Fast Growing Trees Native to the Southern Ontario Area
In Ontario, Canada, homeowners are advised to plant native trees and shrubs. Native trees are uniquely suited for their specific region and have evolved over time to adapt to the local environmental conditions, the geography and even the insects and animals. As a result, they need minimal care in order to thrive. In Southern Ontario, fast-growing native trees include the tulip tree, silver maple and the red oak.
The tulip tree is Canada's tallest deciduous tree at 114 feet, according to the University of Guelph. Its range extends south into Florida and east to New York. The tree is adaptable, withstanding Canada's cold winters as well as subtropical Florida summers. The bark is brownish gray and smooth when young, becoming grooved in maturity. The leaves are dark green and up to six inches long. The undersides of the leaves are whitish blue. The flowers are tulip-shaped and bloom at the top of the tree in the summer after reaching 12 to 15 years of age.
The silver maple is found south from Ontario, throughout the Eastern United States and into Florida. Because the tree is so fast growing, the wood is brittle and branches break off without warning, according to “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trees of the World,” by Tony Russel, Catherine Cutler and Martin Walters. The silver maple reaches a height of 80 feet. The leaves are dark green on top with a silver tinted underside. The leaves turn yellow-green in the fall.
The red oak is an important timber tree in Ontario, according to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The wood is very durable and used for furniture, millwork and flooring. The acorns of the tree are used as food by wildlife. The red oak reaches a height of 80 feet. The leaves are green and have between seven and 11 lobes and hairy, sharp tips. The bark is gray and smooth when the tree is young, becoming fissured as the tree ages. Red oak acorns stay on the tree all winter.
- The University of Guelph Collections: Forest Communities
- “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Trees of the World”; Tony Russell, Catherine Cutler and Martin Walters; 2007
- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources: Ontario Extension Notes: Red Oak