28 Most Common Trees in Utah

The state of Utah is hailed to have a lot of beautiful trees which creates a stunning landscape all over the state. There are many species of trees that can be found in Utah and most common trees in Utah includes Ponderosa Pine, Cottonwood, Quaking Aspen, Douglas Fir, Blue Spruce among others.

The climate and landscape of Utah has a lot to do with the types and varieties of trees that can be found in areas where they grow. Utah’s state tree was the Blue Spruce until 2014, when it was replaced by the Quacking Aspen. The Dixie Red Cedar and Rocky Mountain Juniper are among other notable trees in Utah.

The following article describes 28 of the most common types of trees in Utah.

1. Quaking Aspen (populus tremuloides)

Populus tremuloides
Mitch Barrie Populus tremuloides

The Quaking Aspen are among the most common trees in Utah that can be found in forests, open meadows and mountain slopes. They are usually fast-growing, large sized deciduous or semi-deciduous trees which have short trunks with twisted shapes. The bark is light brown while leaves are oval shaped which have finely serrated edges. Quaking Aspen trees are mostly found in Utah’s mountain ranges including Wasatch and Uinta Mountains.

2. Ponderosa Pine (pinus ponderosa)

Pinus ponderosa
Forrest and Kim Starr Pinus ponderosa

The Ponderosa Pine (pinus ponderosa) is one of the most common types of trees found in southwestern regions of Utah. They are among the biggest trees in the world that can be up to 100 meters tall with a trunk that can have a diameter of up to 4 meters. The bark is red-brown, fibrous and scaly. The tree has long needles which are yellowish-green in color and five centimeters long.

3. White Fir (abies concolor)

Abies concolor White Fir
S. Rae Abies concolor (White Fir)

The White Fir is a common tree in Utah found at elevations of up to 2000 meters. They are evergreen coniferous trees which can have a height of up to 60 meters with a trunk diameter of up to 1.2 meters. The bark is gray-brown and flaky, while needles are short, about 1.5 centimeters long.

4. Rocky Mountain Maple (acer glabrum)

Rocky Mountain Maple (acer glabrum)
Rocky Mountain Maple (acer glabrum)

The Rocky Mountain Maple is a small, common deciduous tree in Utah with a strict range of distribution, only found locally. It can grow up to 8 meters tall and have trunks which can reach up to 24 centimeters wide. The bark is thin, gray-brown or red-brown, while leaves are green above with paler undersides.

5. Serviceberry (amelanchier arborea)

Amelanchier arborea
Plant Image Library Amelanchier arborea

The Serviceberry is a small deciduous tree that grows up to 10 meters tall with smooth gray bark. The tree has bristly shoots and short spiny lenticles on its leaves. Flowers are bell-shaped, white to pale pink in color, while fruits become bright red when ripe and edible.

6. Netleaf Hackberry (celtis reticulata)

Netleaf hackberry Celtis reticulata syn. Celtis occidentalis var. reticulata
Andrey Zharkikh Netleaf hackberry (Celtis reticulata syn. Celtis occidentalis var. reticulata)

The Netleaf Hackberry is a small to medium-sized Utah tree that can reach up to 16 meters tall and 40 centimeters wide. Fruits are orange-red berry like, while leaves are bright green and shiny on the upper surface.

7. Mountain Mahogany (cercocarpus ledifolius)

Cercocarpus ledifolius
Jason Hollinger Cercocarpus ledifolius

The Mountain Mahogany is a small Utah tree or shrub that can grow up to 5 meters high and have trunks which are about 10 centimeters thick. The bark is red-brown, furrowed and flaking, while leaves are green and needle like. Berries of this tree become pale yellow when ripe.

8. Desert Willow (chilopsis linearis)

desert willow chilopsis linearis tree
calpoly.edu Desert Willow (chilopsis linearis) tree

The Desert Willow is a small or medium-sized deciduous tree that can grow up to 10 meters tall and have slender, weeping branches. The bark is gray-brown in color, while twigs are slender and greenish. Flowers are pink, funnel shaped with a narrow end, while fruits become brown when ripe.

9. Douglas Hawthorn (crataegus douglasii)

Crataegus douglasii
Matt Lavin Crataegus douglasii

The Douglas Hawthorn is a medium-sized Utah tree or shrub that can have a height of up to 8 meters. The bark is thin, grayish-brown with longitudinal cracks, while leaves are large and shiny dark green colored. Berries are red in color, round and smaller than 1 cm wide.

10. Utah Juniper (juniperus osteosperma)

Juniperus osteosperma Utah juniper
Matt Lavin Juniperus osteosperma – Utah juniper

The Utah Juniper is a small or medium-sized coniferous tree that can grow up to 15 meters tall. It has reddish brown bark which becomes fissured at the base, while leaves are scale like and gray-blue in color. The tree has berries which become dark blue when ripe and edible by birds only.

11. Engelmann Spruce (picea engelmannii)

Picea engelmannii
Frank Richards Picea engelmannii

The Engelmann Spruce is a common coniferous tree which can become 60 meters tall. It has light green leaves, also known as needles, which are two centimeters long and triangular in shape. The bark is grayish-brown to reddish brown with scaly ridges, while cones are cylindrical and 2-3 centimeters long.

12. Blue Spruce (picea pungens)

Blue Spruce
Frank Richards Blue Spruce

The Blue Spruce is a large tree which can grow up to 25 meters tall. It has blue-green needles, 2 to 4 centimeters long with prickles on the stalk. The bark is reddish-brown and scaly, while cones are cylindrical and up to 12 centimeters long.

13. Bristlecone Pine (pinus longaeva)

Bristlecone Pine Pinus Longaeva
John Rusk Bristlecone Pine (Pinus Longaeva)

The Bristlecone Pine is a common medium-sized Utah coniferous tree that can grow up to 15 meters tall. It has gray-brown bark with dense prickly, yellowish twigs. Needles are in groups of five and 2 centimeters long, while cones are large and woody, 12 centimeters long and 10 centimeters wide.

14. Narrowleaf Cottonwood (populus angustifolia) 

Populus angustifolia narrowleaf cottonwood
NRCS Montana Populus angustifolia (narrowleaf cottonwood)

The Narrowleaf Cottonwood is a common large deciduous tree that can reach up to 50 meters tall. It has dark gray bark which becomes fissured and scaly, while branches droop towards the end. The leaves are green and heart shaped, with fine-haired stalks, while fruits become fluffy and white when ripe.

15. Chokecherry (prunus virginiana)

Common chokecherry Prunus virginiana
USDA NRCS Montana Common chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)

The Chokecherry is a common small tree in Utah that can grow up to 8 meters tall. The bark is grayish-brown, thin and smooth with bright green leaves which turn reddish-purple in autumn. Flowers are pink, while fruits become dark purple when ripe and edible by birds only.

16. Douglas Fir (pseudotsuga menziesii)

Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii
Tom Brandt Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

The Douglas Fir is a common coniferous tree that can reach up to 50 meters tall. It has orange-red bark which becomes scaly with age, while dark green needles are in groups of two and 5 to 10 centimeters long. The tree has small cones 2 cm long, while its wood is often used for lumber.

17. Peachleaf Willow (salix amygdaloides)

Peachleaf Willow salix amygdaloides
Matt Lavin Peachleaf Willow (salix amygdaloides)

The Peachleaf Willow is a medium-sized Utah tree or shrub that can grow up to 10 meters tall. It has thin, smooth bark which is brown with yellow spots, while twigs are green and slender. The leaves are heart shaped and drooping, on long stalks which become hairy when young. Flowers are yellowish-white, while fruits become red when ripe.

18. Incense Cedar (calocedrus decurrens)

Calocedrus decurrens Incense Cedar
Wendy Cutler Calocedrus decurrens (Incense Cedar)

The Incense Cedar is a medium-sized Utah tree which can grow up to 12 meters tall. It has reddish-brown bark that becomes fissured on old trees, while leaves are green on both sides with two white stomatal bands underneath. The tree has small cones about 1 cm long, while its wood is often used for construction.

19. European Larch (larix decidua)

Larix decidua
Sciadopitys Larix decidua

The European Larch is a medium-sized Utah coniferous tree that can grow up to 25 meters tall. It has gray bark which becomes scaly and darkens with age, while needles are in groups of three and 10–30 centimeters long. The leaves turn yellow in autumn, while the cones remain on the tree for many years and become woody.

20. Giant Sequoia (sequoiadendron giganteum)

Sequoiadendron giganteum Giant Sequoia
Plant Image Library Sequoiadendron giganteum (Giant Sequoia)

The Giant Sequoia is a large Utah coniferous tree that can grow up to 50 meters tall. It has reddish bark which becomes fissured with age, while leaves are green on both sides and have three white stomatal bands underneath. The cones are 4-8 centimeters long with seeds 15–20 mm long.

21. White Fringetree (chionanthus virginicus)

Chionanthus virginicus Fringetree
F. D. Richards Chionanthus virginicus (Fringetree)

The White Fringetree is a medium-sized Utah deciduous tree that can grow up to 10 meters tall. It has smooth, greenish bark with brown spots, while leaves are opposite and oval shaped. Flowers are white with fringes on the bottom, males and females on separate trees, while fruits become dark blue when ripe.

22. Yellowwood (cladrastis kentukea)

Yellowwood. Cladrastis kentukea
karen_hine Yellowwood. (Cladrastis kentukea)

The Yellowwood is a medium-sized Utah tree that can grow up to 25 meters tall. It has thin, smooth gray bark which is brown and scaly when older, while leaves are dark green and heart shaped. Flowers are yellow in clusters about 4 centimeters long, while fruits become brown when ripe with seeds inside.

23. Corneliancherry Dogwood (cornus mas)

Cornus mas Cornelian cherry dogwood
Frank Richards Cornus mas (Cornelian cherry dogwood)

The Corneliancherry Dogwood is a medium-sized Utah deciduous tree that can grow up to 12 meters tall. The bark is thin, gray and smooth with green twigs, while leaves are alternate and oval shaped. Flowers are white in clusters 5 centimeters long, while fruits become red when ripe from August to October.

24. Turkish Hazel (corylus colurna)

Turkish Hazel
Tim Sheerman-Chase Turkish Hazel

The Turkish Hazel is a common medium-sized Utah tree which can grow up to 20 meters tall. It has thin, smooth, gray bark with green twigs and flowers in groups of 3 or 5. Fruits are nuts enclosed in a husk, while leaves are alternate and lanceolate shaped.

25. European Beech (fagus sylvatica)

Fagus sylvatica European Beech
Frank Richards Fagus sylvatica (European Beech)

The European Beech is a common large Utah deciduous tree that can grow up to 50 meters tall. It has gray bark which becomes scaly with age, while leaves are alternate and oblong shaped. Flowers are small in groups of 2 or 3, while fruits become brown when ripe from September to October.

26. Kentucky Coffeetree (gymnocladus dioicus)

Kentucky Coffee Tree Gymnocladus dioicus
Bruce Marlin Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioicus)

The Kentucky Coffeetree is a medium-sized Utah tree that can grow up to 15 meters tall. It has reddish-brown bark which becomes fissured with age, while leaves are alternate and oblong shaped. Flowers are pale yellow in groups of 2 or 3, while fruits become brown when ripe from October to November.

27. Yellow Poplar (liriodendron tulipifera)

Liriodendron tulipifera
Crusier Liriodendron tulipifera

The Yellow Poplar is a large Utah deciduous tree that can grow up to 40 meters tall. It has green bark which has 4-5 horizontal stripes and becomes scaly when older, while leaves are alternate and heart shaped with serrated edges. Flowers are yellow with four petals.

28. Bur Oak (quercus macrocarpa)

Quercus macrocarpa Bur Oak
Plant Image Library Quercus macrocarpa (Bur Oak)

The Bur Oak is a large Utah evergreen tree which can grow up to 30 meters tall. It has scaly gray bark with deep grooves, while leaves are alternate and long-pointed with round bases. Flowers are small in groups of 2 or 3, while fruits become acorns that take two years to mature from September to October.

29. Japanese Tree Lilac (syringa reticulata)

Japanese tree lilac
Ali Eminov Japanese tree lilac

The Japanese Tree Lilac is a medium-sized deciduous Utah tree which can grow up to 8 meters tall. It has smooth, green branches with gray bark and flowers in groups of 2 or 3. Fruits are small capsules containing many seeds from June to July.