Cambridge Tree Project
Cambridge Tree Project

Shade Trees

Mature height 25 feet and taller


Reserve trees by email or phone: 



Schedule curbside pickup in Cambridge seven days weekly 8am-8pm.


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Birch, Yellow 

  (Betula alleghaniensis) Native and Deer Resistant

A hard to find top-tier shade tree featuring beautiful shiny golden bark and exceptional clear yellow fall color. Yellow birch is also one of the few birch species known to be shade tolerant. Features the essence of wintergreen in its twigs, which were historically distilled 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. Grows in sun or shade and prefers cool and moist conditions.

  Sizes and Prices Available October 6, 2023



Coffeetree, Kentucky

  (Gymnocladus dioicus) Native and Deer Resistant

Coffeetree combines elegance and toughness so well that they've become one of the most popular urban trees planted in our area. Sparse looking when young, but with time they become highly picturesque specimens (see top pic, above). Exceptional yellow fall color (middle photo, above) appears nearly every year locally, and the attractive, highly textured scaly bark (bottom photo) is a four-season attraction. Female trees have large purple seed pods that turn dark brown and persist through winter months. Coffeetrees succeed in all soils except those that are continually wet. 38 of them planted along Cambridge streets in poor soil (gravel, in some cases) average an impressive 20 inches of growth annually. Trees planted in better soil will add between two and three ft. of annual growth. Reaches 50 ft. tall and 40 ft. wide in the home landscape. The second tallest coffeetree in America (112 ft.) is found just south of Cambridge near Lake Koshkonong.

 NOTE: Juvenile coffeetrees have no side branching.

   2-3 ft. tall single trunk (potted): $45



Did you know?

The Village of Cambridge's urban forest has 175 different species of trees, the most of any municipality in Wisconsin. 



Elm, American 

  (Ulmus americana x  'St. Croix')

Contemporary elm cultivars offer disease resistance, fast growth and the classic vase shape which historically defined American streets and parks (see top picture, above). We offer 'St. Croix,' selected in Minnesota for exceptional disease resistance, a picturesque, open habit, rapid growth, and attractive yellow fall color. American elms are among the most durable trees for tough conditions, including the slow draining compacted clays so commonly found in newer subdivisions. Their only requirement for success is a sunny location. A nine ft. tall elm cultivar planted in Cambridge on Park Street in 2009 is now over 40 ft. tall (pictured immediately above). 34 elm cultivars planted throughout Cambridge along our streets average 26 inches of annual growth, those planted in better soils average three ft. of growth annually. 

  sorry, sold out


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  (Gingko biloba x 'Magyar') Deer Resistant

Ginkgos feature the most distinctive leaf shape (pictured above) of any deciduous tree in our area. They also display consistently bright yellow fall color, and...during most years nearly all leaves drop within 24 hours in autumn, reducing your fall raking hassle considerably. Known to be one of the most trouble-free trees available: no insect or disease issues to worry about and trees are extremely durable once established: many trees in China are known to be over 1000 years old and the oldest is thought to be 3500! After a slow recovery from transplanting, slow growth commences: 65 ginkgos planted throughout Cambridge average only eight inches of growth annually. Growth to 15 inches annually can be achieved with regular watering and a little luck. Reaches 50 ft. tall and 30 ft. wide. 

NOTE: 'Magyar' ginkgo is male cultivar which doesn't produce fruit.

 7-8 ft. tall (potted): $108



Larch, American (Tamarack)

  (Larix laricina) Native and Deer Resistant

A deciduous conifer that drops its needles every fall after displaying 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. Easy to grow locally in saturated soils or under normal lawn and garden conditions. Though far more common in northern Wisconsin, glacial remnant tamarack populations can be found in the Madison area, including swamps on the south end of Rock Lake near Lake Mills. Fast growing when young, up to 24 inches annually on the eight street trees here in Cambridge. Reaches 50 ft. tall and 20 ft. wide.

   2-3 ft tall (potted): $45




(Diospyros virginiana) Deer Resistant

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 recognized blocky bark (see top picture above). Persimmon also have lustrous dark green leaves that emerge purplish red in spring (middle picture above). We've planted 19 throughout Cambridge (most in poor soil conditions) where they average 14 inches of annual growth; also, none of them have died, suggesting cultural tenacity. Persimmon are considered highly shade tolerant. Their bright orange 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. The tallest persimmon in Wisconsin, located in Shorewood, is 45 ft. high.

NOTE: persimmon trees are either male or female: we recommend buying at least three trees to (hopefully) assure a fruit set.

  Sizes and Prices Available October 6, 2023



  (Quercus bicolor, macrocarpa, rubra) Native


Oaks are majestically beautiful, easy to grow and longer lived than most landscape trees. Known as nature's cafeteria, they support more life-forms than any other tree in North America. 


Bur Oak handles tough conditions better than nearly any other tree: dry, gravelly, rocky, or compacted clay soils, occasional flooding, wind-exposed, take your pick! An excellent choice for newer subdivisions; where even under terrible soil conditions bur oaks average eight inches of annual growth locally. In better soil we've found bur oaks will grow 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 (potted) $55  

  8 ft. tall (potted) $95


Red Oak is one of the few oaks that's shade such it was our "go-to" tree to underplant ash trees we knew would succumb to the emerland ash borer 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. 

  10 ft. tall (potted) $105




  (Sassafras albidum)

All parts of Sassafras are aromatic and interesting...the roots were once used to make root beer and tea...the leaves, pictured above, come in four shapes (ghost, football and both left and right-handed mittens) and feature exceptional orange and red fall color locally (pictured immediately above)...color also appears in spring, in the form of yellow flowers...offers petite dark purple ornamental seeds on bright red stalks (middle picture above)...four Sassafras planted throughout Cambridge are growing quickly, averaging 22 inches of growth annually...needs full sun and good soil to thrive.

  Sizes and Prices Available October 6, 2023



  (Platanus occidentalis) Native and Deer Resistant

No quality shade tree is tougher or faster growing than a sycamore. To be sure, the fastest growing tree we've ever measured in our tree trials (pictured at top, above) is a sycamore planted in 2006 on the 200 block of North Street in Cambridge; that tree is now 55 ft. tall and averaged of 43 inches of growth annually over its first 15 years. Overall, 25 sycamores located in poor soils throughout Cambridge average 29 inches of annual growth without supplemental watering. They happily grow in any sunny setting, tolerating wet, dry, clay and even gravel soils and rarely need formative pruning due to a nicely defined central leader and measured lateral branching. Ornamental bark (pictured immediately above) is an all-season attraction. Their mature size is massive, up to 100 ft. tall and wide. 

  NOTE: Juvenile sycamores have no side branching. 

  Sizes and Prices Available October 6, 2023




  (Liriodendron tulipifera) Deer Resistant

Fast growing, spring flowering, majestic member of the magnolia family. Flowers (pictured at top, above) arrive within ten years of planting and do look just like tulips. Leaves (pictured in middle of set, above) have the unique tulip profile and remain disease free (Japanese beetles won’t touch this tree) well into autumn when they consistently display vivid yellow color locally. 19 tuliptrees planted as street trees in Cambridge have averaged 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 picture immediately above, taken of a 15-year-old tuliptree on the 300 block of North Street). 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.

  8-9 ft. tall:  $105



  (Nyssa sylvatica) Deer Resistant

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 its tolerance of anaerobic soils. The growth rate of our eight 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.

  Sizes and Prices Available October 6, 2023


Out of Stock

We're out of stock of the following trees, but would be happy to notify you when they're in stock again.


Birch, River 

  (Betula nigra) Native and Deer Resistant

The best birch for suburban lawns: graceful form, fast growth, and a tough disposition. Ornamental features include exfoliating salmon/cream colored bark (pictured immediately above) and attractive clear yellow fall color. Thrives anywhere, including the poorly drained, compacted clays commonly found in recently developed subdivisions. 18 river birch planted throughout Cambridge have averaged 30 inches of annual growth without supplemental watering, making it one of the fastest growing street trees in our village! Reaches 40 ft. tall and wide in home landscape settings.

   Sorry, sold out


Birch ‘Whitespire’ 

  (Betula populifolia)  Deer Resistant

'Whitespire' is the only white barked birch with the moxie to succeed in suburban lawns in the Madison area, where summer heat events exert too much stress on our native paper birch. Ornamental features include attractive pure white bark (see photos above) and glossy green leaves that turn a respectable 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' averaged 14 inches annual growth at the UW Arboretum. Juvenile growth is faster, however, at just over 24 inches annually for two trees planted along Madison Street in Cambridge.

  Sold out

Buckeye, Ohio 

  (Aesculus glabra) 

Buckeyes are great choices for shady areas given their adaptation to life in the forest understory. Palmately compound leaves (see pictures above) stand out among other trees. Attractive yellow flowers (also pictured above) arrive in June and in fall buckeye nuts appear only to be quickly swiped by local squirrel packs. Leaves offer 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 ten inches annually. Reaches 40 ft. tall and wide.

  Sold out


  (Catalpa speciosa) Deer Resistant

Catalpa's orchid-like flowers are said to be the most beautiful of all American flowering trees (see photo above). Massive leaves (to 12 inches) lend a tropical appearance and provide a pleasant medium green color over summer months. Long bean-shaped seed pods arrive in about ten years. Incredibly fast growing: 25 inches annually taking measurements from our 18 street and park trees in Cambridge. Grows nearly anywhere including compacted clay soils. With time a very large tree: one in Wauwatosa is 106 ft. high.

NOTE: Juvenile catalpas have no side branching.

  Sold out

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 well into autumn when they frequently turn a golden yellow to apricot color (see immediately above, pictured at the Old Red School in Cambridge). Their 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 15 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.   

  Sold out

Maple, Red 

  (Acer rubrum 'Redpointe') Native

‘Redpointe’ is fast becoming a most popular red maple cultivar. It provides faster initial growth and is more tolerant of poor soil conditions (including the compacted clays found in recently developed subdivisions) than other red maples. It also offers a more formal, upright branching pattern (see top picture, above) and stronger branch angles that don't break from wind, ice, and snow. Fall color is an exceptional, long lasting bright red (see immediately above). Grows to 45 ft. high by 30 ft. wide at 18 to 24 inches annually.

  Sold out

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 yellow, orange, or red in fall depending on weather conditions (see immediately above). This tree prospers in heavy 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 consider 'Rugged Ridge' maple (highlighted immediately above) to capture the ornamental attributes of sugar maple with better soil adaptability. Matures to 50 ft. tall and wide. Sugar maple is our longest-lived native maple and can reach 300 years old. 

   sold out


Mulberry, Red 

  (Moris rubra) Native

An increasingly uncommon native that shouldn't be confused with the invasive white mulberry. Large, flavorful fruits are edible, messy, and highly valued by many bird species. Fruit production occurs within ten years of planting red mulberry. Large dark green leaves in various shapes that, at best, turn an understated yellow in fall. Reaches 40 ft. tall in landscape conditions with an open habit, living for 125 years. Grayish-brown ridged and furrowed bark. Requires good garden soil and will grow in sun or light shade.

NOTE: most mulberry trees are either male or female, so we recommend buying at least three trees to (hopefully) assure a fruit set. In some cases, mulberries are self-fertile, with male and female flowers on different branches of the same tree.

  Sold out

Redwood, Dawn 

  (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) Deer Resistant

An exotically beautiful deciduous conifer similar to baldcypress but faster growing locally: our 16 trees in Cambridge average 20 inches of annual growth without supplemental watering; in better soils we've noted between two and three ft. of growth annually. Interestingly attractive cones (pictured immediately above) are only one inch across - very small for a conifer. Handsome reddish brown, fissured bark provides all season appeal (see middle photo above). Withstands wet soil but also performs well in drier spots. Reaches 70 ft. tall but stays narrow to only 25 ft. wide.

  Sold out


  (Liquidambar styraciflua x 'Moraine') Deer Resistant

The best fall color festival in Cambridge. Sweetgum leaves from the same tree pick a brilliant color (crimson, purple or yellow) and really run with it. We offer 'Moraine', a cultivar which readily withstands our coldest winters and provides lustrous green leaves throughout summer. We’re seeing annual growth of 18 inches on the 20 sweetgums planted throughout Cambridge. Tolerant of wet areas and poor soil.

  Sold out

Proceeds from our non-profit tree sales have gifted and established over 1100 additional living trees in Cambridge since 2006


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Contact us: 608 513 1977