipes and foundations.

7. Box Elder

Box Elder
Image Credit: tamu1500, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Acer negundo
Height: 35-66 feet tall
Growth Rate: Fast

The box elder is known by several other names, such as maple ash and boxelder maple. In California, the tree is identified in coastal mountain ranges from San Diego to Sacramento. This species prefers moist planting places, these kinds of as in close proximity to streams. More mature trees are a lot more drought-tolerant since their roots can usually reach underground water resources. The trees appeal to a lot of diverse fowl and insect species and are fairly easy to grow. The leaves switch a wonderful range of hues in the drop, from yellow to a combine of red and yellow.

8. Fremont Cottonwood

Fremont Cottonwood
Image Credit: Nina B, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Populus fremontii
Height: 39-115 feet
Growth Rate: Fast

The Fremont cottonwood is a quickly-expanding, very tall tree that is found close to drinking water sources all through most of the point out. They desire sunny spots with moist soil and can increase up 10–20 feet in a one yr. The tree receives its identify from the look of the fruit, which appears like cotton tufts hanging from the branches. Though this tree is straightforward to develop, it needs a whole lot of extra water if not planted around a normal moisture resource.

9. California Black Walnut

California Black Walnut Cenusa
Image Credit: Silviu Carol, Shuttertock
Scientific name: Juglans californica
Height: 50-75 feet tall
Growth Rate: Moderate

This tree is primarily found in Southern California, with some trees in close proximity to Sacramento. The California black walnut is threatened by human development in the southern portion of the point out. It prefers to develop in moist soil and can tolerate partial shade, and its walnuts are a vital meals resource for a lot of birds and wildlife. Because the tree does not expand extremely tall, it’s a excellent alternative for these hunting to improve the wildlife habitat on their residence, specifically given that planting it also helps conserve the indigenous populace.

10. Oregon Ash

Oregon White Oak_Dee Browning_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Dee Browning, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Fraxinus latifolia
Height: 60-80 feet
Growth Rate: Fast

The Oregon ash is located mostly in Northern and Central California around rivers and streams. It thrives in the poorly drained soil widespread in these regions. The Oregon Ash grows fast when it is younger but will sluggish down when it is entirely mature. The tree is simple to care for, attracts numerous beautiful butterfly species, and can reside as prolonged as 250 a long time.

11. Sandbar Willow

sandbar willow tree
Image Credit: Craige McGonigle, Pexels
Scientific name: Salix exigua
Height: 10-23 feet tall
Growth Rate: Moderate to fast

This widespread tree is found in every county in California. The sandbar willow is a modest tree or shrub that prefers moist soil, like most willow trees. It does not tolerate drought and will need additional watering in the summer time months. If planted in close proximity to a pond or stream, the tree will distribute by sending out new shoots into the moist soil. This willow is extremely appealing to pollinator species, like butterflies and moths. It also serves as a nesting habitat for several fowl species.

12. Big Leaf Maple

Giant Sequoia
Image Credit: sequoia-trees, Pixabay
Scientific name: Acer macrophyllum
Height: 30-115 feet
Growth Rate: Fast

The massive leaf maple is discovered mainly along the California coastline but also in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It grows extremely rapidly and can tolerate partial shade. The large leaf maple can expand in most types of soil and drainage stages, even though it does prosper in sandy soil. The tree appeals to several birds and bugs, and its leaves will change coloration in the tumble as long as the temperature will get colder.

13. Water Birch

Water Birch
Image Credit: Pixabay
Scientific name: Betula occidentalis
Height: 25-33 feet tall
Growth Rate: Moderate to fast

H2o birch is a little, shrub-like tree that happens sporadically through California. Populations can be identified in the Southern Sierra mountains and the northern portion of the state. The tree prefers mountain habitats, usually occurring at an elevation of 2,000 to 11,000 ft. Drinking water birch grows ideal in moist to moist soil, generally along mountain creeks. It produces vivid fall hues when exposed to chilly autumn climate. H2o birch is straightforward to grow and attracts a number of species of bugs.

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Evergreen Trees

14. Coast Live Oak

Coast Live Oak
Image Credit: Greyerbaby, Pixabay
Scientific name: Quercus agrifolia
Height: 25-82 feet
Growth Rate: Slow-moderate

The coast dwell oak maintains its dim environmentally friendly leaves year-spherical whilst making yellow-cream bouquets in the spring and reddish-brown acorns in the fall. It grows west of California’s central valley. It is a single of the handful of California oaks that prosper around the coastline due to the fact it is pretty tolerant of salty air and enjoys heat weather conditions. The coastline stay oak is simple to grow, with sensible water specifications. You are going to want to preserve the roots shaded, particularly when the trees are young, by providing a thick layer of mulch or rocks.

15. Catalina Cherry

bird cherry tree
Image Credit: Pixabay
Scientific name: Prunus illicifolia ssp. lyonii
Height: 25-40 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate to fast

This fruit-bearing tree is native to Central and Southern California, largely the Channel Islands location. The Catalina Cherry retains on to its shiny green leaves all yr, producing beautiful white bouquets in late spring. Birds adore the fruit of this tree, which is edible but not especially tasty for individuals. It grows properly in different soils, tolerates partial shade, and occasionally cross-pollinates with other cherry trees. The juice of the cherry stains concret, so be aware when picking a planting area.

16. Foothill Pine

Jack Pine_LifeisticAC_Shutterstock
Image Credit: LifeisticAC, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Pinus sabiniana
Height: 20-80 feet
Growth Rate: Slow

Foothill pines are located primarily in Southern, Central, And Northern California. They can expand in habitats up to four,five hundred ft in elevation, but they are gradual-increasing in the wild, including peak during the spring and summer season months only. When cultivated and watered often, the foothill pine grows more rapidly. It is extremely effortless to care for and generally used in landscaping. The tree produces fragrant yellow bouquets in the spring and appeals to numerous bugs and other creatures.

17. Hickory Pine

Hickory Pine
Image Credit: Thomas Ramsauer, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Pinus longaeva
Height: 16-52 feet
Growth Rate: Slow

This species is a single of 3 closely relevant pines known as bristlecone pines. The hickory pine is also known as the Wonderful Basin bristlecone pine or Western bristlecone pine. In California, it’s found only in the larger elevations of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, expanding on mesas, slopes, and mountain tops. It grows slowly and gradually, and the tree’s needles frequently continue to be environmentally friendly for 45 many years. Hickory pines draw in and host a lot of distinct insect species, such as these that bore into its bark.

18. Interior Live Oak

live oak tree
Image Credit: Pixabay
Scientific name: Quercus wislizeni
Height: 15-50 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate

The inside reside oak grows along the California coast, coastal mountain ranges, Central Valley, and Sierra foothills. The thick inexperienced leaves remain on the tree 12 months-spherical, and the acorns of the inside stay oak are pointed, long, and consider a entire two a long time to mature. This tree is easy to increase and tolerates various soil varieties and drainage ranges. A number of birds and insects rely on the tree, and it is one of the most widespread oaks located in the foothill forests.

19. Incense Cedar

Incense Cedar
Image Credit: sarangib, Pixabay
Scientific name: Calocedrus decurrens
Height: 12-197 feet
Growth Rate: Slow-moderate

The incense cedar can be identified all through considerably of California and is easy to increase as prolonged as you have ample area for it. It can be qualified to be drought-tolerant by reducing watering in the course of the early several years of its progress. Incense cedars choose soil abundant in natural and organic material, this kind of as that located in forests, and they can be grown in full sunshine or partial shade. Quite a few insects and birds gravitate in direction of the Incense Cedar, and it is typically utilised to create hedges.

20. Lodgepole Pine

Lodgepole Pine
Image Credit: Grey85, Pixabay
Scientific name: Pinus contorta
Height: 30-112 feet
Growth Rate: Fast

The lodgepole pine is a rapidly-growing evergreen discovered mostly in California’s Sierra Nevada mountain assortment. A sub-species also occurs in close proximity to the coastline and is known as the beach pine, and it can grow in various soil circumstances and tolerates partial shade. The Lodgepole Pine is an important tree for numerous wildlife, fowl, and insect species. It is harvested for timber and is vulnerable to wildfires since of its thin bark.

21. Canyon Live Oak

Canyon Live Oak_Yhelfman_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Yhelfman, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Quercus chrysolepis
Height: 30-90 feet
Growth Rate: Slow to moderate

This species is the most widespread oak discovered in California. Canyon stay oaks inhabit the coastal mountain ranges as well as the Sierra Nevadas. It normally grows near creeks in cool, moist environments and tolerates all light-weight problems, like complete shade. Canyon reside oaks regenerate on their own right after surviving wildfires. Wildlife, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and bugs are all captivated to the trees. They are an old species, and fossilized specimens of the tree have been uncovered. Native American tribes historically relied on the acorns as a foods supply.

22. Mountain Mahogany

Mountain Mahogany
Image Credit: Shahid Tanweer, Pexels
Scientific name: Cercocarpus betuloides
Height: 8-20 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate to fast

Mountain mahogany is a little, shrub-like tree that grows in the dry foothills and mountain locations of California. It has minimum drinking water requirements and adapts to most soil problems. This relatively quickly-growing species is typically grown as a hedge or screening tree. Mountain mahogany tolerates pruning properly, allowing it to be formed to in shape even limited areas. The wide root technique of this tree also makes it an superb selection for erosion manage. The reddish wood of the mountain mahogany is really hard and employed to make instruments and arrows by Indigenous Americans.

23. Baja Birdbush

Scientific name: Ornithostaphylos oppositifolia
Height: 15 feet
Growth Rate: Slow

This small, gradual-growing tree is extremely unusual: discovered only in San Diego County close to the Mexican border, and the tree’s wild population is below menace owing to border enforcement steps. The Baja birdbush is drought-tolerant, simple to treatment for, and produces gorgeous white bouquets. The stunning plant is a amazing choice for garden and backyard planting because of to its small size and attraction to hummingbirds and other feathered species. It prefers complete sunlight and effectively-drained soil.

24. Coast Redwood

giant cost redwood
Image Credit: Tobin Akehurst, Shutterstock
Scientific name: Sequoia sempervirens
Height: 60-380 feet tall
Growth Rate: Fast

One particular of the most iconic California species, coast redwoods are also known to make the tallest trees on earth. The giant evergreens are indigenous to the California coastline, from the central location up previous the Oregon border. They increase very best in places with damp winters and amazing summers, relying on fog for element of their humidity ingestion. The trees can stay for a lot more than 2,two hundred years, reaching tremendous heights and widths in the method. Coast redwoods are delicate to inadequate air and drinking water high quality, producing pollution one particular of their biggest threats. The large trees are fairly straightforward to grow in a ideal local weather but are likely to outgrow the typical backyard speedily!

25. Giant Sequoia

Giant Sequoia
Image Credit: sequoia-trees, Pixabay
Scientific name: Sequoiadendron giganteum
Height: 35-311 feet
Growth Rate: Slow

Also called Sierra redwoods, huge sequoias are the other famous (and massive) California trees. Whilst they are connected to coastline redwoods, big sequoias are commonplace on the other aspect of the state in the dry Sierra Nevada Mountains. The trees expand at higher elevations, normally amongst 4,600–8,400 feet. In phrases of top and width, big sequoias generate the biggest trees on earth, expanding to in excess of three hundred feet tall and 50 feet extensive. They’re also historic, and the oldest identified specimen is believed to be much more than three,five hundred a long time aged. These evergreen trees also produce huge quantities of cones and seeds, which they use to reproduce. A large tree can have 11,000 cones and spread three hundred,000–400,000 seeds yearly.

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Like so numerous other people in the world, California trees frequently slide sufferer to human growth and enlargement, specifically in a state desperately needing much more housing options. Californians who want to do their part to assist their neighborhood ecosystems ought to contemplate planting 1 of the numerous native trees on our listing of 25. Even if you do not have space for a redwood in your front lawn, loads of other alternatives can supply meals and shelter for birds and wildlife, along with flowers ripe for pollination.


Highlighted Picture Credit rating: Paul Hanaoka, Unsplash