top of page

Spring 2022 Tree Species




American Larch (Larix laricina)  - A tree of medium stature (50-110’ in height) mostly confined to cold, wet swamps and bogs, farther northward inhabiting well-drained uplands and hillsides. Unlike most conifers which keep their color and needles year-round, the bluish-green needles on these trees turn yellow and orange in autumn. Deer will eat it only when a more nourishing browse is lacking. (FACW)

Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) - A gregarious species (20-50’ in height) thriving on a wide variety of sites and soils including abandoned fields, rocky cliffs, limestone outcroppings, swamps, and bottomlands. Bark consists of tin, narrow, fibrous strips, making it an exceptional ornamental tree. Deer may browse the abundant foliage when no other food is available. (FACU)


White Pine (Pinus strobus) - The tallest conifer of New York State (80-110’ in height) grows best on rich, moist, well-drained soils but also thrives on sandy and gravelly sites. Grows rapidly and is used widely in reforestation. Also an exceptional tree for shade and ornament. Young white pines are occasionally browsed by deer.  (FACU)





American Basswood (Tilia americana) - A valuable timber species (60-70’ in height), under favorable conditions, sometimes reaches 120 feet tall. Found in rich woods and loamy soils usually with other hardwood tree species (especially sugar maple, American beech, northern red oak). Thrives in moist, fertile, bottomland forests. Has ornamental value and is a fine shade tree. Preferred browse for deer.  (FACU)


American Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) - A shrub or low bushy tree (25-30’ in height) usually found in swamps, along the banks of streams, in low wet wood, and on moist slopes. Has smooth but fluted, dark gray bark and excellent reddish autumn color. It is not a preferred plant for deer. (FACU)


Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) - Largest of the cherries occurring in the United States (50-75’ in height), prefers deep, rich, moist alluvial soils of river bottoms and slopes but occurs in drier situations on a variety of soils. The delicate, nodding racemes of small, white flowers and dark green leathery leaves make this species of ornamental value. Deer browse on the twigs and foliage in the fall and winter. (FACU)


Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica)  - Generally a medium-sized tree (40-70’ in height) straining its best development along stream courses and about margins of ponds and sluggish streams but thrives on hillsides and in abandoned pastures. Outstanding tree because of its form, glossy summer foliage, brilliant fall color, and lack of serious pests, but it grows slowly. Deer will occasionally browse the leaves of young trees. (FAC)


Black Willow (Salix nigra)  - The largest native willow (30-80’ in height). A tree of rapid growth, under optimum conditions sometimes can reach a height of 120 feet. Grows on wet sites along stream courses, the shore of lakes, and flat swampy areas, but more rarely in upland situations. Used extensively in bank revetment along streams. Deer eat the twigs and leaves. (OBL)


Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) - A small tree or dense shrub (18-20’ in height) occurring in waste places along fencerows and in fence corners, old pastures, and open upland woods. Some varieties are excellent small ornamental trees for residential, urban, and park settings. Highly preferred by deer. (FAC)


Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) - At maturity usually a small-to-medium-sized tree (30-60’ in height) that thrives on a variety of sites and is found even in cold, cutover swamps, but prefers rather dry, upland soils. The bark is initially chalky white or gray and smooth, becoming ridged and furrowed and dark near the base - establishes itself quickly. Eaten by deer often. (FACU)


Redbud (Cercis canadensis) - Large shrub or small ornamental tree (20-25’ in height) found in rich, moist soils on bottomlands, along the borders of streams, on brushlands, and in open forests which often forms a large part of the understory growth. Known for its pink flowers in early spring and bright yellow leaf color in autumn. Deer love the young foliage and can cause significant damage when within reach. (FACU) 


Red Maple (Acer rubrum) - Generally a medium-sized tree (40-50’ in height) inhabiting and attaining its best development on river banks, in low, wet swamps, and commonly on higher ground, often forming an important part of the forest in hilly areas. High ornamental value because of its early spring flowers and its foliage, which generally turns red or scarlet in the autumn. Young trees should be protected from deer. (FAC)


Red Oak (Quercus rubra)  - One of the largest oaks (50-80’ in height), under exceptional conditions occasionally reaches 150’ tall.  Requires a well-drained site, thriving best on gravelly or sandy loam soils. Most rapidly growing oak and an excellent large shade tree with beautiful autumn colors. They are easy for deer to find and are preferred as a food source. (FACU)

River Birch (Betula nigra)  - A very attractive tree (30-60’ in height) typically found along the banks of streams, ponds, and lakes, more rarely on drier sites. An exceptional tree for the landscape because of its beauty, relatively fast growth, sturdiness, and resistance to serious pests. Deer do not favor this species of tree. (FACW)

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) - A medium-sized tree (40-60ft in height) with exceptional fall color. Grows best on rich, sandy loam, but thrives in a variety of sites along fences, in abandoned pastures, and in open hardwood forests. Very attractive ornamental with a highly variable leaf shaped like mittens. Not favored for browsing by deer. (FACU)


Shadbush Serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis)  - A small, shrubby-like tree (15-30’ in height) found on dry banks and hillsides, open upland woods, and limestone ridges. Known for its showy display of white flowers in spring. Deer occasionally browse the foliage. (FAC)


Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) - A bottomland species (60-80’ in height) preferring moist, fertile soils along stream borders, edges of swamps, and low, poorly drained pastures. Excellent large shade tree. Its bottomland location makes it valuable as a source of food for deer. (FACW)


White Oak (Quercus alba) - A cosmopolitan species (60-80’ in height) growing on sandy soil, moist bottomlands, rich uplands, and stony ridges, preferring rich moist soil. An exceptional large shade tree that can live for centuries but grows slowly. Deer readily browse foliage and twigs in reach, and seedlings are frequently killed through deer browsing. (FACU)


Spring 2022 Shrub Species


Arrowwood Viburnum (Viburnum dentatum)  - A multi-stemmed, rounded shrub (6-15’ in height) with creamy white late spring or early summer flowers. Can be found along wood margins and open woods, and along stream banks. It can tolerate both occasional drought and occasional flooding. It can be used for hedging or screening. Irresistible to deer. (FAC)


Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) - A shrub (4’-6’ in height) found on a variety of sites from dry to moist, even wet soils. A good choice for wetland restoration projects, as well as typical landscape settings. Leaves have brilliant purple-red autumn color. Seldom severely damaged by deer. (FAC)


Chokecherry (Prunus virginiana)  - A shrub or small tree (20-25’ in height) found on a variety of soils along fences, roadsides, and stream courses and in open woods and wastelands, often forming extensive thickets. Flowers and foliage make it an attractive small tree or dense shrub for the landscape. Occasionally eaten by deer. (FACU)


Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)  - A somewhat sprawling, suckering shrub (5-12’ in height) that typically occurs on streambanks, moist woodlands, thickets, fence rows and roadsides. Tiny lemon-scented white flowers appear in large flat-topped clusters in late spring. Rarely damaged by deer. (FACW)


Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa) - An adaptable, native multi-stemmed shrub (10-15’ in height) that is excellent for naturalizing areas. Grows best in disturbed woods or moist well-drained soil along streams, wet meadows, and prairie margins. This shrub tolerates occasional drought, occasional flooding, and city air pollutants. A forage plant for deer. (FAC)


Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) - A larger shrub (8-15’ in height) with arching stems and a very dense, rounded form, making it a popular landscaping choice for use as a screening hedge. Found in wet thickets and marshes. Highbush cranberry is not a true cranberry, it is actually a member of the honeysuckle family. This plant is mildly resistant to damage by deer. (FACW)


Nannyberry Viburnum (Viburnum lentago) - Generally a shrub (10-15’ in height), occasionally a busy tree (20-30’ in height) found in low, moist, fertile soils along stream courses and lakeshores, occasionally in drier situations along fencerows. Exceptional ornamental for its showy fragrant flowers, attractive foliage, and showy, edible autumnal fruit. Irresistible to deer. (FAC)


Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) - Medium-sized shrub (5-8’ in height) that typically occurs along streams, rocky banks, gravel bars and in moist thickets. Effective as hedge, screen or for erosion control on banks. Attractive, ornamental bark. Usually avoided by deer. (FACW)


Northern Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica) - A dense-branching shrub (6-10’ in height). Prefers moist, peaty or sandy, acidic soils, but tolerates a wide range of soils and growing conditions, including poor soils, wet soils, drought, high winds and salt spray. Salt tolerance makes it appropriate for locations near roads that are salted in winter. Rarely damaged by deer. (FAC)


Red Osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea /stolonifera) - A medium-sized (6-10’ in height), multi-season shrub found in moist, wet swamps and bogs. Good for erosion control and slope stabilization. Bright red stems are striking against snow and evergreens. Deer may browse, but rarely. (FACW)


Speckled Alder (Alnus incana sbsp. rugosa) - Generally a crooked-stemmed shrub or straggly multi-stem tree (15-25’ in height), often dense stands found along edges of flowing and stagnant water or in swamps or wet depressions. An exceptional species for wetland restoration projects (also a nitrogen fixer). Rarely damaged by deer. (FACW)


Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) - An underused, multi-stemmed shrub (6-8’ in height) native to moist woodlands but will also grow well in sandy soils and tolerates moderate drought. Noted for its very early, fragrant, yellow flowers, bright red berries, and excellent autumn color. Sometimes browsed by deer, but usually not a favorite. (FACW)


Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) - A multi-season shrub (6-8’ in height, 10’ spread) that occurs in wet woods and swamps, where it may spread to form thickets, but can also be found on upland sites. Excellent in the early-winter garden with a background of evergreens or snow. May be browsed by deer in certain locales, but known to be rarely browsed by deer. (FACW) 


Witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) - Typically a multiple-stemmed, straggly, flat-topped, tall shrub or occasionally a small tree (15-25’ in height). Found on dry slopes or on moist, shaded sites in the understory. The leaf, bark, and twigs are used in folk medicine to relieve inflammation. Seldom browsed by deer.  (FACU)









Wetland Indicator Categories estimate the probability of a plant being found on a site classified as a wetland. Obligate Wetland (OBL) - almost always occurs under natural conditions in wetlands. Facultative Wetland (FACW) - usually occurs in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands. Facultative (FAC) - occurs in wetlands or non-wetlands. Facultative Upland (FACU) - usually occurs in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands.

bottom of page