Black Walnut Deciduous

Julgans Nigra

Black walnut is by far the hardiest and adaptable nut tree that can be grown in Nebraska.  The species is native to much of the central and eastern US and occurs naturally in river-edge woodlands of eastern Nebraska and follows the Niobrara River as far west as western Cherry County.

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Black walnut providing excellent shade over North Platte home.
Black Willow Deciduous

Salix nigra

Black willow is one of the most common tree-form native willows encountered in the Great Plains. As such, it evolved as an important food source and habitat for local and visiting wildlife.  

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Black Willow in a river system.
Boxelder Maple Deciduous

Acer negundo

Boxelder maple is one of the widest occurring trees across North America, extending from Mexico well into Canada and from the east coast of the US to the west coast.

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Boxelder Maple tree in the summer.
Bur Oak Deciduous

Quercus macrocarpa

Bur oak is considered by many to be the king of Great Plains native hardwoods.  It is the most common native oak in Nebraska occurring naturally along many rivers and streams in the eastern third of the state and can be found in pockets here and there as far west as Hitchcock and Dawes counties.

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Bur Oak tree.
Chinkapin Oak Deciduous

Quercus muehlenbergii

Next to bur oak, chinkapin oak is the second most adaptable white oak that can be grown in Nebraska. It has a wide geographic distribution occurring naturally from Mexico to southern Canada and is native to the southeast part of Nebraska.

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Chinkapin Oak
Chokecherry Deciduous

Prunus virginiana

Chokecherry is common throughout much of the US and southern Canada and grows across Nebraska.  It is typically a suckering, multi-stemmed large shrub, but can be a small tree reaching up to 25’ tall.

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close up photograph of a chokecherry's fruit
Cockspur Hawthorn Deciduous

Crataegus crusgalli

The hawthorns are a diverse and confusing group of plants with at least 200 distinct species occurring throughout the Northern Hemisphere. There are dozens of species native to North America, including several that are grown as landscape trees.

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Corneliancherry Dogwood Deciduous

Cornus mas

Although the origin of the name “dogwood” is not completely understood, it had been referred to as the “dog tree” since the 1500s. Most dogwoods are shrubby in nature, but a few can become small trees.

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close up photograph of a the tree's fruit
Downy Hawthorn Deciduous

Crataegus mollis

Native to the Midwest including eastern Nebraska and Kansas, where it can be found in the savanna understory and prairie edges.

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close up photograph of the tree's leaf
Eastern Cottonwood Deciduous

Populus deltoides

Most people can relate nostalgically to large cottonwoods that shaded favorite camping or fishing spots, that whispered their rustling leaves in the slightest breeze, and which released their cottony seeds like a snow squall on late spring days.

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Eastern cottonwood tree.