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Do you know your state tree?


Standing tall as symbols for their states, official state trees are points of pride from coast to coast.

Back in 1893, when states were a relatively new thing, a women’s congress at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago suggested a “National Garland of Flowers” made of flowers representing each state. Inhabitants of a state were to select the flower that best reflected the character of their part of the U.S., the choices of which were then adopted by state legislatures.

The idea took off; state birds followed, and now states have a whole menagerie of natural treasures that play mascot. But among flowers and amphibians and fish and birds (which are all special) there’s something extra special about official state trees. Maybe it’s because it’s so easy to imagine states once covered with their official trees (all of the state trees, except for Hawaii’s, are native to the state in which they are designated) and paying homage to them seems only fair. Not to mention that trees are just so unequivocally noble, and so anthropomorphic; they make the perfect ambassadors. And certainly, having state pride in one’s state tree hopefully engenders a bit more love in the direction of trees; a family of organisms that we really can’t love enough.

So with that in mind, why not get to know your state tree? They are listed below by state, with both common and scientific names; but first, a visual assist by Smokey Bear (because part of loving your state tree is making sure not to burn it down).

State trees

© U.S. Forest Service

Alabama: Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris)
Alaska: Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)
Arizona: Blue Palo Verde (Parkinsonia florida)
Arkansas: Loblolly Pine (Pinus taeda)
California: Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)
California: Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)
Colorado: Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens)
Connecticut: White Oak Charter (Quercus alba)
Delaware: American Holly (Ilex opaca)
District of Columbia: Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)
Florida: Sabal Palm (Sabal palmetto)
Georgia: Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
Hawaii: Candlenut Tree (Aleurites moluccanus)
Idaho: Western White Pine (Pinus monticola)
Illinois: White Oak (Quercus alba)
Indiana: Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Iowa: Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
Kansas: Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
Kentucky: Tulip-tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Louisiana: Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum)
Maine: Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
Maryland: White Oak (Quercus alba)
Massachusetts: American Elm (Ulmus americana)
Michigan: Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus)
Minnesota: Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)
Mississippi: Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora)
Missouri: Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida)
Montana: Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa)
Nebraska: Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)
Nevada: Single-leaf Pinyon (Pinus monophylla)
Nevada: Great Basin Bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva)
New Hampshire: American White Birch (Betula papyrifera)
New Jersey: Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra)
New Mexico: Piñon Pine (Pinus edulis)
New York: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
North Carolina: Pine (Pinus)
North Dakota: American Elm (Ulmus americana)
Ohio: Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra)
Oklahoma: Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
Oregon: Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)
Pennsylvania: Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
Rhode Island: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)
South Carolina: Sabal Palm (Sabal palmetto)
South Dakota: Black Hills Spruce (Picea glauca)
Tennessee: Tulip-tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Texas: Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)
Utah: Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)
Vermont: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
Virginia: Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida)
Washington: Western Hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla)
West Virginia: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
Wisconsin: Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
Wyoming: Plains Cottonwood (Populus deltoides)

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