Trees of the Pacific and Northwest
Land of the Giants
Trees of the Pacific vary with the climates.
There is the desert southwest and the subtropical climates.
We can find mountain ranges.
Further north we find rain forests and the land of the Giants.
Yes, the Pacific coastal region is the true land of giants.
Not your everyday backyard tree, but still worth mentioning.
Coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and Giant redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum)
Giants that can exceed 300 feet in height.
These monsters are home to several forms of wildlife and the tiny 1 inch cones offer seed to the wildlife.
Giants of the Pacific also include another giant.
Sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), is the world's largest pine topping out at 300 feet.
The pines cones are something to behold as well, reaching lengths of 24 inches and filled with
large edible nuts.
Sugar pine get the name from the sugary sap that was favored by the American Indians.
Other pines of the Pacific include Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) also valuable
in the mountain region.
Big-cone pine (Pinus Coulteri), are found in Mexico up the coast through the southern half of California.
They can grow to 80 feet with soft needles in clusters of three that
grow to 10 inches.
Backyard birds enjoy the nuts of the 12 inch long cones that can weigh between 4 and 5 pounds each.
Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) has a very limited range in the wild, growing around the Monterey Peninsula.
Growing to 100 feet with soft needle in bunches of three.
Cones may hang around for up to 30 years.
Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) is narrow and reaches 165 feet.
Used as a specimen or windbreak, you can go wrong with this sweetly scented tree.
Backyard birds and wildlife enjoy food and protection.
Specimens of the Pacific include Junipers.
Western Junipers (Juniperus occidentalis) are found in the Pacific northwest.
A broad shaped tree of 70 feet. The fruit is dark blue and about 1/2 inches long.
Pacific region plants also include Hemlocks.
Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylia) is another giant at 200 feet.
This is ideal for lower mountain elevations.
A beautiful shaped plant with tiny 1 inch cones.
Mountain hemlock (Tsuga mertensiana) Cover much of the same range as it's cousin
From southern California all the way to the southern half of Alaska.
A runt when it comes to West coast giants, at 100 feet.
Very nice shape and bares 3 inch cones.
Both Hemlocks are native of the Pacific are and are ideal for backyard birds and wildlife gardens.
Giants of the Pacific also include Firs.
There are a few species of firs that inhabit the northwest.
All reach heights of over 100 feet and like true firs, have the cones growing upwards.
The grandest of all the fir is the Noble fir (Abies procera).
Yet another giant at 260 feet. ideal growing conditions are lower levels in the mountains (below 5,000 feet)
Cones can grow up to 10 inches offer food for birds and wildlife,
A fantastic specimen.
Pines, spruces, hemlocks, and firs seem to dominate the terrain.
There are some natives of the Pacific that are broad leaf and deciduous, lets take
a look at a few.
Sorrel tree (Umbellularia californica) also called California bay, California olive and Oregon myrtle.
A broad spreading species and up to 100 feet tall. It produces a purple 1 inch long fruit
Sorrels are found throughout the lower two thirds of the United States.
Paper birch (Betula papyrifera) grows to 65 feet and is found throughout much of North America.
An extremely hardy specimen anywhere it grows native. Often found in clumps in the landscape and in gardens
Birch need water to do well.
Catkins produce tiny seeds for birds.
Red alder (Alnus rubra) is medium sized at 50 feet.
Found along the west coast from Alaska to northern California.
It is prominent in the lower Cascades and valleys and does best in damp conditions.
Red alder produces conical shaped fruits.
White alder (Alnus rhombifolia) is found throughout the western portion of the United States.
A 100 foot giant found near running water in canyons and the Rocky mountains.
Like its cousin, it bares cone shaped fruits.
Other species of the Pacific to look for are
Oregon maple (Acer macrophyllum) broad shaped that reaches 80 feet and offers up winged
seeds like other maples.
Pacific dogwood (Cornus Nuttallii) grows throughout the region, often found in the understories of larger trees.
As a cultivated specimen, it seldom reaches all of its glory.
Trees of the Pacific may also include Pacific Madrone (Arbutus menziesii).
Grows to 130 feet and produces fruit in the fall.
California live oak (Quercus agrifolia), Canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis) and Valley oak (Quercus lobata) offer up acorns for birds and wildlife.
A specialty oak type in the Pacific northwest is the Tanbark oak(Lithocarpus densiflorus).
This is not a true oak, but closely related.
An evergreen that can reach 80 feet in height produces acorn shaped fruits.
We rely on trees and so does the wildlife.
If you have room for a native species or a stand of trees, you will reap the rewards year round.
Many natives are truly green giants and wont fit into the typical garden or landscape, but if you have land, try some of these huge green wonders.
As always, check other regions for more natives and look at local nurseries and garden centers.
Going native is always best.
Turn Your yard into a Wildlife Habitat with trees of the Pacific and Northwest
Flowers of the Pacific and Northwest
Native Grasses for the Pacific ans Northwest
Shrubs of the Pacific and Northwest
Feeding Hummingbirds, Tips and Pests
A Butterfly Friendly Yard
Offer Fresh Water
Share Your Passions, 'Site Build It" can Help
Learn how to attract wildlife to your gardens.
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