30 Most Common Trees in Indiana

In this article, we will talk about some of the most common trees that you will find in Indiana. Some you may know already, while some may be new for you. Can you identify them all?

It is important for people of all walks of life to be aware of the trees in Indiana so that their sense of wonder can spark and form a connection to nature. We believe that disconnecting from virtual reality is necessary, which is why we have written an article about the most common trees in Indiana.

When you visit Indiana, you will find that there are trees everywhere. In fact, it is extremely green, and there are more than 100 native species of trees that can be found in the area. The diversity of trees is what makes Indiana a beautiful place to live.

Did you know that some tree species that grow in Indiana are similar to those in nearby states? It’s true! For example, the Tulip tree, Indiana’s state free, is also the state tree of Tennessee. Let’s find out more about the trees in Indiana.

Here are some of the most common trees that grow in the region:

1. Tulip Tree (Liriodendron Tulipfera)

Tulip Tree
Michiel Thomas Tulip Tree

The Tulip Tree is Indiana’s state tree, also commonly known as yellow poplar and tulip poplar. However, the Tulip tree is not really a poplar. The Tulip tree is found in the eastern half of the United States and grows in loamy, moist, well-drained, rich soil. It is a common plant in Indiana but is more common in the southern two-thirds of the state.

The uncommon name of this tree is inspired by its unusual flowers. The flowers come shaped like a tulip, but the petals are yellowish-green and orange on the inside. Since these flowers are high in the leaf canopy, most people only notice them when they fall down after pollination.

2. Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum)

Sugar Maple (acer saccharum)
Sugar Maple (acer saccharum)

The Sugar Maple, also known as Acer Saccharum, grows in the southern part of the United States. It usually grows to approximately 75 feet but can grow as high as 100 feet. Known for the popular sweet sap that is usually made to make maple syrup, the tree has beautiful fall foliage in bright colors like orange, gold, and red.

Like all North American maples, Sugar Maple trees produce samaras- a seedpod that consists of two pods that come together in a U-shape. If you live in an area where air pollution is present, it is not good to grow a Sugar Maple tree as it will keep dying.

3. White Oak (Quercus Alba)

Quercus alba
Bruce K. Kirchoff Quercus alba

The bark of the white oak is light ash in color. Young trees have a scaly bark compared to mature trees. As the tree gets old, the ridges of the bark become defined and start to make rectangular blocks. Moreover, the trees of White Oak tree can grow as long as 5 to 9 inches.

If you are wondering how the leaves look, think about how a child draws a pint tree- the stem base on the top of the tree. This is how the leaves of this tree look but with mainly rounded edges. As autumn arrives, the leaves of this tree turn into a red wine color. Over time, the red fades into shades of brown.

4. White Ash (Fraxinus Americana)

Fraxinus americana
Virens Fraxinus americana

White Ash is a native tree that can be found in the local woods and is commonly grown in yards and along the streets. In the fall, the leaves of White Ash fade into a pale-yellow color. Each of these leaves has 5 to 7 stalked leaflets.

White Ash is a great resource for citizens as the wood from this tree is used to make Louisville Slugger baseball bats. However, keep in mind that White Ash is vulnerable to some insects, such as the Emerald Ash Borer.

5. Red Maple (Acer Rubrum)

Red maple
Doc Searls Red maple

The Red Maple tree is commonly known as shoe-peg maple, scarlet maple, soft maple, water, maple, swamp maple, and white maple. This is a medium-to-large sized tree that has the potential to reach 50 to 90 feet, and if grown in the proper conditions, 125 feet.

The leaves of this tree are 3 to 4 inches long and 2 to 4 inches wide. The leaves that have 3 to 5 lobes are irregularly toothed and are V-shaped. When mature, the leave’s upper surfaces turn green, and the lower surfaces are usually paler in color, portraying shades of white.

6. American Sycamore (Platanus Occidentalis)

American sycamore Platanus occidentalis
John Hayes American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)

The American Sycamore tree is found on the banks of the White River, located in east-central Indiana. It is the most attractive during the winter months. Even though there is a lack of foliage, this allows individuals to get a fine view of the branches and upper trunk.

This tree takes its time and develops slowly- much slower than other trees. When maturing, the tree’s leaves grow 8 to 12 inches wide. In the growing season, the infected leaves usually turn brown and fall off. This usually happens in spring when the weather gets wet and cool.

7. Shagbark Hickory (Carya Ovata)

Carya ovata Shagbark Hickory
Plant Image Library Carya ovata (Shagbark Hickory)

One of the subspecies of Hickories, Shagbark Hickory, is commonly found in Indiana. These trees have tall, vertical barks. When they age, the bark slowly lifts at the bottom of every plate, looking somewhat similar to a pinata.

The leaves of this tree grow opposite each other in pairs so that one leaf sticks out the end. The edges are in the direction of each leaf, almost like a saw blade. When autumn arrives, these leaves go from yellow to brown in color.

8. Black Cherry (Prunus Serotina)

Prunus serotina
Andreas Rockstein Prunus serotina

Black Cherry is an Indiana state tree commonly known as Rum cherry and mountain black cherry. The Black Cherry is located in the region of southeastern Canada to the eastern United States and is botanically known as Prunus Serotina.

In the early Spring season, the trees of Black Cherry produce flowers that are white in color. The trees of Black Cherries are not self-pollinating, but they cross-pollinate for the sake of an increase in number.

9. Eastern Redbud (Cercis Canadensis)

Eastern Redbud
Robert Lyle Bolton Eastern Redbud

The Eastern Redbud is commonly known as Judas’s tree. These trees grow fully in soil that is well-drained with a slightly acidic or alkaline factor in it. Sometimes, clay soil also proves beneficial to the growth of these trees.

These trees produce flowers in the season of April. The maximum height of this tree is 20 to 30 feet, after which it stops growing. It spreads around a distance of 25-35 meters when it gets fully matured.

10. Flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida)

Cornus florida.
H. Zell Cornus florida.

Flowering Dogwood is an Indiana state tree that is well adapted to soil that is well-drained, loamy, and fertile. If the soil also contains organic matter, it benefits the growth of these trees. However, if the moisture in sand exceeds the limit, it becomes hazardous to the growth of this tree.

The Flowering Dogwood trees are actually self- incompatible because they can’t grow themselves and need birds, bees, and other carriers for this purpose. In late March and mid of May, these trees produce flowers.

11. Sassafras (Sassafras Albidum)

Sassafras Tree
Sassafras Tree

The tree of Sassafras Albidum prefers soil that is sandy and well-drained. Their flowering season is usually in the months of April-May. These trees grow fully to 30-60 feet.

Porcupines, white-tailed deer, and rabbits feed on the leaves and flowers of these trees. These trees are used for medicinal purposes by natives. They are used in the cure of urinary tract diseases and swelling in the nose and throat.

12. Pawpaw (Asimina Triloba)

Asimina triloba
James St. John Asimina triloba

Pawpaw trees grow in wet soil and are shady trees. They start ripening in late summer and reach their peak in September and October. They grow in almost 25 states of northern America.

They resemble bananas to some extent and can, therefore, be used in sweet dishes like ice cream, pudding, or cakes and pastries. The tree’s natural color is green, but even at room temperature, it can be ripened. It gets yellow afterward and can be consumed then.

13. Common Persimmon (Diospyros Virginiana)

Diospyros virginiana
Plant Image Library Diospyros virginiana

Common Persimmon has a sweet pulp that is added in candies, puddings, and cookies. It usually ripens in September and October, but some trees might go through the winter too. It is a marvelous natural astringent.

If consumed in huge quantities, Common Persimmon is hazardous to human health, and it causes Diospyrobezoar. This is readily found in the southern side of Indiana but can be found on the northern side also. The average maximum temperature it requires to grow is 35 degrees Celsius in summer and -12 in winters.

14. Sycamore (Platanus)

Sycamore Tree
Amanda Slater Sycamore Tree

The Sycamore has a large appearance and is known for its medicinal properties. Traditional methods to extract the benefits from Sycamore were eating the proponents of tree raw. The tea made by it is used to cure diseases from mild cure to tuberculosis. It is a natural astringent and blood purifier.

It can live as long as six hundred years. It needs vigilance because it is susceptible to many diseases, fire, and ice disasters. Its trunk is straight and giant. Its height ranges from 50-175 feet, 2-15 feet diameter, and 40-80 feet width. Due to its massive size, it is not grown at the residential sites.

15. Black Locust (Robinia Pseudoacacia)

Robinia pseudoacacia
AnRo0002 Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia)

Black locust has robust growth, which is why it is often called “invasive.” The wood of the Black Locust tree is least susceptible to rotting, which makes it the most reliable wood to be used in furniture and other things, in every climate condition.

It has a few threats in the shape of pests, but with little attention and care, this can be overcome. If grown with love and is thoroughly taken after, this tree gives out many benefits.

16. Black Walnut (Juglans Nigra)

Black Walnut Tree
Jim Linwood Black Walnut Tree

Black walnut produces fruit that is eaten, while branch and leaf are used in medicines. It is consumed in diets to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack. It contains tannins in high concentration that works as an anti-inflammation drug and a painkiller.

It grows best in well-drained, moist, and fertile soil. Black walnuts are eaten raw as well as used in ice creams and brownies. Its trees are grown for lumber as well as food. Its wood is expensive and high in demand.

17. Staghorn Sumac (Rhus Typhina)

Rhus typhina Staghorn Sumac
TERRY HUGHES Rhus typhina – Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn Sumac is a tree that can grow in diverse weather conditions, from full sun to partial shade. It is even tolerant of drought. It can survive greatly in the urban city side. It is actually a shrub whose length ranges from 15 to 25 inches. Its leaves are beautiful bright green in the ripening season, which turn into shades of yellow, orange, and red during fall.

Due to hair-like growth on the female flower, it is sometimes also called hairy sumac, fuzzy sumac, and velvet sumac. Due to this hair, it is often used for decorative purposes. It needs 0.8 cups of water in 9 days collectively when it is not exposed to sunlight.

18. American Beech (Fagus Grandifolia)

American Beech
Katja Schulz American Beech

American Beech grows slowly and has a great life expectancy. It can live from 300 to 400 years. It is a mesophotic species that requires water in huge quantities for transpiration. It can survive extreme cold, as much as -42 degrees Celsius, but cannot live through extreme summer.

The tree requires normal temperature in summer, like 38 degrees Celsius. It can even grow in artificial light during winters. Its growing season lasts from 100 to 280 days. In Indiana, American Beech is very sensitive to the lesser moisture of the soil.

19. Slippery Elm (Ulmus Rubra)

Slippery elm can be grown in any kind of soil; the condition is that it must be well-drained. The trunk of the slippery elm can reach up to 70 feet in height. Its fruit and flower color are green. Its flowers bloom in both the winter and summer seasons.

It has magnanimous medicinal properties and is used in traditional herbal treatment as well as in modern medicines. Its inner bark is especially used to treat wounds and gastrointestinal ailments. It can be used as oral and tropical medicine and can treat several illnesses, including acid reflux, inflammatory bowel syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, mouth ulcers, sore throat, diarrhea, and cystitis.

20. Cottonwood Trees (Populus Deltoids)

Cottonwood trees are easily recognized by their white trunk. Their foliage is bright green in color, which gets yellow during fall. The male and female parts of cottonwood trees are produced on separate plants.

This tree is famous due to different reasons, mainly because it grows fast and its timber is inexpensive. It can grow at a length between 50 and 80 feet.

21. White Pine (Pinus Strobus)

White Pine Pinus strobus
Plant Image Library White Pine (Pinus strobus)

White pine is an evergreen tree. It can grow between 50 to 80 feet. In the wild, it can rise up to 135 feet. Its height increases by 24 inches every year. It needs moist but well-drained soil for growth.

Moreover, it requires a good quantity of water at a younger stage. However, when old, it requires one inch of water per week to thrive.

22. Eastern Red Cedar Tree (Juniperus Virginiana)

Eastern red cedar Juniperus virginiana
Nicholas A. Tonelli Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana)

The Eastern red cedar tree has a deep pyramid shape with medium-sized, green-colored foliage. It can be grown in different varieties of soil; loamy, rich, alkaline, acidic, moist, and sandy, clay, silty loam, as well as well-drained soils.

However, its temperature demands vigilance. It prefers complete sunlight and likes to stay in it for six straight hours.

23. Bald Cypress (Taxodium Distichum)

Bald Cypress
Chris M Morris Bald Cypress

The Bald Cypress trees produce both male and female flowers, and that’s why they are monoecious. They do not look like cones at all, and their flowers are produced in the winter season, especially in the months of November and December.

These trees grow to the size of 120 feet with a diameter of 6 feet at the age of maturity. Bald cypresses are threatened by logging, and that’s why they are among the list of those destroyed species.

24. Allegheny Serviceberry (Amelanchier Laevis)

Amelanchier laevis
Tom Lund Amelanchier laevis

The Allegheny Serviceberry mostly grows in sandy or loamy soil and needs an area that is fully or partially shaded as it is unable to bear full sunlight. Dry conditions are also unfavorable to this tree.

This tree is a four-season interest tree as it produces flowers in all four seasons. This tree grows 30-40 feet long, and its spread is almost 15-20 feet.

25. American Chestnut (Castanea Dentata)

American Chestnut
Under The Same Moon American Chestnut

The American Chestnut grows in humid summers and needs an area where there is well-drained soil. It requires at least six hours of light per day to thrive.

American Chestnuts produce only male flowers (catkins) or both male and female flowers (small burns), depending on their location. Usually, the male and female flowers grow on the same branch. A Chestnut tree grows in the month of mid-June to early July.

26. Tamarack (Larix Laricina)

Tamarack Larix laricina
Aaron Carlson Tamarack (Larix laricina)

The Tamarack grows best in wet and moist soil that contains sphagnum and woody peat. They grow best in areas where loamy soil is present.

The Tamarack trees grow to 20 feet in length. They are unique trees as their first-year growth is pink, then deep red, which later on turns into crispy brown by the time fall arrives.

27. American Plum (Prunus Americana)

Prunus Americana
Frank Richards Prunus Americana

American plum trees are capable of tolerating many soil types, but they are best suited to well-drained soil with sunny sites. American Plum is a small shrub-like tree that is about 10-24 feet tall. This tree has small branches that are mostly spiny.

Many birds and animals, including squirrels, raccoons, black bears, and opossums, eat the fruit that this tree produces. Wild deer and mule deer usually eat the twigs and leaves of this shrub-like tree.

28. Basswood (Tilia Americana)

Tilia americana
Virens Tilia americana

The Basswood is an Indiana state tree that grows best in fertile soil that is loamy. These trees are unique because they need Nitrogen for their growth. Basswood trees’ flowers are supported by bees and flies. Usually, flowers are produced in the months of late May and June.

Tilia Americana’s length ranges from around 75-130 feet with a diameter of around 36 to 48 inches. Voles, mice, squirrels, foxes, chipmunks, rabbits, and white-tailed beer rely on basswood trees for their eating purposes.

29. Bigtooth Aspen (Populus Grandidentata)

Populus grandidentata
Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz Populus grandidentata

Bigtooth Aspen is best adapted to floodplains and lower slopes of uplands. Moist, loamy sand, and light loam sands are best for large stands of the Bigtooth Aspen.

The male and female flowers of this tree occur on separate trees, and due to this reason, the Bigtooth Aspen is dioecious. Wind serves as a carrier for the distribution of the seeds over massive distances.

30. Black Gum (Eucalyptus Ovata)

Black Gum
jrfinesimages Black Gum

The Black gum is Indiana’s state tree is also commonly known as sour gum and black tupelo. It grows best in moist, acidic, and well-drained soil. The tree produces green flowers but does not produce fruits. The April-May season is best suited for the flowering of the Black Gum tree.

Black Gum trees grow to 30-50 feet with a spread of 20-30 feet. The Black Gum trees are high in nutrition; therefore, woodpeckers, robins, turkeys, brown thrashers, thrashes, and many other birds rely on this for their nutritional needs.