Cambridge Tree Project
Cambridge Tree Project

Shade Trees

Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum)

A tree of southern swamps that also happens to prosper in our area…baldcypress trees planted throughout Cambridge in 2007 have averaged 14 inches of annual growth and withstood winter temperatures as low as 20 degrees below zero…a tree planted in good soil and receiving supplemental watering on the 300 block of North St has averaged 25 inches of annual growth…with time, baldcypress become a large uniformly pyramidal tree reaching 60 feet high…delicate green needles turn a soft orange in autumn and fall from the tree (similar to our native tamarack trees) revealing attractive, reddish brown bark...baldcypress are also long lived, some trees are known to be over 1000 years old. 3-4' tall $44



Beech, American (Fagus grandifolia) Native

A tree of great beauty which many people claim as their favorite...distinctive smooth silvery bark (see picture immediately above)...attractive dark green leaves that turn golden bronze in the fall…one of the best trees for climbing given the strongly horizontal branching pattern…an added bonus: beechnuts are edible and good tasting…our early data suggests that you should expect around 12" of annual growth from a young beech tree...American beech trees require good soil and grow slowly but with time they become majestic specimens: the current Wisconsin state champion near Manitowoc is just over 100 feet tall. 3' tall $38




Birch, River (Betula nigra) Native

The best all-around native birch for suburban lawns...grows in poor soils including those that are seasonally wet...ornamental features include exfoliating salmon and cream colored bark (pictured above) and a beautiful clear yellow fall color...13 street trees planted locally are averaging 27 inches of annual growth without supplemental watering. Available spring 2019





Birch ‘Whitespire’ (Betula platyphllla)  

The best white-barked birch for suburban lawns…pure white bark and glossy green leaves that turn yellow in fall…grows to 40-50 feet tall with a dominant central leader and narrow habit, to around 15 feet wide…over 30 years 'Whitespire' has averaged 14 inches of annual growth at the UW Arboretum. 2' tall $18




Birch, Yellow (Betula alleghaniensis) Native

An interesting native that has the essence of wintergreen in its also has an exceptional clear yellow fall color...the ornamental bark, pictured above, is a beautiful shiny gold...this is the largest of our native birches (60 feet all) and is logged for flooring, trim and furniture...two yellow birches planted in Cambridge average 13 inches of growth each year...this tree will grow in shade and prefers cool and moist conditions 3' tall $38




Buckeye, Ohio, Red and Yellow (Aesculus glabra, flava and pavia) 

Buckeyes are great choices for areas in your yard with a lot of shade as they're adapted to grow in the forest understory...unusual palmately compound leaves (see picture above) stand out among other trees in your yard...subtely attractive flowers arrive in June and in fall buckeye nuts appear only to be quickly swiped by local squirrel packs...we've noticed that annual growth rates are on the slower side: Ohio buckeye averages only 9 inches and yellow buckeye produces 14 inches growth; we have a red buckeye in our front lawn that has averaged 18 inches of annual growth with regular watering...palmately-compound leaves on all buckeyes look great during the summer months and generally produce a nice pumpkin orange fall color…Yellow buckeye will grow 60 feet tall or more with age whereas Ohio is usually shorter than that; red buckeyes are great patio trees as they reach only 10-15 feet tall. Ohio buckeye available spring  2019; Yellow buckeye 2-3’ tall $38; Red Buckeye 2' tall $38; 3-4' tall $68




Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)

Fast growing (31 inches annually locally taking measurements from our 13 trees in Cambridge) white flowering tree that grows nearly anywhere including saturated, dry and compacted soils...large leaves (up to 12 inches) have a pleasant medium green color during the summer months…the white flowers, at close inspection, are said to be the most beautiful of all American flowering trees...long cigar-type seed pods will arrive in about 20 years...with time a very large tree: one in Wauwatosa is 106' feet tall. 3-4' tall $38



Cherry, Manchurian (Prunus maackia)

Beautiful, shiny cinnamon brown bark (pictured above) is a year round attraction...additionally, white flowers are displayed in great profusion during the month of May...easy to grow in all soils with good drainage...cold hardiness to -40...we've planted six Manchurian cherries in Cambridge and they've averaged a respectible 15" of annual growth. 4-5' tall $28



Coffeetree, Kentucky (Gymnocladus dioicus) Native

A rare and beautiful (fall color pictured above) native that is one tough tree: able to grow successfully in virtually any soil except those that are consistently wet...28 trees planted along Cambridge streets in poor soil (gravel, in some cases) are averaging 14 inches annually...trees planted in better soil are averaging considerable growth: 24 inches annually over the past ten years...sparse looking when young but with age becomes a beautiful  tree...interesting blueish green leaves produce a nice yellow fall color...attractive textured bark...on female trees large purple seed pods turn dark brown in the fall and persist through winter...similar to honey locust, coffeetree's fine leaves provide a light shade under which grass grows nicely...this tree is late to leaf out in spring. 2' tall $28; 3' tall $38; 4' tall $48



Crabtree: see 'Ornamentals' tab at top of page


Dogwood, Pagoda see 'Ornamentals' tab



Elm, American (Ulmus x 'Triumph') Native

This disease resistant elm features the classic vase shape that historically lined streets throughout eastern America...fall color is a good yellow, and the leaves have a nice glossy surface that provide visual interest throughout summer...developed by the Morton Arboretum in Chicago, this elm is also a durable tree for tough conditions including the poor draining clay soils that are commonly found in recently-developed subdivisions...another of the tree's attributes is its fast growth: the tree pictured above was planted on Park Street in 2008 and is now 33' tall...19 elm cultivars planted throughout Cambridge are averaging 29" of annual growth, those planted in better soils averaging over 30" of growth annually. available spring 2019




Ginkgo (Gingko biloba x 'Princeton Sentry')

A favorite of Frank Lloyd Wright, ginkgo trees feature what might be the most distinctive leaf (pictured above) of any deciduous tree: they're shaped like a fan; they also consistently display clear-yellow fall color and, as an added bonus: nearly all of them fall within a 24 hour time period in the autumn, reducing the fall rake-up hassle considerably…regarded as one of the most trouble-free trees available: no insect or disease issues and trees are extremely hardy once established…growth is slow: 30 trees planted throughout Cambridge are averaging only 8 inches of annual growth...ten inches annual growth has been noted with regular watering…trees in China are known to be over 1,000 years old. ‘Princeton Sentry’ (male cultivar) 7' tall $88



Hawthorn see 'Ornamentals' tab




Hornbeam, American (Carpinus vinginiana) Native

A fine-textured understory tree with smooth silver bark similar to American beech...vibrant red fall color locally (see above)...excellent choice for patios and in front of larger trees as it reaches only 20 feet tall and wide under landscape conditions…happily grows in sun or complete shade...we've recorded reasonably fast initial growth of the eight younger hornbeams planted throughout Cambridge: 16 inches annually...native along rivers and streams...also known as musclewood. 2-3' tall $38



Ironwood (Ostrya vinginiana) Native

Common small understory tree that can be introduced as a graceful element to your home landscape...interesting features include hop-type fruits (pictured above) and broken, irregular bark...wood is extremely hard and was used for tool handles during frontier times...happily grows in sun or complete shade...we've recorded surprisingly robust initial growth of the eight ironwoods planted throughout Cambridge: 20 inches annually, though this rate will slow considerably over time.

available spring 2019





Horsechestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

The European cousin of our domestic buckeye trees are classic white-flowering shade trees that you can find in most older downtown areas...interesting palmately-compound leaves and buckeye nuts which fascinate kids and squirrels...we also carry a seedless version, the 'Baumann' horsechestnut...horsechestnut species seedlings have averaged 14 inches of growth annually here in Cambridge. 6'-7' tall 'Baumann' seedless $148; 2’ tall $28



Horsechestnut, Red Flowering

(Aesculus x carnea 'Ft McNair')

One of our most-requested trees...reddish-pink flowers in May/June that everybody will notice and ask you fall color to speak of but the leaves look great throughout the summer...a tree planted on the 300 block of North St is averaging over 15 inches of growth annually with regular watering...on average Ft. McNair red horsechstnuts average 8 inches of annual growth...this tree will eventually reach 30-40 feet.

available spring 2019







Katsura Tree (Cercidyphyllum japonica)

Considered by tree snobs to be one of the most beautiful and desirable specimen trees...long-lived, low maintenance and attractive in all seasons...leaves have an interesting round shape that flicker in the wind throughout summer, remaining disease free (Japanese beetles won’t touch this tree) well into autumn when they turn a nice amber-orange color (see above)...exceptional resistance to insects and diseases...only liability is a need for regular watering when young...a katsuratree growing in the Nakoma neighborhood in Madison is 65 feet tall...we are seeing 13 inches annual growth from the 12 katsuratrees planted throughout Cambridge, in both sun and shade. 4-5' tall $38



Larch (Tamarack) (Larix laricina and Larix decidua) Native

We will offer two larches this year: American and European...larches are deciduous conifers that drop their needles every year in the fall after golden yellow fall color...interesting red seed cones on the European larch...will grow in wet soils. European Larch: 18" $18; American larch 18" $18



London Planetree (Platanus x 'Exclamation')

Hybrid of our native sycamore and the oriental plane tree...common in European and eastern American cities because it grows well in stressed, urban conditions...shown above is the familiar bark, as mosaic of tan, brown and white...a very fast growing tree: 36 London planes planted throughout Cambridge in compacted clay/gravel/garbage soil are averaging 36 inches(!) of growth annually...tough and trouble free...reaches 60 feet with time...this particular cultivar was developed by 'Chicagoland Grows' and is well-suited to our area 4-5' tall $48


Magnolias see 'Ornamentals' tab





Maple, Red (Acer x 'Sienna Glen') Native

This red maple has several advantages over the commonly available Autumn Blaze maple: a more formal pyramidal form; better branch distribution; stronger branches that are less likely to break from wind, snow or also colors earlier and procudes an electric red/orange color...a Sienna Glen red maple was planted near the front parking lot of the Cambridge High School in 2013 and has averaged an impressive 29 inches of annual growth...has also displayed consistently vibrant orange/red fall color...grows to 40 feet tall and wide...prospers in virtually any soils including the compacted clays found in new subdivisions. available spring 2019



Pecan (Carya illinoinensis)

While known as a southern species, we carry pecans from northern seed sources that perform well in our area...three pecans are planted in Westside Park in Cambridge (see one pictured above) and have managed an impressive 21" of annual growth over the past ten years...they're also tough trees, able to withstand compacted clay and seasonally wet soils...we've seen yellow fall color locally but no sign of nuts at this point...pecan trees are self fertile.

sold out for 2018




Pine, Eastern White (Pinus strobis) Native

Fast growing and beautiful evergreen that exudes personality as it ages...the iconic tree of the northern great lakes...this tree will eventually need a lot of space, specimens over 100 feet tall are somewhat common up north; the highest in Wisconsin is over 150 feet tall...easy to grow in most soils as long as they are well drained. sold out for 2018



Persimmon: (Diospyros virginiana)

A tough and interesting tree that's performed well for us here in Cambridge despite its natural range extending no further north than central Illinois...most prominent feature is handsome and easily recognizable blocky bark (see picture above) on both young and older trees...persimmons also have lustrous dark green leaves that turn a purplish red in the fall...we've planted nine of them throughout Cambridge, most of them in poor soil, and they've averaged 14" of annual growth; also, none of them have died....the bright orange colored fruits (see top picture immediately above) are edible but require male and female trees for pollination...a seven year old persimmon on Lawn Street has already begun fruiting...the largest persimmon in Wisconsin, located along Lake Michigan in Shorewood, is 45' tall.  2-3' tall $38


Oaks: (various Quercus) Native

All of the following oaks are beautiful and easy to grow. Red Oak is our go-to tree to plant in the shade of larger trees locally, though it won't grow as fast in that setting (8 inches annually on average for our seven trees)...when planted in the sun we're recording 18 inches of annual growth...very easy to grow and a nice red fall color. Bur Oak handles tough conditions better than nearly any other tree: wet, dry, compacted, gravel, rocky, clay soils, take your pick! excellent choice for newer subdivisions...even under terrible conditions bur oaks average 8 inches of annual growth locally. In good soil we've found bur oaks to grow over 20" annually within the first few years of planting. Chinkapin Oak is the fastest growing oak we offer; nine trees planted throughout Cambridge are averaging 24 inches of growth annually without supplemental watering...features serrated leaves and edible acorns. Shingle Oak once grew as far north as Rock County and has interesting lustrous leaves like a magnolia (no lobes)...a shingle oak planted nine years ago on the 300 block of North St has averaged a respectable 23 inches of annual growth. 2-3' tall $38; 3-4' tall $44; 4-5' tall $58


Redbud, Eastern see 'Ornamentals' tab at top of page


Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

All parts of this tree are interesting and aromatic...the roots were once used to make root beer and are still used to make tea...the leaves, pictured above, come in four shapes (ghost, football and both left and right mittens) all of which feature exceptional orange and red fall color locally...we planted a sassafras in our front lawn six years ago and it's grown 21 inches annually with regular watering...this tree needs full sun and good soil to thrive. Available spring 2019

Serviceberry see 'Ornamentals' tab at top of page



Sweetgum: (Liquidambar styraciflua)

The best fall color festival of any tree in Cambridge...sweetgum leaves from the same tree pick a brilliant color and really run with it...keep in mind that each of the above leaves were part of the same tree on High Street just south of Main St...this year we are offering the cultivar 'Rontindiloba' which has rounded leaves that really get noticed...also, the cultivar has no seed pods which are objectionable to some...we’re seeing annual growth of 19 inches on the nine sweetgums planted throughout Cambridge…tolerant of wet areas and poor soils. Available spring 2019


Sycamore: (Platanus occidentalis) Native

Numerous sycamores were planted in lousy soil throughout Cambridge in 2007 and have proven to be one fast growing tree: averaging 27 inches of growth annually without supplemental watering...the fastest growing tree we've ever measured in Cambridge, located on the 200 block of North Street, is now 40 feet tall and has averaged 48 inches of growth annually (see picture above) other tree we have planted in Cambridge has achieved this level of growth...drought tolerant and tough, sycamores will grow in virtually any setting: wet, dry, clay, gravel...we haven't lost a single sycamore tree which is really saying something given the conditions we plant them in...they also rarely need pruning due to nicely defined central leader. 3-4' tall $28; 5-6' tall $38


(Liriodendron tulipifera)

Fast-growing, spring flowering, majestic member of the magnolia family...street trees planted by the Cambridge Tree Project are averaging 25 inches of annual growth...trees planted in residential lawns throughout Cambridge are growing up to 36 inches annually...leaves have the interesting tulip shape and remain disease free (Japanese beetles won’t touch this tree) well into autumn when they turn an excellent yellow color...not a good choice for areas with poor soil, especially new subdivisions Available spring 2019



Zelkova: (Zelkova serrata)

Closely related to elm trees, zekovas feature attractive leaves, bark and a vase-shaped habit...leaves are elm-like and not fed on by Japanese beetles...with age the bark exfoliates to reveal gray and warm brown patches...we've recorded 29" inches of annual growth on the zelkovas planted in Cambridge...they will grow in nearly any soil except those that are continually wet 3-4' tall $28


All profits support planting trees in Cambridge and Rockdale common areas.


Print Print | Sitemap
Contact us: