36 Most Common Trees in Missouri

Missouri is located in the Midwestern region of the United States. The gorgeous State is bordered by eight states, including Iowa, Kentucky, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Nebraska, and Illinois. Much of the State’s land is forested, and the wood from the tree is used for various purposes, including timber, minerals, and recreation.

As one of the oldest inhabited States of the United States, there are over 119 various species of trees spread around here. This also goes to show how valuable yet widely available wood had been for civilians for years here. The wood from these trees had been used to build the industry and infrastructure of the State for centuries.

Moreover, there are also thousands of trails in the State. As you walk along some of these trails, you will likely come across various types of unique trees.

This article will provide brief descriptions of 35 of the most common trees you can find in Missouri, including their various unique features and characteristics. All in all, they will help you identify these different species and gain a better understanding of the wide flora and fauna found in this beautiful State.

1. Flowering Dogwood (Cornus Florida)

Cornus florida.
H. Zell Cornus florida.

This is the state tree of Missouri and is widely found in Southern Missouri, typically along forest edges. Due to its attractive and vibrant foliage and flowers, the tree is normally planted as an ornamental tree in gardens. In fact, its roots were also used in previous years to make red dye.

18 Flowering Trees For Missouri
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2. Pin Oak (Quercus Palustris)

Pin Oak
Dan Keck Pin Oak

These are one of the most common trees in Missouri that you can find planted in various neighborhoods and cities of the State. It is a fast-growing tree and is planted because of its wide canopy and shade. Pin Oaks grow to a maximum height of 70 feet, although the State Champion stands at nearly 99 feet.

Related: 9 Beautiful Types Of Oak Trees In Missouri

3. Sweetgum (Liquidambar Styraciflua)

Liquidambar sweet gum
Wendy Cutler Liquidambar (sweet gum)

This tree is a medium to a fast-growing tree found in Missouri and is quite resistant to urban environments, extreme temperatures, insects, and disease. Besides the shade it provides, Sweetgum is also known for its incredible display of golden, red, and often purple-colored leaves. The maximum height this beautiful tree grows to is about 75 feet.

4. Silver Maple (Acer Saccharinum)

Darkone Silver Maple – Acer saccharinum

This tree is also known as the Soft Maple because of its weak and brittle branches. The Silver Maple is one of the fastest-growing trees in Missouri and can reach up to a height of 100 feet. You can find it almost anywhere in St. Louis or its surrounding areas.

Related: Magnificent Types Of Maple Trees In Missouri

5. Ash (Fraxinus)

You can easily find the Ash tree in streets and suburban settings as they provide a filtered shade and wide sprawling crown. During the fall, their leaves have a vibrant yellow color. These trees grow up to a height of 75 feet, but they are taller and slender in forested areas. The tallest recorded Ash tree is about 150 feet.

6. Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana ‘Bradford’)

Bradford Pear
Dennis Matheson Bradford Pear

Another tree you can commonly find on the streets of the State is the Bradford Pear tree that has been around for over sixty years. The tree is known for having the brightest colors during spring and fall times. However, it is prone to breakage under extreme winds, cold, snow, and ice.

7. American Elm (Ulmus Americana)

American Elm
Scott Blackwell American Elm

These are certainly one of the most common trees found in Missouri. During the 20th century, they were lined across all the streets as they provided a canopy of shade on the main roads. However, they used to be quite sought after in previous times, since they are so widely available everywhere, they are not as popular anymore. 

8. White Pine (Pinus Strobus)

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

This is the most significant and beautiful landscape evergreens in Missouri. They are used in most residential due to the dense shade they provide that acts as windbreakers. Moreover, their shade also acts as a barrier from unwanted views and sounds. These fast-growing trees grow up to a height of 90 feet in less than 40 years.

Related: 7 Different Types Of Pine Trees In Missouri

9. Eastern Redbud (Cercis Canadensis)

Eastern Redbud
Robert Lyle Bolton Eastern Redbud

This small native tree can be found on the country roadways throughout the State. They grow to only about 25-30 feet and during the spring and fall times have the most vibrant and attractive display of purple shades. It is the perfect tree to plant in gardens and houses since it is also low maintenance.  

10. Willow (Salix)

jumpstory download20210202 084052
JumpStory Willow Tree

This is one of the most dispersed trees not just in Missouri but all of North America. They are also commonly found along the Missouri River. The large, multi-stemmed tree thrives in incredibly moist and wet soils and is an important food source for bees and other wildlife.

11. Quaking Aspen (Populus Tremuloides)

Quaking Aspens
Nicholas A. Tonelli Quaking Aspens

Another broadly dispersed type of tree in North America is the Quaking Aspen, which gets its name from the simple leaves of the tree that shiver or ‘quake’ when the slightest breeze hits them. These trees are unique from other types since they grow from the same root systems, acting as one single organism.

12. Eastern Cottonwood (Populus Deltoides)

Eastern Cottonwood
Nick Varvel Eastern Cottonwood

The Eastern Cottonwood tree also belongs to the Willow family and is widely found in Missouri. Similar to all types of Willow trees, these also thrive in wet soil, which is why you can find them along the banks of the Missouri River. These release a cotton-like substance during the Springtime, which is when you can quickly notice them. 

13. Blue Ash (Fraxinus Quadrangulata)

Blue ash Fraxinus quadrangulata
Masebrock Blue ash (Fraxinus quadrangulata)

Though a native tree of Michigan, the Blue Ash can also be found in various cities of Missouri, but especially in dry woodlands. In previous times, the bark of the tree was used to make a blue dye, which is where it gets its name from. The tree grows to a maximum height of 75 feet and has a narrow and irregular-shaped crown. 

14. Birch (Betula)

Birch tree
Leimenide Birch tree

The Birch is a unique tree because it has multiple trunks and spreading branches. The fast-growing tree is disease resistant and can also withstand the hot and humid temperature of the Missouri summers. Over time, this tree can become quite large.

15. Wild Apple (Malus Sieversii)

Wild Apple Tree
Ainis Wild Apple Tree

Apples you can find in Missouri are likely to come from this Wild Apple tree. It is located along roadsides in most urban areas and cities of the State. The small tree typically grows to a maximum height of 50 feet. The apples from this tree are pretty juicy and delicious and are used in various pies. 

16. American Beech (Fagus Grandifolia)

American Beech
Katja Schulz American Beech

This is truly one of the most popular and recognizable trees in the Eastern part of the United States. Not only that, but it is also one of the most valuable trees for both humans and wildlife. The wood from the tree is used to build various types of furniture, and the beechnuts from the tree are consumed by diverse wildlife. 

17. Boxelder Maple (Acer Negundo)

Box Elder Maple acer negundo
Public Domain Box Elder Maple (acer negundo)

These are yet another common tree found in Missouri, especially in more wet areas. This is one of the most unusual trees from the Maple Tree family since their leaves have an odd shape. The saps of the tree can be made to maple, but they have a lower yield. These trees do not grow as fast and only grow to be at a height of 50 feet.  

18. Shagbark Hickory (Carya Ovata)

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

The Shagbark Hickory tree comes from a huge family of hickory trees, and the walnuts from these trees are a comprehensive source of food for both animals and humans. Moreover, this large tree also has quite hard and strong wood, so it is popularly used to make ski poles and tool handles.  

19. Red Mulberry Tree (Morus Rubra)

Morus rubra
Frank Richards Morus rubra

This is a native fruit tree of Missouri that is popularly planted in gardens. The berries from the tree are delicious and consumed by humans and animals alike. Moreover, the tree is suitable for any soil type. However, the dye from the fruits can cause stains on shoes, carpets, and floorings, especially considering it spreads widely and quickly throughout gardens.

20. Witch Hazel Tree (Hamamelis Virginiana)

Hamamelis virginiana
David J. Stang Hamamelis virginiana

This has been a valuable tree for centuries in the Atlantic North America regions. In previous times, it was used to treat inflammation and wounds. Even today, it is considered a popular ingredient for various home remedies. The tree can easily be identified by its spiky, yellow, and fragrant leaves.

21. Horse Chestnut (Aesculus Hippocastanum)

Aesculus hippocastanum
Andreas Rockstein Aesculus hippocastanum

This is a medium to large tree that grows to a height of 75 feet. The tree produces a large, brown, and spiny fruit that is the size of a golf ball. Inside the fruit, there is an edible nut-like seed. These trees often turn into a beautiful deep shade of mahogany during the fall, making them quite unique.

22. Eastern Red Cedar Tree (Juniperus Virginiana)

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

One of the main reasons this is a common tree in Missouri that it is widely adaptable to all soils. This is why the Eastern Red Cedar is also a good choice for home gardens. It has tiny and scaly needles, but the dark blue cones are quite similar to blueberries.  

Related: 7 Cedar Tree Benefits

23. Smooth Sumac (Rhus Glabra)

Smooth Sumac
Homer Edward Price Smooth Sumac

 This Missouri native tree is commonly found on abandoned farmlands, roadsides, prairies, fields, and along railroads throughout the State. This is why it is one of the most common trees and one that you have likely already seen there. They have large green leaves and small yellowish flowers that often turn into attractive shades of bright orange.

24. European Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)

Rhamnus cathartica
Matt Lavin Rhamnus cathartica

 This is a shrub tree that is quite small and only grows up to a height of 25 feet. It is also quite weedy and thick and can be found in open fields, pastures, and along roadsides. They have bright green leaves that turn yellow during fall and also have small yellow-green flowers.

25. Eastern Wahoo (Euonymus Atropurpureus)

 The Eastern Wahoo is also another tiny shrub tree found in Missouri. However, what sets it apart from the European Buckthorn is the fact that it also has attractive red berries. A wide range of wildlife consumes this fruit. Moreover, the tree also has bright colors during fall time that make it unique and recognizable.

26. Northern Catalpa (Catalpa Speciosa)

Northern catalpa tree
Frederick County Forestry Board Northern catalpa tree

This is a medium to large deciduous tree that typically grows to a maximum height of 70 feet. You can find the Northern Catalpa in northeastern Missouri in low and upland woods as well as along streams. What truly makes this tree beautiful are the unique, bell-shaped white flowers with purple and yellow inner spottings.

27. Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo Biloba)

Maidenhair Tree
Jim Linwood Maidenhair Tree

 The Maidenhair Tree is one of the largest trees in Missouri as it grows to a maximum height of 100 feet tall. However, what makes it unique is the fact that it is one of the first plants to be grown on earth up to 150 million years ago. Hence, these Gingkos have been around for many years, especially in the Missouri region.

28. Russian Olive (Elaeagnus Angustifolia)

Elaeagnus angustifolia
Andreas Rockstein Elaeagnus angustifolia

The Russian Olive is a small tree with silvery leaves. It grows small flowers on the leaves during the summers and has fruits that have small and yellow stony pits. Since these have been planted in yards, they have become quite invasive. This is why they are becoming a growing problem in Missouri.  

29. American Holly (Ilex Opaca) 

The American Holly is a tree that can be found in various gardens and parks throughout Missouri. It is unique from all trees due to its bright red fruit that matures and grows during the summer but can also be found during the wintertime. The tree branches of the American Holly are widely used in Missouri as holiday decorations.

30. Common Persimmon (Diospyros Virginiana)

Diospyros virginiana
Plant Image Library Diospyros virginiana

These trees can be found in Missouri, but they can appear differently depending on their growing conditions. In open spaces, they may grow up to a height of 30 feet, whereas in other conditions, they may grow up to 60 feet. The fruits bear a round, purple, and orange color during the fall time and are often consumed once they ripen. 

31. Basswood (Tilia Americana)

 This is a medium-sized tree with small and drooping branches. Similarly, when the Basswood blooms, it has drooping pale yellow to whitish-colored flowers. The tree grows up to a height of 60 feet and has shiny and thin green leaves. Today, there is limited distribution of Basswood in Missouri.

32. Sycamore (Platanus Occidentalis)

Sycamore Tree
Amanda Slater Sycamore Tree

These massive trees have large white branches with green and broad leaves. The Sycamore is considered to be one of the largest trees found in Missouri since they grow up to a height of 100 feet. They can be found on large open fields and forests, but seldom in urban settlements where the soil is not suitable for their growth.

33. Bald Cypress (Taxodium Distichum)

Bald Cypress
Chris M Morris Bald Cypress

This tree is called bald because it is a deciduous conifer and loses all of its needles during the fall time.  These trees are pretty unique because they can live up to 1000 years, which is why they are one of the oldest trees in North America. You can find Bald Cyprus along rivers and lakes.

Related: 5 Forgotten Cypress Tree Benefits

34. Pawpaw (Asimina Triloba)

Asimina triloba
James St. John Asimina triloba

The Pawpaw trees produce a unique, edible, sweet, and decadent fruit that serves many purposes.  These trees grow up to a height of 30 feet and tend to grow in colonies. If you plan to grow these in your garden, you should know that the fruit attracts many squirrels and raccoons.

35. Sassafras (Sassafras Albidum)

Sassafras Tree
Sassafras Tree

You can quickly identify the Sassafras trees in Missouri through its three distinct leaf shapes that include a mitten-shaped one, an entire leaf-shaped, and the trident-shaped one. These leaves can give an off odor when crushed. The Trees grow in colonies up to a height of 60 feet. This tree serves many purposes, including medicinal ones and as a flavoring for root beer. However, it has now been banned in commercial goods because it contains carcinogenic compounds.

36. American Bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia)

Staphylea trifolia
gailhampshire Staphylea trifolia

This is a fast-growing Missouri native plant that is considered a small tree or a large shrub. It can be found in bottomlands, woodlands, and areas with moist soils. These trees grow in dense colonies and only have a height of about 15 feet. They have dark green leaves and white, bell-shaped flowers.