Trees That Drop Their Leaves in Winter

Broadly, two types of trees exist: evergreens, which include pine trees and palm trees that always have new needles or leaves; and deciduous broad leaf trees that shed their leaves in winter after they turn color in the fall. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some produce fruit, some produce flowers and some only leaves, but they all play an important part in the environment.

Sugar Maple

The sugar maple grows to a height of 40-70 feet and a width of 30-50 feet. The branches form a dense crown with leaves that are dark green and glossy during the summer. In the fall, the leaves turn a bright red or a yellow orange. The sugar maple is hardy in zones 3 to 8, all but the two warmest zones in the continental United States. The sugar maple is drought and shade resistant and the sap is used to make maple syrup.


The sassafras tree grows from southern Maine to south Florida and from the coast as far west as Ontario in the north and Texas in the south. The tree can reach a height of 40 to 80 feet and width of 30 feet. The further south it is, the taller it will grow. Trees in southern Florida have been known to reach a height of 100 feet, and the same tree can have leaves in different shapes-- oval or with lobes. The tree also produces yellow/green flowers in early spring and a fruit that ripens in September. The tree produces sassafras oil, which is used to make root beer.

Tulip Tree

The tulip tree (yellow poplar) is one of the tallest of the Eastern hardwood trees, growing 100-200 feet tall and 8-12 feet wide at maturity. Tulip trees have been known to live for as long as 300 years. It is used to make furniture and in home construction and is a source of food for wildlife. The tulip tree is native to the Eastern United States from southern New England to north central Florida and from the Atlantic Ocean as far west as the Ohio River Valley. The leaves can range from green to copper/red depending on where the tree originated. The tree produces a flower that resembles the tulip with a light yellow/green color at the edges and deep orange in the middle.

Persimmon Trees

The persimmon tree has dark green leaves, small fragrant white flowers and edible pale--orange fruit. The tree can grow 30-50 feet high and 20-35 feet wide, and is found in zones 4 to 9 in the southeastern part of the United States. The fruit is food for a wide range of animals as well as being harvested for human consumption. The wood of the persimmon tree is used to make golf club heads, handles for tools and billiard cues.

Keywords: broad leaf trees, persimmon trees, tulip trees, sugar maples, sassafras trees

About this Author

Regina Sass is based in the Adirondack Region of New York State. She has been a writer for 10 years writing for publications in the real estate and retail industries. Online experience includes writing,advertising and editing for an educational web site. Sass is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.