Best Trees to Plant in PA: A Guide to Thriving PA Tree Species

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the best trees to plant in PA! Whether you’re planning to enhance your garden with shade trees, evergreens, or fruit trees, it’s crucial to select the right tree species for Pennsylvania’s unique climate and soil conditions. In this article, we’ll explore a range of tree options that thrive in PA, from native species to low-maintenance varieties.

By planting the right trees, you can create a beautiful landscape, provide habitat for wildlife, and even improve your home’s energy efficiency. So, let’s dive into the world of trees to plant in PA and enhance your garden’s beauty and sustainability.

Native Trees for Planting in PA

If you’re looking to plant trees in Pennsylvania, selecting native species can provide several benefits. Native trees are well-adapted to the state’s climate and soil conditions, making them easier to care for and more likely to thrive. Here are some of the best native trees to consider planting in PA:

Tree Species Height at Maturity Soil Type
American beech 60-80 ft Well-drained, loamy soil
Red maple 40-60 ft Moist, well-drained soil
White oak 60-100 ft Well-drained, acidic soil
Black cherry 50-90 ft Well-drained soil

In addition to these species, there are many other native trees that can thrive in Pennsylvania’s climate. Consider consulting with a local arborist or tree nursery to find the best options for your specific planting location.

Fast Growing Trees for PA

Do you want to enjoy beautiful trees in your Pennsylvania garden in no time? Fast-growing trees are your answer! These trees not only add instant beauty to your landscape, but they also provide a range of benefits such as shade, privacy, and even windbreaks. Here are some of the best fast-growing trees to plant in Pennsylvania:

Tree Species Rate of Growth Benefits
Hybrid Poplar 6-8 ft per year Quick shade, erosion control
Quaking Aspen 2-3 ft per year Golden fall color, drought tolerance
Northern Catalpa 3-5 ft per year Large leaves for shade, showy flowers

Before planting a fast-growing tree in your garden, keep in mind that these trees have a shorter lifespan compared to slow-growing trees. They may also be prone to breakage and require more pruning. Nevertheless, if you want to achieve a quick and stunning landscape, fast-growing trees are the perfect choice for you.

Shade Trees for Pennsylvania

If you’re looking for a way to keep your home cool and energy bills low during the hot summer months, planting shade trees in your Pennsylvania yard is an excellent option. Shade trees not only provide a natural source of cooling but also add beauty and appeal to your landscape. Here are some options for shade trees that thrive in Pennsylvania:

Tree Species Characteristics
Sugar Maple Well-known for its vibrant fall color and dense foliage that provides ample shade, the sugar maple is a popular choice for Pennsylvania yards.
Red Oak A sturdy and hardy tree, the red oak offers year-round shade and beautiful red foliage in the fall.
American Beech With a wide canopy and smooth gray bark, the American beech provides ample shade and a striking visual element to any landscape.

When planting shade trees, it’s important to select a location that allows for ample space for the tree to grow and mature. Be sure to also provide proper care and maintenance, including regular pruning and watering, to ensure your shade tree thrives in Pennsylvania’s climate.

Fruit Trees for Pennsylvania

If you’re looking to add some delicious produce to your Pennsylvania garden, consider planting fruit trees. With the right care and attention, fruit trees can thrive in Pennsylvania’s climate and provide a satisfying harvest. Here are some popular fruit tree options for Pennsylvania gardeners:

Tree Species Fruit Type USDA Hardiness Zone
Apple Apple 4-8
Peach Peach 5-8
Pear Pear 4-8
Cherry Cherry 5-8
Plum Plum 4-8

When it comes to caring for fruit trees, pruning is a key part of maintaining healthy growth and fruit production. It’s important to prune your fruit trees regularly, especially in the first few years after planting, to encourage a strong framework of branches and promote good air circulation. Watering is also crucial, especially during dry spells, and it’s important to fertilize your fruit trees according to their specific needs.

With a little effort and the right care, you can enjoy fresh fruit from your own garden in Pennsylvania. Happy planting!

Evergreen Trees for PA

Evergreen trees are a popular choice for homeowners in Pennsylvania who want to achieve year-round greenery in their landscape. These trees are an excellent way to add visual interest to your garden and provide a natural screen for privacy.

If you’re looking for evergreen trees that are well-suited to Pennsylvania’s climate, there are several options to choose from. One of the most popular evergreen species is the Eastern White Pine. This tree can grow up to 80 feet tall and features soft, blue-green needles that create a lush and full appearance.

Another great option for Pennsylvania is the Colorado Blue Spruce. This tree is known for its stunning blue-gray needles and conical shape, making it a standout in any garden. It can also grow up to 75 feet tall, providing ample shade and privacy.

The White Spruce is another evergreen tree species that thrives in Pennsylvania. It features blue-green needles and a conical shape, making it an attractive addition to any landscape. This tree is relatively low maintenance and can grow up to 60 feet tall if provided with proper care.

If you’re looking for a smaller evergreen that’s both beautiful and low maintenance, the Dwarf Alberta Spruce may be the perfect choice. This tree grows only 6-8 feet tall and features dense, green foliage that adds texture and interest to any garden.

Overall, evergreen trees are an excellent way to add greenery and interest to your garden throughout the year. With proper care and maintenance, these trees can thrive in Pennsylvania’s climate and provide years of enjoyment for you and your family.

Flowering Trees for Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s climate and soil conditions offer a perfect opportunity to grow beautiful and vibrant flowering trees that will add color and interest to your landscape. Whether you are looking for a showy spring display or a stunning autumn show, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Here are some of the top flowering tree species that thrive in Pennsylvania:

Tree species Blooming season
Dogwood Spring
Cherry Spring
Crape Myrtle Summer
Magnolia Spring
Redbud Spring
Crabapple Spring
Lilac Spring
Serviceberry Spring

Each of these species has its own unique characteristics and can thrive in PA’s climate. Dogwood and redbud trees provide vibrant pink hues to your garden in the spring, while cherry and magnolia trees offer stunning white and pink blooms. Crabapple and serviceberry trees are also excellent choices, offering long-lasting spring flowers that are followed by colorful fruit in the fall.

When planting flowering trees, it’s important to consider the soil and light conditions as well as the species’ specific care requirements. Be sure to plant your trees in well-draining soil and choose a location that receives adequate sunlight for optimal growth and bloom. Regular watering and pruning will also be important to help your trees thrive for years to come.

Investing in flowering trees will provide you with a lasting source of beauty and enjoyment in your Pennsylvania garden. Planting these trees will not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of your landscape but also add value to your property.

Deciduous Trees for PA

Deciduous trees are a popular choice for Pennsylvania gardens, known for their beautiful leaves that change color throughout the fall. These trees lose their leaves in the winter, allowing for plenty of natural light to filter through during the colder months. Here are some popular deciduous trees that do well in PA:

Tree Species Features
American Beech Once established, it requires little maintenance and provides deep shade in the summer months.
Red Maple Known for its stunning red foliage in the fall, it’s a hardy and adaptable tree.
White Oak This tree can live for hundreds of years, provides great shade, and works well as a specimen tree.
Red Oak Another long-lived tree species, it’s known for its vibrant fall foliage and tolerance for various soil conditions.

Tip: Keep in mind that deciduous trees lose their leaves in the winter, so if you’re looking for a tree that provides year-round shade and privacy, consider an evergreen tree instead.

Low Maintenance Trees for PA

For busy homeowners who want to enjoy the beauty and benefits of trees in their Pennsylvania landscape without spending too much time on maintenance, there are plenty of low maintenance tree options available. Here are some suggestions:

Tree Species Growth Habit and Features
Red Maple (Acer rubrum) Fast-growing, large shade tree with brilliant fall foliage
Kousa Dogwood (Cornus kousa) Small ornamental tree with beautiful white or pink flowers and interesting bark texture
Serviceberry (Amelanchier laevis) Multistemmed, small tree with attractive white spring flowers and edible berries loved by birds
Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata) Small to medium-sized tree with fragrant white or pink flowers in early summer and attractive cinnamon-colored bark

When planting low maintenance trees, it’s important to select species that are well-suited to the site conditions, such as sun exposure and soil type. Once established, these trees will require minimal watering and pruning, making them an ideal choice for those who want to enjoy a beautiful, low maintenance landscape.

Planting and Caring for Trees in PA

Planting trees in Pennsylvania involves more than just digging a hole and placing the tree in it. Proper site selection, soil preparation, watering, and ongoing maintenance are essential to ensure your trees thrive in the Pennsylvania climate. Here are some guidelines to help you get started:

Site Selection

Choose a site with adequate space for the tree to grow to its full size. Consider the tree’s mature height and spread, and ensure it won’t interfere with overhead power lines or underground utilities. Avoid planting near buildings or other structures, as the roots may cause damage. Also, avoid planting in areas with poor drainage or soil that is overly dry or wet.

Soil Preparation

Prepare the soil by loosening it to a depth of 12 inches and removing any rocks, roots, or debris. Test the soil’s pH level and add amendments if necessary to achieve a slightly acidic pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Add a layer of compost or well-rotted manure to the soil to improve its fertility and drainage.


Plant the tree at the same depth it was growing in the nursery container. Backfill the hole with soil, tamping it down gently to remove any air pockets. Water the tree thoroughly to settle the soil around the roots.


Water the tree deeply and regularly during its first year to help it establish a strong root system. Water deeply to a depth of 6 to 8 inches, rather than frequently applying small amounts of water. Reduce watering during rainy periods or in winter, but ensure the soil doesn’t dry out completely.


Prune the tree only to remove damaged, diseased, or dead branches. Restrict pruning during the tree’s first year to avoid stressing it. Afterward, prune the tree regularly to maintain its shape and remove any crossing or rubbing branches.


Mulch around the base of the tree to conserve moisture and suppress weed growth. Apply a layer of 2 to 4 inches of mulch, keeping it away from the trunk to prevent moisture buildup and pest infestations. Fertilize the tree regularly with a balanced fertilizer to promote healthy growth and foliage.

Incorporating trees into your Pennsylvania garden can add beauty, value, and environmental benefits. By following these guidelines for site selection, soil preparation, planting, watering, pruning, and maintenance, you can ensure your trees will thrive in the Pennsylvania climate for years to come.

Conclusion: Enhance your PA Garden with the Right Trees

Choosing the right trees for your garden in Pennsylvania can make all the difference in creating a beautiful, thriving landscape. By selecting native trees that are well-adapted to PA’s climate and soil conditions, you can create a sustainable and low-maintenance garden that adds value to your property.

From fast-growing trees to shade trees, fruit trees, evergreens, flowering trees, deciduous trees, and low-maintenance trees, there are plenty of tree species to choose from depending on your garden’s needs and preferences. By planting the right trees, you can enhance your outdoor space and enjoy the many benefits that trees provide, such as shade, beauty, energy savings, and improved air quality.

Get Creative with Tree Selection

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your tree selection and experiment with different species to create a diverse and interesting landscape. Consider the tree’s height, spread, and growth rate when making your selection, as well as its ability to tolerate drought, disease, and pests. Additionally, think about the tree’s seasonal interest, such as its spring blooms, fall foliage, or winter berries.

Planting and Caring for Trees in PA

Once you’ve selected your trees, it’s important to ensure they are properly planted and cared for. Site selection, soil preparation, watering, pruning, and ongoing maintenance are all essential factors in creating a healthy and thriving garden. Make sure to follow best practices for each of these tasks, such as planting in the appropriate location, using the right soil amendments, watering deeply and infrequently, pruning for shape and health, and monitoring for pests and diseases.

By following these tips and utilizing the information provided in this article, you can create the perfect garden in Pennsylvania with the right trees. Happy planting!


Q: What are the best trees to plant in Pennsylvania?

A: The best trees to plant in Pennsylvania are native tree species that are well-adapted to PA’s climate and soil conditions.

Q: Which native trees are recommended for planting in PA?

A: Some native trees recommended for planting in PA are oak, maple, walnut, hickory, and birch.

Q: What are some fast-growing trees for PA?

A: Some fast-growing trees for PA include silver maple, red maple, river birch, tulip poplar, and white pine.

Q: What are some shade trees suitable for Pennsylvania?

A: Some shade trees suitable for Pennsylvania include sugar maple, red oak, American beech, and black walnut.

Q: Which fruit trees thrive in Pennsylvania?

A: Fruit trees that thrive in Pennsylvania include apple, cherry, peach, pear, and plum.

Q: What are some evergreen trees that thrive in PA?

A: Some evergreen trees that thrive in PA are Eastern white pine, Colorado blue spruce, Norway spruce, and Douglas fir.

Q: Which flowering trees are recommended for Pennsylvania?

A: Flowering trees recommended for Pennsylvania include dogwood, redbud, flowering cherry, magnolia, and crabapple.

Q: What are some deciduous trees suitable for PA?

A: Some deciduous trees suitable for PA include maple, oak, birch, beech, and dogwood.

Q: Are there any low maintenance trees for Pennsylvania?

A: Yes, some low maintenance trees for Pennsylvania are Japanese maple, ginkgo biloba, crape myrtle, and serviceberry.

Q: What are some planting and caring tips for trees in PA?

A: Some planting and caring tips for trees in PA include selecting the right site, preparing the soil, watering consistently, pruning when necessary, and providing ongoing maintenance.