Cambridge Tree Project
Cambridge Tree Project

Shade Trees

Mature height 25 feet and taller

 

Reserve trees now by email or phone:   info@cambridgetreeproject.org 

 608-513-1977

 

Schedule curbside pickup in Cambridge any day of the week  from 7am to 7pm beginning April 2022.

Baldcypress

(Taxodium distichum)

If you're looking for a clean tree, look no further: this tree's small deciduous needles don't require raking, and its tiny one inch seed cones break apart at maturity; it also doesn't drop branches, large or small...ornamental attributes are numerous: delicate sage green needles that turn a soft orange in autumn (pictured immediately above at Westside Park in Cambridge) and fall from the tree to reveal attractive, reddish brown, fissured bark...19 trees planted throughout Cambridge since 2007 have averaged 14 inches of annual growth in poor, compacted soil…a tree planted in better soil on the 300 block of North Street has averaged an impressive 26 inches of annual growth…with time it becomes a large uniformly pyramidal tree reaching 60 ft. high but stays narrow to only 25 ft. wide…one of the few trees that will grow in standing water but also tolerates drier soils...a recently discovered baldcypress in North Carolina was found to be over 2500 years old.

  4 ft. tall: $48

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Beech, American

(Fagus grandifolia) Native

A tree of great beauty which many people claim as their favorite...distinctive smooth, silver bark (see pictures above) and attractive dark green leaves that turn golden bronze in fall (pictured immediately above) and persist throughout winter…one of the best trees for climbing given its strongly horizontal branching...beechnuts are edible and good tasting...one of the few trees that happily grows in heavy shade...requires good garden soil and grows slowly (14 inches annually locally)...with time they become majestic specimens: the state champion near Manitowoc is just over 100 ft. tall.  

  Available spring 2022

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Birch, River

(Betula nigra 'Heritage') Native

The best all-around birch for suburban lawns given its graceful form and just right size of 30 to 40 ft. tall...grows in poor, compacted soils including those that are seasonally wet in spring...ornamental features include exfoliating salmon/cream colored bark (pictured above) and a beautiful clear yellow fall color...17 street trees planted locally are averaging 32 inches of annual growth without supplemental watering, making it one of the fastest growing street trees in our village.

  Available spring 2022

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Birch ‘Whitespire’

(Betula populifolia)  

The best white barked birch for suburban lawns…pure white bark (see photo above) and glossy green leaves that turn an attractive yellow in fall…grows to 30-40 ft. high with a dominant central leader and narrow habit, to around 20 ft. wide…over 30 years 'Whitespire' has averaged 14 inches of annual growth at the UW Arboretum...early growth is faster, though, at just over 24 inches annually for our two street trees along Madison Street in Cambridge. 

  Available spring 2022

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Birch, Yellow

(Betula alleghaniensis) Native

A hard to find top-tier shade tree featuring beautiful shiny golden bark (pictured above) and exceptional clear yellow fall color (both pictured above)...it also has the the essence of wintergreen in its twigs which were historically used to flavor food products...this is the largest of our native birches (60 ft. high) and is logged for flooring, trim and furniture...two yellow birches planted on Cambridge school grounds in 2012 average 15 inches of new growth each year...this tree will grow in sun or shade and prefers cool and moist conditions.

  3-4 ft tall: $48

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Buckeye, Ohio

(Aesculus flava, glabra) 

Buckeyes are great choices for shady areas given their adaptation to the forest understory...palmately compound leaves (see pictures above) stand out among other trees...attractive yellow flowers (pictured immediately above) arrive in June and in fall buckeye nuts appear only to be quickly swiped by local squirrel packs...leaves produce a nice pumpkin orange fall color while deeper reds appear some years (pictured at top, above)...growth rate is slow: our 13 street and park Ohio buckeyes average only eight inches annually...reaches 40 ft tall and wide.

  1-2 ft. tall: $28

  3 ft. tall: $48

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Catalpa

(Catalpa speciosa)

Catalpa's white flowers, at close inspection, are said to be the most beautiful of all American flowering trees (see photo at top, immediately above)...massive leaves (up to 12 inches) lend a tropical appearance (some would say coarse) and provide a pleasant medium green color over summer months but offer no fall color…long cigar shaped seed pods arrive in about ten years...incredibly fast growing: 30 inches annually taking measurements from our 18 street and trees in Cambridge...grows nearly anywhere including saturated, dry and compacted soils...with time a very large tree: one in Wauwatosa is 106 ft. high.

  3-4 ft. tall: $48

Coffeetree, Kentucky

(Gymnocladus dioicus) Native

This tree's fine leaves and light branching (see middle picture above) provide light shade which encourages the growth of turf grass...it's also one tough tree: able to grow successfully in virtually all soils except those that are consistently wet...36 trees planted along Cambridge streets in poor soil (gravel, in some cases) are averaging an impressive 18 inches annually...trees planted in better soil are averaging considerable growth: 26 inches annually over the past decade without supplemental watering...sparse looking when young but with age becomes a bold, picturesque tree...exceptional yellow fall color (see top photo above)...attractive, highly textured scaly bark is a year round attraction...on female trees large purple seed pods turn dark brown in the fall and persist through winter months...this tree is late to leaf out in spring...reaches 50 ft. tall and 40 ft. wide. 

  Available spring 2022

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Elm

(Ulmus x 'Frontier')

Contemporary elm cultivars offer disease resistance plus the classic vase shape that historically lined streets throughout America...they're also durable trees for tough conditions, including the slow draining clays commonly found in newer subdivisions...another plus is exceptionally fast growth: a nine ft. tall elm cultivar planted on Park Street in 2009 (pictured at top, above) is now over 38 ft. high...21 elms planted throughout Cambridge along our streets are averaging 28 inches of annual growth, those planted in better soils are averaging between three and four ft. of growth annually...the cultivar we carry ('Frontier') is known for its reliably red fall color (see photo immediately above) and matures to 40 ft. tall and 30 ft. wide.

   Available spring 2022

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Ginkgo

(Gingko biloba x ''Autumn Gold')

Ginkgos feature what might be the most distinctive leaf (pictured at top, 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 leaves drop within 24 hours in fall, reducing your fall raking hassle considerably…known to be one of the most trouble free trees available: no insect or disease issues are known and trees are extremely hardy once established…growth is slow: 40 trees planted throughout Cambridge are averaging only eight inches of annual growth...growth to 15 inches annually can be achieved with regular watering and a little luck...trees in China are known to be over 1000 years old.

  Available spring 2022

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Horsechestnut, Red Flowering

(Aesculus x carnea 'Fort McNair' and Briotii' )

One of our most requested trees...reddish pink flowers in May/June that everybody will notice and ask you about...no fall color to speak of but the leaves look great throughout summer and early fall...a tree planted on the 300 block of North Street is averaging over 15 inches of growth annually with regular watering...without regular watering 12 red horsechestnuts average ten inches of growth annually in Cambridge as street and park trees...expect this tree to reach 30 to 40 ft. high with time.

  Available spring 2022

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Ironwood (Ostrya vinginiana) Native

Common small understory tree that can be introduced as a graceful element to your home landscape...will grow in deep shade or full sun making it one of the more versatile trees available...interesting features include hop-type fruits (pictured at top, above) and flaking, irregular bark (immediately above)...wood is extremely hard and was used for tool handles during frontier times...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...reaches 25 ft tall and 20 ft. wide in most landscape scenarios. 

  8 ft tall: $98

  

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Katsura Tree

(Cercidyphyllum japonica)

Considered by tree snobs to be one of the most beautiful and desirable specimen trees...extremely 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 can turn a golden yellow color (see immediately above, pictured at the Old Red school)...only liability is a need for good garden soil and regular watering when young...a katsura growing in the Nakoma neighborhood in Madison is 65 ft. high...we're recording 14 inches of annual growth from the 21 katsuras planted throughout Cambridge, mostly in shady conditions, where growth rates are suppressed...those planted in sunny locations have averaged 20 inches annually over the past ten years locally.   

  6 ft. tall: $58

  7 ft. tall: $68

  8 ft. tall: $88

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Larch, American (Tamarack)

(Larix laricina) Native

A deciduous conifer that drops its needles every fall after displaying a solid golden yellow fall color (see top pic above)...decorative small cones (to one inch) are violet colored when young (see photo directly above) before turning light brown...grows well in saturated soils and under normal lawn and garden conditions...fast growing when young, up to 24 inches annually...tall and narrow profile, to 50 ft. tall and 20 ft. wide.

   Available spring 2022

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London Planetree

(Platanus x 'Exclamation')

London Planetree is a hybrid of our native sycamore and the oriental plane tree...it's commonly found in both American and European cities because it grows so well under stressful, urban conditions...shown at top above is the familiar camo-themed bark: a mosaic of tan, brown and white...a very fast growing tree: 47 London planes planted throughout Cambridge in compacted clay/gravel/garbage soil are averaging 29 inches of growth annually without supplemental watering...reaches 60 ft. high with time...the cultivar we offer ('Exclamation') was developed by Chicagoland Grows and is well suited to our area. 

  Available spring 2022

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Maple, Black

(Acer nigrum 'Greencolumn') Native

Black maple is a close relative of sugar maple that's adapted to warm, dry growing conditions and thin, poor soils...as such it's a great choice for newer neighborhoods where using sugar maple isn't recommend due to their need for better soil and cooler, more protected growing  conditions...we offer 'Greencolumn', a cultivar with proven performance and a narrower form, reaching 65 ft. high and 25 ft. wide...fall color is an excellent yellow to orange (see immediately above) and the leaves are an attractive, thick and lustrous dark green (see top picture, above) throughout summer...growth rate is slower, between 8-12 inches annually.

   Available spring 2022

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Maple, Red

(Acer rubrum 'Red Sunset') Native

‘Red Sunset’ maple has many advantages over the readily available 'Autumn Blaze' cultivar: starting off is the exceptional fall color: it reliably produces an electric red/orange (see pics above) that arrives earlier and stays around longer…also features a more formal pyramidal shape; better branch distribution and stronger branch angles that are less likely to break from wind, snow or ice...grows to 45 ft. high and wide...prospers in virtually all soils including the compacted clays found in new subdivisions...the average annual growth rate of eight 'Red Sunset' maple street trees planted in Cambridge subdivisions has been 12 inches.

  Available spring 2022

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Maple, Sugar

(Acer saccharum 'Fall Fiesta') Native

'Fall Fiesta' is an improved sugar maple selection featuring faster initial growth and glossy, lustrous leaves that turn a mix of yellow, orange and red in fall (see above) depending on local weather conditions...will happily grow in deep shade or sun but requires deep topsoil to prosper...not a good choice for newer neighborhoods given its sensitivity to thin clay soils and open, exposed conditions; for those areas use black maple (presented just above) to capture the ornamental attributes of sugar maple with better soil adaptability...matures to 50 ft. tall and wide...can live to be 300 years old.

  Available spring 2022

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Oaks

(Quercus macrocarpa, muehlenbergii, rubra) Native

 

These oaks are beautiful, easy to grow and longer lived than most landscape trees. 

 

Bur Oak handles tough conditions better than nearly any other tree: wet, dry, gravelly, rocky or compacted clay soils, take your pick!...an excellent choice for newer subdivisions...even under terrible soil conditions bur oaks average eight inches of annual growth locally...in good soil we've found bur oaks will grow over 20 inches annually within the first five years of planting...with time a massive tree, up to 75 ft. tall and wide. 3-4 ft tall: $48

 

Chinkapin Oak is a tough and fast growing native: 23 trees planted throughout Cambridge average an impressive 21 inches of annual growth...trees located in better soils average 30 inches of growth each year...they also handle tough conditions well and are great choices for newer homes where soil conditions preclude the use of so many species...mature height is smaller for an oak, commonly 40 ft tall and 50 ft wide. 3-4 ft tall: $48

 

Red Oak is one of the few oaks that is shade tolerant...as such it was our "go-to" tree to underplant ash trees we knew would succumb to EAB in our village forest...growth in shady settings is eight inches annually based on our seven trees in Cambridge...when planted in sunny locations, however, we're recording over 20 inches of annual growth...very easy to grow locally...nice red fall color most years (see picture above, taken at Pleasant and Main Streets)...reaches 60 ft. tall and wide. 

  2-3 ft tall: $38

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Persimmon

(Diospyros virginiana)

A tough and interesting shade 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 recognized blocky bark (see top picture above) on both young and older trees...persimmons also have lustrous dark green leaves that turn a purplish red in fall (middle picture above)...we've planted 14 throughout Cambridge (most of them in poor soil) and they've averaged 15 inches of annual growth; also, none of them have died, suggesting that they do well on difficult sites...the bright orange colored fruits (see bottom picture above) are edible and require male and female trees for pollination...a street tree on Lawn Street in Cambridge began fruiting in 2017, eight years after it was planted; interestingly, the closest male tree was more than two blocks away...the tallest persimmon in Wisconsin, located in Shorewood, is 45 ft. high. 

  2-3 ft. tall: $38 each

  3-4 ft. tall $48 each

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Redwood, Dawn

(Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

Similar to baldcypress in many ways but faster growing locally: our 12 trees in Cambridge average 18 inches of annual growth without supplemental watering; in better soils we've noted 2-3 ft. of growth annually...withstands wet soil but also performs well in drier areas...small (to only one inch) and attractive dark brown cones (pictured immediately above)...drops its leaves in the fall revealing attractive reddish brown, fissured bark (see top above)...will grow quickly to 70 ft. high and a narrow 25 ft. wide.

  Available spring 2022

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Sweetgum

(Liquidambar styraciflua x 'Moraine')  

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...we offer the 'Moraine' cultivar which withstands our coldest winters and provides lustrous green leaves throughout summer (see middle picture above)...we’re seeing annual growth of 17 inches on the 11 sweetgums planted throughout Cambridge…sweetgums eventually (20 years or longer) develop woody one inch diameter seed pods that fall over winter months (lowest picture, above)...tolerant of wet areas and poor soils.

  Available spring 2022

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Sycamore

(Platanus occidentalis) Native

No tree is tougher and faster growing than a sycamore...to be sure, the fastest growing tree we've measured (pictured at top, above) is a sycamore planted 15 years ago on the 200 block of North Street in Cambridge...that tree is now 55 ft. tall and has averaged of 43 inches of growth annually...overall 24 sycamores located in lousy soil throughout Cambridge average 28 inches of annual growth without supplemental watering...they happily grow in any sunny setting, tolerating wet, dry, clay and even gravel soils...they also rarely need formative pruning due to a nicely defined leader and measured lateral branching...the ornamental bark (pictured immediately above) is a year round attraction...mature size is massive, up to 100 ft. tall and wide.

  3-4 ft. tall: $48

 

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Tuliptree

(Liriodendron tulipifera)

Fast growing, spring flowering, majestic member of the magnolia family...19 tuliptrees planted as street trees in Cambridge are averaging 24 inches of annual growth over the past decade...trees planted in residential lawns throughout our village are growing up to 36 inches annually (see top picture above, taken of a 15 year old tuliptree on the 300 block of North St)...flowers (also pictured above) arrive within ten years and do look just like tulips...leaves (pictured immediately above) have the interesting tulip shape and remain disease free (Japanese beetles won’t touch this tree) well into autumn when they consistently turn an excellent yellow color locally...not a good choice for areas with poor soil, especially new subdivisions...a large tree with time, reaching 80 ft. tall and 40 ft. wide...specimens to 200 ft. tall are known in the Smokeys.

  Available spring 2022

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Tupelo

(Nyssa sylvatica)

Exceptionally vivid red fall color on glossy leaves is nearly impossible to beat on a clear fall day...pictured immediately above is a celebrated specimen growing next to the McKay Center at the UW Arboretum: note the unique horizontal branching pattern...will grow in poorly drained areas given a tolerance of anaerobic soils...growth of our four tupelo trees in Cambridge has been slow, at 12 inches annually...reaches 30 ft. tall and wide locally...native only to Kenosha County in Wisconsin, but fully hardy in our area.

  3-4 ft tall: $48

  4-5 ft tall: $58

 

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Proceeds from our tree sales have gifted and established over 1000 additional living trees in Cambridge since 2006

 

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