Large, majestic trees not only add beauty to the landscape, but are also helpful to the environment. Taller trees reduce noise, block out unsightly views, act as windbreaks, create an abundance of shade and improve property value. Larger trees work to remove pollutants from the air and provide food and homes to a variety of mammals and birds. A wide variety of trees are known to reach mature heights ranging from 70 to well over 100 feet.
Commonly found growing in the loamy soils of the Upper Mississippi River Valley and the lower Great Lakes regions, the rock elm (Ulmus thomasii) thrives in the rocky ridges and stream banks of that area. When grown in favorable conditions, the rock elm may reach a mature height of 100 feet and can live as long as 300 years. Rock elm trees, also known as cork elms, produce seeds and buds that are eaten by rabbits, squirrels and birds. According to the USDA Forest Service, the hard wood of the rock elm is used for wooden crates, parts of furniture and as ship timbers.
Grown throughout the eastern parts of the United States, the silver maple (Acer saccharinum) is a rapid-growing tree that reaches heights ranging from 80 to 100 feet. The silver maple is a hardy tree that grows in wet areas where few others trees can survive. The root system of the silver maple is aggressive and can damage septic tanks, sidewalks and water pipes so avoid planting in residential areas. Silver maple buds are an important food source for squirrels during the late winter months and the tree is a nesting site for a variety of ducks. Silver maple trees are used on farms as windbreaks and as ornamental shade trees in parks and along streets.
Found growing along streams and rivers and in the swamps and wetlands of the deep south, the bald cypress tree (Taxodium distichum) grows to heights of 100 to 150 feet. According the the University of Florida, the long-lived bald cypress can survive for an astonishing 600 years and is often covered with dangling Spanish moss. The bald cypress provides important cover and shelter for wildlife including the white-tailed deer and the seeds of the tree feed rabbits, geese, cranes and ducks. The wood of bald cypress trees has been used to create furniture, clocks and wall decorations. The attractive appearance of the bald cypress makes it a popular ornamental tree in the landscaping industry.
The eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides) is a fast-growing tree that is found along rivers and streams. According to the University of Maine, the eastern cottonwood reaches heights of 75 to 100 feet and is considered one of the largest eastern hardwood trees. The wood of the cottonwood is soft and is often used for boxes or pulp. Deer and rabbits are known to eat cottonwood seedlings and beaver use saplings and smaller cottonwood trees as food and to build their dams. The root system of the eastern cottonwood is invasive and will damage sidewalks, sewers, drains and septic tanks.