When thinking about which trees to plant in your yard, you may not have considered native trees. But there are actually many benefits to planting native trees in Sacramento – and anywhere else!
Native trees are adapted to the local climate, so they require less water and are more drought-tolerant than non-native trees. This is important in a place like Sacramento, where water is a precious resource.
Native trees also provide habitat for local wildlife. Birds, insects, and other animals all rely on native plants for food and shelter. By planting native trees, you can help support the local ecosystem.
And last but not least, native trees are simply beautiful. They add character and charm to any yard or landscape.
Sacramento’s Native Oak Trees
Sacramento’s oak trees have endless benefits for our area. Thousands of wildlife species depend on Sacramento’s native oak trees for food and shelter. Additionally, oak trees provide extensive health and environmental benefits to the surrounding neighborhoods. Here’s the most common types of Sacramento’s native oak trees:
Blue oak (Quercus douglasii)
Quercus douglasii, known as blue oak, is a species of oak endemic to California, and found commonly in the Sacramento area. It is California’s most drought-tolerant deciduous oak, and is a dominant species in the blue oak woodland ecosystem.
Valley oak (Quercus lobata)
Quercus lobata, commonly called the valley oak or roble, grows into the largest of North American oaks. It is a commonly found tree in the Sacramento area, with some trees growing for over 500 years! This type of oak likes deep soil and can be found close to rivers and water sources. They are typically a hardy, drought-resistant tree.
Interior live oak (Quercus wislizeni)
Quercus wislizeni, known by the common name interior live oak, is the most common evergreen oak found in the Sacramento area. This type of oak is highly variable and often shrubby, and has two different leaf forms with young foliage having spiky edges and older foliage having smooth edges. The interior live oak is one of the best trees suited to withstanding Sacramento’s extremely hot summers.
Other Native Sacramento Trees
In addition to oak trees, Sacramento has a variety of natively growing trees. Here’s some of the most common types:
California sycamore (Platanus racemosa)
Platanus racemosa is a species of plane tree known by several common names, including California sycamore, western sycamore, and California plane tree. This is a commonly planted landscape tree planted in public landscapes and private gardens. Though it requires some water, and can be grown in lawns, once established it is drought tolerant. It’s popular for use in green architecture and sustainable design because of the way it shades sun in summer and lets sun through in winter.
Cercis occidentalis, the western redbud or California redbud, is a small tree or shrub found natively in the Sacramento region. It is easily recognized when it is in bloom from March to May when it is covered with small pink to purple flowers. The showy flowers grow in clusters all over the shrub, making the tree a popular, colorful addition to landscapes.
California black walnut (Juglans hindsii)
Juglans hindsii, commonly called the Northern California black walnut and Hinds’s black walnut, is a species of walnut tree native to Sacramento. We encourage planting this tree as it has been a dwindling species in our area, and was previously assessed as Seriously Endangered on the California Native Plant Society Rare Plant Inventory.
Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii)
Populus fremontii, commonly known as Frémont’s cottonwood, is a cottonwood (and thus a poplar) native to Sacramento’s riparian zones. This tree grows near streams, rivers, springs, seeps, wetlands, and well-watered alluvial bottomlands at elevations below 6,600 ft elevation.
Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia)
Fraxinus latifolia, the Oregon ash,] is a member of the ash genus Fraxinus, native to western North America. This particular species of ash is well adapted to soggy ground due to its moderately shallow, but extensive and wide-spreading root system. This also allows for the tree to withstand wind storms exceptionally well. This tree’s seeds provide nourishment to songbirds, squirrels, and waterfowl. Deer and elk have also been known to graze its foliage and sprouts.
Gray Pine (Pinus sabiniana)
Pinus sabiniana is a pine endemic to California. It is adapted to long, hot, dry summers and is found in areas with an unusually wide range of precipitation. This pine produces sweet pine nuts consumed by both humans and wildlife.
California white alder (Alnus rhombifolia)
The Alnus rhombifolia is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 49–82 ft tall, with pale gray bark, smooth on young trees, becoming scaly on old trees. We love how this tree looks in Sacramento’s yards!
The next time you’re planning to plant some trees, consider going native! It’s good for the environment – and you’ll likely have success with growth because native trees are meant to thrive in the Sacramento area!
If you’d like more advice on which trees are best to plant in your area, or if you need tree care services of any type, contact Tree Care Incorporated today!