Best Trees for Oklahoma – Thriving & Beautiful Selections

Welcome to our guide on the best trees for Oklahoma! When it comes to landscaping, choosing the right trees is crucial for long-term success in the local climate. Oklahoma’s climate can be challenging, so it’s important to select trees that can thrive in the region’s weather conditions. Not only do trees provide shade, beauty, and habitat for wildlife, but they also offer a range of environmental benefits.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about trees for Oklahoma. We’ll explore the native tree species found in the state, provide a list of recommended tree varieties, offer tips for planting and caring for trees, and discuss the environmental benefits of trees in Oklahoma. So if you’re looking to create a beautiful and thriving landscape in Oklahoma, keep reading to learn more!

Understanding the Oklahoma Climate

Oklahoma has a unique climate that poses specific challenges for growing trees. The state experiences a humid subtropical climate in the eastern regions and a semi-arid steppe climate in the west. The weather in Oklahoma is characterized by hot summers, cold winters, and frequent severe weather such as tornadoes and hailstorms. The state receives an average of 35-45 inches of rainfall annually, with the eastern regions receiving more rainfall than the western regions.

The soil in Oklahoma varies depending on the region, but it is predominantly composed of clay, loam, or sand. Clay soils tend to hold more water and nutrients, while sandy soils drain more quickly. Loam soils are a balanced mixture of sand, clay, and silt and are ideal for growing trees.

Importance of Considering Climate for Choosing Trees

When selecting trees for Oklahoma landscapes, it is crucial to choose species that can thrive in the state’s unique climate conditions. Trees that are not well-suited to the environment may struggle to survive and require more maintenance and attention. By choosing the right tree species, you can create a beautiful and healthy landscape that is easier to maintain.

Native Trees of Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s diverse landscape is home to a rich variety of native tree species. These trees have evolved over time to thrive in the state’s unique climate, soil, and precipitation patterns. By planting native trees, you can create a natural and sustainable landscape that supports local biodiversity and conserves water resources.

Tree Species Characteristics Benefits
American Elm Tall and stately with arching branches and green foliage Provides shade and habitat for birds and other wildlife
Eastern Redcedar A small to medium-sized evergreen tree with blue-green foliage Provides cover and food for wildlife, controls soil erosion, and has aromatic wood that can be used for furniture and fence posts
Blackjack Oak A small to medium-sized deciduous tree with rough bark and glossy leaves Provides abundant acorns for wildlife, tolerates drought and poor soil conditions, and has attractive fall foliage

Other native tree species to consider include the Oklahoma Redbud, Post Oak, and Sugarberry. These trees offer a range of benefits, from beautiful spring blossoms to hardy drought tolerance.

Planting native trees also helps to support local ecosystems and preserve Oklahoma’s natural heritage. By selecting trees that are adapted to the local environment, you can help to maintain the balance of the surrounding flora and fauna, and preserve the unique character of the state’s landscapes.

Best Tree Varieties for Oklahoma

Choosing the right tree for your Oklahoma landscape can be overwhelming, but with so many excellent options available, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your specific needs. Here are some of the best tree varieties for Oklahoma:

Tree Variety Growth Habits Size Flowering Patterns Fall Foliage Colors
Redbud Small deciduous tree 20-30 feet tall Early spring blooms of pink or purple Yellow
Pecan Large deciduous tree 70-100 feet tall Greenish-white flowers in spring and edible nuts in fall Golden-yellow
Bald Cypress Tall, deciduous conifer 70-100 feet tall Small, round cones and needle-like leaves Rust to cinnamon-brown
Eastern Red Cedar Evergreen conifer 40-50 feet tall Tiny flowers and bluish berries Green to bronze-red

In addition to these options, Oklahoma gardeners may also want to consider the following trees:

  • American Holly
  • Black Walnut
  • Dogwood
  • Golden Rain Tree
  • Southern Magnolia
  • Green Ash
  • Oklahoma Redbud
  • Osage Orange
  • Shumard Oak

When selecting trees for Oklahoma, it’s essential to consider the specific growing conditions of your area. For example, if you live in an urban environment, you may want to choose a tree that is tolerant of pollution. If you’re in a drought-prone area, you may want to select a tree that is drought-tolerant.

Remember, planting trees is an investment in the future of your property and community, so be sure to choose the best options for your needs and the environment.

Tree Planting Tips for Oklahoma

Planting a tree in Oklahoma requires some careful planning and preparation to ensure its long-term health and success. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Choose the Right Location

When selecting a location for your tree, consider its size at maturity. It should have access to plenty of sunlight, and sufficient space for its roots to spread out. Avoid planting near power lines, buildings, or other trees that may compete for resources or cause damage.

Prepare the Soil

The soil in Oklahoma can be quite heavy, with high clay content, which can make it difficult for trees to establish roots. Prior to planting, loosen the soil in a wide area around the planting site, and amend with organic matter such as compost or peat moss.

Plant Properly

When planting your tree, dig a hole that is twice as wide as the tree’s root ball, but no deeper. Be careful not to damage the roots when removing the tree from its container. Fill the hole with soil, and tamp down gently to remove air pockets. Water thoroughly to settle the soil.

Water and Mulch Appropriately

Newly planted trees need consistent moisture to establish roots. Water deeply, but avoid overwatering. Adding a layer of mulch around the base of the tree can help retain moisture, regulate soil temperature, and prevent weed growth.

Follow these tips, and your tree will be on its way to thriving in Oklahoma’s climate.

Caring for Trees in Oklahoma

Tree care is an essential aspect of maintaining healthy and thriving trees in Oklahoma. Proper care methods can help trees withstand harsh weather conditions and prevent common pests and diseases. Here are some crucial tips for caring for your trees:

  1. Pruning: Regular pruning can remove damaged or diseased branches, improve a tree’s shape and structure, and promote healthy growth. It’s best to prune trees during their dormant season, as this can minimize stress on the tree.
  2. Fertilizing: Fertilizing can provide trees with essential nutrients that may be lacking in the soil. However, it’s essential to apply the right amount and type of fertilizer to avoid over-fertilization, which can harm trees.
  3. Pest and disease management: Regular inspections can help identify potential pest and disease problems early on. It’s best to use integrated pest management techniques, which can minimize the use of harmful chemicals and protect beneficial insects.

Additionally, it’s essential to ensure proper watering and mulching practices. Trees need adequate water to thrive, especially during their establishment phase. Mulching can help retain moisture in the soil, reduce weed growth, and regulate soil temperature.

Remember to inspect your trees regularly for signs of damage or disease and contact a certified arborist if you notice any issues.

Oklahoma Tree Nurseries

When it comes to finding the perfect trees for your Oklahoma landscape, it’s essential to choose a reputable tree nursery. Here are some excellent options in the state:

Nursery Name Location Services Offered
The Tree Farm 7637 N Western Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73116 Wide selection of trees and shrubs, delivery and planting services, landscaping consultations
Southwood Landscape and Nursery 9025 S Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74137 Large inventory of trees and shrubs, gardening supplies, delivery and planting services
Treesearch Farms 15300 S Memorial Dr, Bixby, OK 74008 Specializes in native Oklahoma tree species, delivery and planting services

It’s always a good idea to call ahead or check their websites before visiting these nurseries to ensure that they have the trees you’re looking for in stock.

Environmental Benefits of Trees in Oklahoma

Trees provide a multitude of benefits beyond their aesthetic value in Oklahoma. These towering organisms help to reduce air pollution, mitigate stormwater runoff, conserve energy, and support wildlife habitats. Planting and maintaining trees is not only an investment in your property but also in the environment.

Air Pollution Reduction

Trees in Oklahoma play a significant role in reducing air pollution. They absorb pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide, and produce oxygen through photosynthesis. By planting trees, Oklahoma residents can help to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants in the air and promote better respiratory health.

Stormwater Management

Trees can also help to mitigate stormwater runoff in Oklahoma. During heavy rainfalls, trees act as a natural sponge, absorbing and slowly releasing water into the ground. This process helps to prevent flooding, erosion, and water pollution, preserving the state’s natural resources and protecting water quality.

Energy Conservation

Strategically planting trees can help to conserve energy in Oklahoma homes and buildings. Trees provide natural shade, reducing the amount of heat that is absorbed by buildings and lowering energy costs associated with air conditioning. Furthermore, trees act as a natural windbreaker, reducing heating costs in the winter and conserving energy throughout the year.

Wildlife Habitat Support

Trees in Oklahoma create a natural habitat for a variety of wildlife species. They offer shelter and food for birds, insects, and mammals, enriching local ecosystems and promoting biodiversity. By planting and protecting trees, Oklahoma residents can help to maintain healthy and thriving wildlife populations in the state.

Tree Preservation and Conservation Efforts in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has a rich history of tree preservation and conservation efforts. Many organizations and programs are dedicated to protecting and maintaining trees in the state.

Oklahoma Forestry Services

Oklahoma Forestry Services is an agency that provides forest management services and promotes the conservation of Oklahoma’s natural resources. They offer educational programs and resources to the public on topics such as tree planting, forest health, and wildfire prevention. They also maintain a list of certified arborists who can assist with tree care and maintenance.

Oklahoma Master Naturalist Program

The Oklahoma Master Naturalist Program is a volunteer program that trains citizens to become natural resource stewards in their communities. They offer training in topics such as plant identification, ecology, and conservation. Program graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills to help preserve and protect Oklahoma’s natural resources, including trees.

Oklahoma Urban and Community Forestry Council

The Oklahoma Urban and Community Forestry Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the value and benefits of trees in urban and community settings. They offer educational programs, resources, and advocacy efforts aimed at increasing awareness and support for tree care and maintenance in Oklahoma.

By supporting these organizations and programs, Oklahomans can contribute to the preservation and conservation of trees in the state. Together, we can ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty and benefits of Oklahoma’s trees.


Choosing the right trees for your Oklahoma landscape is crucial for creating a thriving and beautiful environment. By understanding the state’s climate and the native tree species, you can select the best varieties that are well-suited for your area. Remember to give your trees a good start by planting them in the right location, preparing the soil, and providing proper care and maintenance.

Not only do trees provide aesthetic value to your property, but they also offer a range of environmental benefits. They help reduce air pollution, conserve energy, and provide habitats for wildlife. By planting and caring for trees, you can contribute to the preservation of Oklahoma’s natural resources.

Explore the recommended tree varieties for Oklahoma and consider sourcing them from reputable nurseries. Implement proper tree care practices to ensure their long-term success. With your efforts, you can create a beautiful and sustainable landscape in Oklahoma.


Q: What are the best trees for Oklahoma?

A: The best trees for Oklahoma are those that can thrive in the state’s climate and soil conditions. Native tree species, such as Eastern Redbud and Blackjack Oak, are highly recommended as they are adapted to the local environment. Non-native trees like Japanese Maple and Crepe Myrtle are also popular choices.

Q: Why is it essential to consider the Oklahoma climate when selecting trees?

A: Understanding the Oklahoma climate is crucial because it determines whether a tree can survive and flourish in your landscape. Factors like temperature ranges, rainfall patterns, and soil conditions should be taken into account to ensure the tree’s long-term health and vitality.

Q: What are some native trees of Oklahoma?

A: Native trees of Oklahoma include the Oklahoma Redbud, Eastern Red Cedar, and Post Oak. These trees have evolved to thrive in the local environment and offer benefits to local ecosystems, such as providing habitat for wildlife and supporting pollinators.

Q: Which tree varieties are recommended for Oklahoma?

A: Recommended tree varieties for Oklahoma include the Oklahoma Redbud, Chinese Pistache, and American Sycamore. These trees are known for their adaptability, attractive growth habits, and vibrant fall foliage colors. It’s also beneficial to choose drought-tolerant and disease-resistant varieties.

Q: What are some tree planting tips for Oklahoma?

A: When planting trees in Oklahoma, select a suitable location that provides adequate sunlight and proper soil drainage. Prepare the soil by loosening it and adding organic matter. Plant the tree at the appropriate depth, water it thoroughly, and apply mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Q: How should I care for trees in Oklahoma?

A: Proper tree care in Oklahoma involves regular pruning to maintain healthy structure and remove dead or damaged branches. Fertilizing can help provide necessary nutrients, and pest and disease management should be implemented as needed. It’s essential to conduct regular inspections and ensure proper watering to support tree health.

Q: Where can I find tree nurseries in Oklahoma?

A: Some reputable tree nurseries in Oklahoma include Oklahoma City Tree Farm and Southwood Landscape and Garden Center in Tulsa. These nurseries offer a wide range of tree varieties, expert advice, and quality services to help you find the perfect trees for your landscape.

Q: What are the environmental benefits of trees in Oklahoma?

A: Trees play a vital role in Oklahoma’s environment by reducing air pollution, absorbing and filtering stormwater, conserving energy by providing shade, and creating habitats for wildlife. They contribute to cleaner air, improved water quality, and a healthier ecosystem.

Q: What efforts are being made to preserve and conserve trees in Oklahoma?

A: Numerous organizations, programs, and initiatives in Oklahoma are dedicated to tree preservation, urban forestry, and community involvement. These efforts aim to raise awareness about the importance of trees, plant more trees in urban areas, and encourage responsible tree care practices for long-term tree health.

Q: What is the conclusion about trees for Oklahoma?

A: Choosing the best trees for Oklahoma is crucial for creating thriving and beautiful landscapes. Consider the Oklahoma climate, opt for native species when possible, and follow proper tree planting and care practices. By doing so, you can enjoy the aesthetic value and environmental benefits that trees bring to the state.