Cambridge Tree Project
Cambridge Tree Project

Shade Trees

Mature height 25 feet and taller


Reserve trees now by email or phone: 



Schedule curbside pickup in Cambridge any day of the week beginning Monday, May 10.


(Taxodium distichum)

A tree of southern swamps that also prospers here in the northern reaches of zone 5…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…the tree pictured at top, above (located on the 300 block of North Street) has averaged an impressive 26 inches of annual growth in better soil…with time 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; conversely, it also tolerates drier soils...a recently discovered baldcypress tree in North Carolina is over 2500 years old.

  6 ft. tall 'Deboniar' Pondcypress: $68




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 pattern...beechnuts are edible and good 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.  





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.

  5-6 ft tall single trunk: $38





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.

  2 ft. tall: $28






(Catalpa speciosa)

The white flowers, at close inspection, are said to be the most beautiful of all American flowering trees (see photo at immediately above)...massive leaves (up to 12 inches) lend a tropical appearance (some would say coarse) and provide a pleasant medium green color during the summer months…long cigar shaped seed pods will arrive in about ten years...incredibly fast growing: 30 inches annually taking measurements from our 18 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: $38

Coffeetree, Kentucky

(Gymnocladus dioicus) Native

This tree's fine leaves and light branching (see middle picture above) provide a light shade which encourages the growth of turf'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 at top, 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...this tree is late to leaf out in spring...reaches 50 ft. tall and 40 ft. wide. 

  2 ft. tall: $18

  3-4 ft. tall: $38





(Gingko biloba x ''Autumn Gold')

A favorite of Frank Lloyd Wright, ginkgo trees 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 a 24 hour time period 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.





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 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.




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.   

  4-5 ft. tall: $38 




London Planetree

(Platanus x 'Exclamation')

London Planetree is a hybrid of our native sycamore and the oriental plane'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. 




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.





(Platanus occidentalis) Native

No tree is tougher and faster growing than a sycamore! 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: $28




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


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