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Which Native Tree is Right for You?

Are you thinking about purchasing a native tree? Take our quiz to find out which tree might be best for you!

Quiz Questions

  • 1.
    How high can your tree get?
    • A.
      80-100+ feet
      (Correlates to: You got:  Long-leaf Pine, You got: White Oak, You got: Southern Pecan, You got: Southern Shagbark Hickory)
    • B.
      50-80 feet
      (Correlates to: You got: Southern Red Oak, You got: Black Cherry, You got: Persimmon, You got: Red Maple)
    • C.
      Under 50 feet
      (Correlates to: You got: Eastern Red-bud, You got: Blackgum)
  • 2.
    How far can your tree spread?
    • A.
      50-90 feet
      (Correlates to: You got: White Oak, You got: Southern Red Oak, You got: Black Cherry, You got: Southern Pecan)
    • B.
      35-50 feet
      (Correlates to: You got:  Long-leaf Pine, You got: Blackgum, You got: Red Maple, You got: Southern Shagbark Hickory)
    • C.
      under 35 feet
      (Correlates to: You got: Eastern Red-bud, You got: Persimmon)
  • 3.
    What is your soil moisture like?
    • A.
      Well-drained
      (Correlates to: You got:  Long-leaf Pine, You got: White Oak, You got: Southern Red Oak, You got: Eastern Red-bud, You got: Blackgum, You got: Black Cherry, You got: Southern Pecan, You got: Southern Shagbark Hickory)
    • B.
      Moist
      (Correlates to: You got: Blackgum, You got: Persimmon, You got: Southern Pecan, You got: Red Maple)
    • C.
      I really don't know. Why are you asking all these questions?
      (Correlates to: You got: White Oak, You got: Southern Red Oak)
  • 4.
    Let's get real. Are you patient?
    • A.
      Yes - I can wait a long time for a tree to grow
      (Correlates to: You got: White Oak, You got: Blackgum, You got: Southern Shagbark Hickory)
    • B.
      Sometimes, but I don't want to wait a really long time
      (Correlates to: You got:  Long-leaf Pine, You got: Southern Red Oak, You got: Eastern Red-bud, You got: Blackgum, You got: Persimmon, You got: Red Maple)
    • C.
      No - I want a tree right now! It must grow fast!
      (Correlates to: You got:  Long-leaf Pine, You got: Black Cherry, You got: Southern Pecan, You got: Red Maple)

Quiz Outcomes

  • 1.
    You got:  Long-leaf Pine
    Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris): This evergreen keeps its foliage year-round, providing shade as well as food and cover for wildlife, including squirrels, quail, brown-headed nuthatches, turkeys, and the now-endangered red-cockaded woodpecker. Legendary among Southern flora. Native Habitat: Open, dry habitats; sand ridges; coastal plains Sun Preference: Sun, Part Shade Soil Preference: Alkaline, loamy, rich and clay soils; it is drought-tolerant once established Height: 60-100 ft Spread: 30-40 ft Growth Rate: Medium to fast; 13” to more than 24” per year with a new level of branches added each year Attributes: Flexible green needles up to 18” long; Produces 6-10” long cones Wildlife: Provides food and cover for wildlife, including squirrels, quail, brown-headed nuthatches, turkeys, and the now-endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Leuconotopicus borealis) Not what you were looking for?
  • 2.
    You got: White Oak
    White Oak (Quercus alba): A large canopy makes this a perfect shade tree, and in the fall it turns a striking shade of burgundy. The acorns are a great source of food for wildlife and are gathered, hoarded, and eaten by birds, deer, and rodents. Native Habitat: Mesic to dry woods; warm, southwest slopes; rocky hillsides; dry upland slopes to well drained loam in bottomlands Sun Preference: Sun, Part Shade Soil Preference: Slightly acidic to neutral, deep, moist, well-drained soil; intolerant of alkaline, shallow or abused urban soils; tolerates moderate drought and occasional wet soil Height: 60-100 ft Spread: 50-90 ft Growth Rate: Slow; 12-14” per year Attributes: Produces acorns annually; Catkins 2-4” long; Leaves turn burgundy in fall Wildlife: Acorns are gathered, hoarded, and eaten by birds, deer, and rodents; Attracts butterflies and is a larval host for Edwards’ hairstreak (Satyrium edwarsii) Not what you were looking for?
  • 3.
    You got: Southern Red Oak
    Southern Red Oak (Quercus falcata): Great for shade or near the street, this deciduous tree is winter hardy, and tolerates brief flooding. It provides food and cover for mammals, rodents, and deer, and serves as a nesting site and food source for birds. Native Habitat: Dry upland sites of sandy or clay loam throughout the southeastern United States Sun Preference: Part Shade Soil Preference: Sandy, loamy or clay soils Height: 60-80 ft Spread: 60-70 ft Growth Rate: Medium; 13-24” per year Attributes: Produces acorns biennially; Leaves turn reddish-brown in fall Wildlife: Provides food and cover for mammals, rodents, and deer, and serves as a nesting site and food source for birds; Attracts butterflies and is a larval host for the banded hairstreak (Satyrium calanus) and white M hairstreak (Parrhasius m-album). Not what you were looking for?
  • 4.
    You got: Eastern Red-bud
    Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis): Known as the harbinger of spring featuring one of the season’s most dramatic displays, its flowers bloom in a profusion of pink, making it a bold addition to any yard or landscape. A great attractor of early-season butterflies and native birds. Native Habitat: Open woods and woodland margins; rocky stream banks and bluffs; limestone glades Sun Preference: Sun, Part Shade Soil Preference: Acidic, alkaline, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, well-drained and clay soils Height: 15-30 ft Spread: 25-35 ft Growth Rate: Medium; 13-24” per year Attributes: Showy display of pink flowers in tight clusters; Yields 2-3” brownish-black pods in winter Wildlife: Blooms attract nectar-seeking instects and songbirds eat the seeds; Provides nesting materials and serves as a nesting site for birds; Provides shelter for mammals. Not what you were looking for?
  • 5.
    You got: Blackgum
    Blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica): This shade tree is a big draw for native wildlife, featuring blooms that serve as a rich nectar source for pollinators and berries as a food source for birds and mammals. It also provides cavity and nesting sites for a variety of birds and mammals. Native Habitat: Low, wet woods; drier, sandy sites Sun Preference: Sun, Part Shade Soil Preference: Acidic, loamy, moist, rich, sandy, silty loam and well-drained soils Height: 30-50 ft Spread: 20-30 ft Growth Rate: Slow to medium; less than 12” to 24” per year Attributes: Leaves turn bright scarlet in fall; Produces small, blue berries; Very small greenish-white flowers form in clusters at the top of a long stalk Wildlife: Berries are a favorite of birds and serve as an important food source for birds migrating in fall; Provides cavity and nesting sites for squirrels, raccoons, and opossums; Flower clusters attract native pollinators Not what you were looking for?
  • 6.
    You got: Black Cherry
    Black Cherry (Prunus serotina): Handsome in spring, summer, and fall, this is one of the larger members of the cherry family and a great habitat for birds. A fine landscaping addition. Native Habitat: Moist or dry, open woods; fence rows; roadsides; old fields Sun Preference: Sun, Part Shade, Shade Soil Preference: Well-drained soils; pH preference depends on variety and region Height: 50-80 ft Spread: 30-60 ft Growth Rate: Fast; 12-24” or more Attributes: Aromatic; Edible fruit can be pitted and eaten raw or used in jellies, jams, and pies; Leaves turn yellow to red in fall; Racemes of small, white flowers give rise to edible reddish-black berries Wildlife: Fruit is consumed by a wide variety of bird and mammal species, as well as some insects; Attracts moths and butterflies and is a larval host for many species including the eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), viceroy (Limenitis archippus), promethea moth (Callosamia promethea), and banded tussock moth (Halysidota tessellaris) Not what you were looking for?
  • 7.
    You got: Persimmon
    Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana): When mature, the fruit of the persimmon may be eaten right off the tree. Even in winter, its distinctive gray bark, in its block-like pattern, sets it apart in any landscape. Native Habitat: Dry woods; old fields; clearings Sun Preference: Part Shade Soil Preference: Variable, growing best in moist, rich soil Height: 15-60’ Spread: 10-35’ Growth Rate: Medium; 13-24” per year Attributes: Sweet, orange edible fruit in fall; Fragrant, white to greenish-yellow flowers bloom in late spring Wildlife: Fruit provides a food source to birds and mammals including opossums, raccoons, skunks, and deer; Flowers attract pollinators; Hosts the luna moth (Actias luna)
  • 8.
    You got: Southern Pecan
    Southern Pecan (Carya illinoinensis): Known across the South for the nuts it produces, when mature the southern pecan can be a downright imperial presence in the yard or landscape. Native Habitat: Wooded bottomlands; stream banks Sun Preference: Sun Soil Preference: Rich, moist, well-drained soils Height: 70-120 ft Spread: 40-70 ft Growth Rate: Fast; 12-24” or more Attributes: Largest of the hickories; Edible nuts can be collected when ripe in fall and, after removing the husk, can be eat raw or used in cooking Wildlife: Nuts provide food source to a wide range of insects, birds, and mammals; Attracts butterflies and is a larval host for the gray hairstreak butterfly (Strymon melinus) Not what you were looking for?
  • 9.
    You got: Red Maple
    Red Maple (Acer rubrum): This tree will bring beauty and aesthetic interest to any yard or garden, with its explosive red color in autumn, red buds in winter, red flowers in spring, and red leafstalks in summer. Native Habitat: Moist soils along stream banks; moist to drier woodlands Sun Preference: Sun, Part Shade Soil Preference: Moist, slightly acidic soils Height: 40-60 ft Spread: 30-50 ft Growth Rate: Medium to fast; 13” to more than 24” per year Attributes: Red clusters of small flowers winter to spring; Decorative red, two-winged samaras; Leaves turn red to yellow in fall Wildlife: Fruits (samaras) provide food for squirrels and other small mammals; Rabbits and deer eat the tender shoots and leaves; Larval host for the cecropia moth (Hyalaphora cecropia); Attracts several other moths as a place to lay their eggs Not what you were looking for?
  • 10.
    You got: Southern Shagbark Hickory
    Southern Shagbark Hickory (Carya carolinae-septentrionalis): This tree is known for its hardy wood and “shaggy” bark, making it particularly valuable to native bats. It provides food and cover to a variety of birds and mammals. Native Habitat: Shaded woods; river banks and bottoms; swamps; flood plains and wet bottomlands; rocky hillsides and limestone outcrops Sun Preference: Sun Soil Preference: Well-drained, fertile soils Height: 60-100 ft Spread: 25-50 ft Growth Rate: Slow; less than 12” per year Attributes: Produces large nut; Develops a thick, shaggy bark, with ends curving outward Wildlife: Provides cavity and nesting sites for birds and bats; Nuts are a food source for squirrels, chipmunks, foxes, rabbits, ducks, and turkey. Not what you were looking for?